Goalscorer Roy O’Donovan feels the Cobblers were well worth their 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town in the npower League Two play-off sem-final first-leg at Sixfields on Thursday night.
The Irishman notched the only goal of the game on 26 minutes, sweeping home a right foot volley from Chris Hackett’s cross from the right wing.
Town had other chances during the match, but failed to take them and will travel to Whaddon Road on Sunday protecting the slenderest of leads.
It’s a lead that the Cobblers warrant according to O’Donovan, but he knows there is still plenty of work to be done if the team are to secure their place in the Wembley final on May 18.
“We are pleased, and I thought we played quite well,” said O’Donovan, who has now scored in the Cobblers’ past three games.
“We dominated large parts of the game, but Cheltenham are still a danger on the break so we have to be wary of that at their place.
“It will be a tough game. Half the job is done, but it is not finished yet.”
O’Donovan’s goal was a real touch of class on a nervy night, but the former Coventry City man modestly said luck played its part.
“I thought Chris Hackett did well, as he did all night, and he cut a good ball back and I just swung my right foot at it and luckily enough it has ended up in the back of the net,” said the livewire striker.
“It happened so fast I didn’t have time to think if the goalkeeper was going to save it, I was already wheeling away.
“I am just delighted to score because I am in a good spell of form now, so that bodes well.
“I am feeling match fit and it was good playing alongside B (Akinfenwa) because he was a real handful all night.
“Chris Hackett and Ishmel (Demontagnac) were very good on the wings, and as usual the spine of the team was very good.”
O’Donovan isn’t counting any chickens ahead of Sunday’s second leg, but he feels the Cobblers are well equipped to deal with the occasion.
“Hopefully we can do the business on Sunday,” said the 27-year-old.
“We have quite an experienced side, the manager has been in this situation before, so hopefully we can get over the line.
“We know it won’t be easy because Cheltenham are a good side, as they showed on Thursday.”
Town’s away form has been poor in league two all season, and they were beaten 1-0 at Cheltenham as recently as Easter Monday, but O’Donovan doesn’t think any of that will matter come kick-off at 6.45pm on Sunday.
“Our performances away from home have been much improved of late, and that’s encouraging” he said.
“We are looking forward to Sunday, and we just want to play games.
“For me, it’s a case of the more games the better. I want the season to go on and on now as I starting to get into form, and to get fit, and the season is coming to an end. But hopefully there are more games to come.”