Minstermen boss Jackie McNamara said he “didn’t see a great deal” between Northampton and York on Tuesday night but felt some of his players’ heads dropped during Cobblers’ 2-1 win.
The opening half-hour was tight but Northampton always held the edge and looked the more threatening side throughout, illustrated by James Collins and John Marquis who scored six minutes either side of half-time.
York rallied late on and could have pulled one goal back but by the time Russell Penn found the top corner with a stunning 30-yard volley, it was too little too late.
McNamara said: “They are a good side who are clinical and we saw that with their second goal, but I didn’t see a great deal between the two teams. They just have a mindset that is a winning mentality.
“I think some of our players’ heads went down at 2-0 and they lost their way and that’s all about having belief.
“Northampton have it and know they are going to win, but I feel some of our players need to see us score the first goal before they get that confidence.
“We still caused them some problems. Brad Fewster and Michael Coulson both had good chances in the second half and Penno scored a wonder goal to give us a bit of hope but, unfortunately, it was too late.”
McNamara was also disappointed by the manner of the two goals his side conceded, the first being a free header for Collins before the same man wriggled free on the right and then teed up Marquis for the second.
The York boss added: “I was disappointed with the two goals we lost because I thought they were soft. The first one came from a throw-in and we were too deep for the ball coming in, there was no communication and we left their player unmarked in the area.
“For the second, it was one kick up the park and, ten seconds later, the ball was in our net. Lubo could have been stronger in that situation.”