Many Cobblers fans must have thought the days of Adam Smith single-handedly rescuing their team were over.
Having signed for the club on a free transfer in June, Smith became an immediate hero at Sixfields thanks to a string of superb performances that played an instrumental role in Northampton claiming some impressive early-season results, with the goalkeeper named man of the match on a regular basis.
But in recent times, Smith has been more of a spectator with the Cobblers tightening things up at the back and restricting opposing teams to fewer shots, or so it seemed prior to Monday’s clash against Accrington Stanley.
On this occasion, Smith was back to his defiant best with a performance that meant Stanley left Sixfields pointless and goalless, despite the visitors creating a number of excellent chances against an off-colour Cobblers side.
Though Marc Richards scored the winning goal, it was Smith who deservedly won the man of the match award as he three times denied Stanley when the visitors looked destined to score after finding space behind the Town defence; Matt Crooks, Sean McConville and Josh Windass the men thwarted on each occasion.
But as a mark of how well he’s played since signing at Sixfields, this wasn’t even his best game in a Cobblers shirt, at least according to the man himself.
“I wouldn’t go as far to say it was my best game but it was about time I kept a clean sheet on a personal note,” said a typically modest Smith afterwards.
“The main thing is that we got the right result and got the three points.
“We were maybe a bit fortunate. I think they dominated us and they had the better chances but the main thing is the result.
“We’ve dug in and managed to get the win even though we weren’t at our best.
“If you play as bad as we did yet get a result then it just shows that we’re a team and that we’re all in this together and we’re prepared to dig in.
“We’ve just got to keep our heads up, keep going and look to play better.”
It was all one-way traffic in the closing 15 minutes on Monday as Accrington launched wave after wave of attack in an attempt to get back into the game, however Smith refused to believe he would be beaten.
“You cannot think like that as a keeper,” he added. “You’ve just got to focus on keeping the ball out of the back of the net.
“That’s what I’m here to do and thankfully I’ve done that and we’ve got the three points.
“As long as we keep getting the results and keep putting points on the board, the league will take care of itself.
“I don’t check other results because we’ve got to do our business on the pitch.”
Smith’s impressive displays will inevitably attract the attentions of clubs in higher divisions, especially with the January transfer window fast approaching, but the former Leicester man insists his focus is purely on the Cobblers.
He continued: “It’s my job to keep the ball out for Northampton Town and that’s what I plan on doing.
“If I’m doing well personally then I might attract interest but I’m just keeping my head down and will carry on doing what I need to do.”