Northampton boss Boothroyd content with slender advantage over Robins

BREAKING THE DEADLOCK - Roy O'Donovan celebrates the only goal of the game in the Cobblers' win over Cheltenham on Thursday night (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
BREAKING THE DEADLOCK - Roy O'Donovan celebrates the only goal of the game in the Cobblers' win over Cheltenham on Thursday night (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd admits he would have accepted a 1-0 victory in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Cheltenham.

Town head to Whaddon Road for the second leg on Sunday with a slender advantage but Boothroyd is aware of the way his team performed on that ground on Easter Monday and is confident that level can be reproduced.

There was a bittersweet element to Thursday’s home leg, with Northampton winning the game but failing to convert their superior possession into more goals.

And while Boothroyd accepts it remains difficult for his side to reach the Wembley final, he is pleased with the position they are in for the away leg.

“It’s all to play for,” he said. “We’re still in the tie and we know we’ve got to be at our best, anything less won’t be enough.

“I’d have taken 1-0 before the game. It was important we kept a clean sheet and didn’t lose the game and it would have been nice to score more goals but I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s game.

“We’ve still got goals in us and with a fair wind there we can give ourselves a good chance of getting into the final but it’s not going to be easy.”

Thursday’s 1-0 success represents the first time the Cobblers have avoided defeat against Cheltenham this season, with the Robins winning 3-2 at Sixfields and 1-0 on their own ground on Easter Monday.

That result, Boothroyd feels, will encourage his team that they can progress to the final, but he admits they will need to be at their ‘absolute best’.

“They’re a strong side with some good experienced players, some good young players and there’s not a lot to choose between the two sides, the league table showed that,” he said.

“It’s the first time we’ve beaten them this season, which will give us a lot of confidence, but it’s the second time we’ve put them under a lot of pressure.

“We didn’t score when we did that at their ground but they’re defensively very good and we’ll be at our absolute best to beat them.

“The tie is wide open and it’s still only half-time, we’ve got to make sure we go there and get a good result.”