Matty Taylor was a happy man after he made a scoring and winning return to action on Saturday with the Cobblers midfielder playing an integral role in the 3-2 win over Bury.
Having served a three-game suspension for picking up a straight red card against Scunthorpe two weeks ago, Rob Page had no hesitation in bringing Taylor straight back against the Shakers and the former Premier League star showed why with a classy display.
His pinpoint cross set up Marc Richards for the opener before he got in on the act himself with a sublime second-half free-kick that ultimately decided the contest.
“It’s obviously disappointing to get sent off but these things are going to happen during the season and it was just nice to get back and get the win in any way shape or form,” said Taylor afterwards.
“We were wary of Bury because the last time we played a team who weren’t in a good vein of form in Millwall, we didn’t pick up the result we wanted and we got beat comprehensively.
“So Saturday was a good result and there were a lot of positives to come from it.”
Despite the win, though, Northampton’s late wobble gave some cause for concern with Bury almost pulling off a miraculous draw having been 3-0 down with 16 minutes remaining.
“We should have put the game beyond them earlier but we weren’t ruthless enough,” admitted Taylor.
“We had lots of chances but that’s something we can get better at and if we’re disappointed by winning football matches and sitting in the play-off positions then that just shows our aspirations for the season.
“We put our tin hats on and defended well, but there are things we can improve on.
We had lots of chances but that’s something we can get better at and if we’re disappointed by winning football matches and sitting in the play-off positions then that just shows our aspirations for the season.Matty Taylor
“But the fact that we’re disappointed after winning three points at home is a good place to be.”
Taylor’s free-kick against Bury, the third he’s scored this season, was a thing of beauty.
Few players would have had the audacity, let alone ability, to shoot from such an acute angle but Taylor backed himself and unleashed a superbly-struck shot which whistled beyond Ben Williams.
On the decision to shoot instead of cross, Taylor said: “I had a word with Jak McCourt before and I thought the goalkeeper gave me a bit too much to shoot at because he was expecting a cross and I think everybody else was expecting a cross.
“The first goal came from a similar position, maybe slighter further out, so I was delighted to see it go in!”