Charlie Adam praised Fleetwood’s “complete” performance as they claimed a 2-0 win at home to Northampton.

The victory – only a second in their last 13 games – keeps the Cod Army’s Sky Bet League One survival hopes just about alive, though they remain six points adrift of the safety zone with just three games left to play.

Boss Adam was clearly proud of what he also described as the best he had seen from his team since replacing Lee Johnson at the turn of the year.

“It was a complete performance from us today so I have to be delighted with that,” Adam said. “Right from the start of the game we were at it.

“We maintained a good shape throughout and we were well organised against a good Northampton team.

“Maybe two goals wasn’t enough – I definitely think we should have had more as we were so dominant.

“I’m just happy to take the three points.

“I always felt in control after the first 30 minutes when we just blew them away.

“This leaves us with three games now, and we need more clean sheets like this if we’re to have a chance of staying up.

“We can celebrate a brilliant win tonight but then straight away we have to re-focus on another huge game on Tuesday night.

“We’ve got to go to one of the best teams and toughest grounds in the league in Peterborough, but we have to go there with confidence now.”

Fleetwood were in control at half-time thanks to goals from Promise Omochere and Bosun Lawal.

Cobblers manager Jon Brady made a triple change at the interval and his side improved after the restart.

Ben Fox and Marc Leonard created decent opportunities but they rarely threatened a consolation goal.

Brady was disappointed with the outcome, and said: “I’ve already told the players that I’m not prepared to let the season just fade away because of the position we’re in.

“But fair play to Fleetwood today. They came out with all guns blazing and in the bad conditions here, we found it difficult to get out.

“I think it’s fair to say they out-fought us in the opening 20 or 30 minutes and they have got some really good players, despite their position in the table.

“We’ve conceded two poor goals, though. They came about due to our own doing, it was sloppy from us.

“It was quite difficult and they played the conditions well – we didn’t.

“It was as simple as that really. We overplayed things too much and with them getting the two goals quite early, we faced an uphill battle.

“We just didn’t do the basics right far too often. We didn’t get the ball forward quick enough or often enough.”

Reading manager Ruben Selles praised Portuguese goalkeeper Joel Pereira for his superb first-half display in the 1-0 Sky Bet League One victory over mid-table Northampton.

Pereira, formerly deputy to David Button in the Reading goal, kept his side in contention in the opening period with a series of fine saves to thwart the lively Cobblers attackers.

It set up the platform for home substitute Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan to secure the victory in the 65th minute with a superb curling shot from the edge of the penalty area.

“We made a change and Joel is fighting for that position [in goal] with everything he has,” Selles said.

“He was really good today, he kept us in the game in those [first half] moments.

“But I still don’t really think I got a big performance out of the team today, I just got a massive result.

“We did not get a massive performance, it was not our best game – nowhere near to being good enough from any of us.

“It was an equal game, both teams had chances. Northampton are a good team, a very solid team, but I expected a little bit more from us. I think that we can do better.

“Don’t misunderstand me, I will take a victory any day. The thing is that, in some games in the season, we played much better than we did today – and we didn’t get anything at all.

“Today was not our best – as a team, as a collective. But at least we were consistent enough to get the three points.”

Northampton have won only once in their past seven outings and boss Jon Brady said: “I’m quite pleased with the performance but the result is the disappointing thing today.

“In all our pre-game prep, I haven’t seen a team come here like we have and press Reading from the front. And the success we got from it.

“We had some really got chances in that first half. Sam [Hoskins] has two great efforts and their keeper makes two excellent saves. It’s fine margins today, isn’t it?

“We defended well, we pressed really well and we probably created more chances than we have in any game for a long while. Unfortunately, (we) just haven’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“And their goal was a little easy. We had worked so well all day, then they score.

“And the boys all know it. They’re just really disappointed about the result because of the way that we played.

“When Louis [Appere] went in one on one in the first half, he’s hit the target.

“But, again, their keeper has done really well. On other occasions, those sort of chances go in.”

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield hailed January signing Matt Butcher’s brilliance after his second-half brace sealed a 2-0 win over Northampton.

Butcher’s double – his first goals for the club – also completed a hat-trick of victories for Wycombe, although he waited until the 69th minute to break the deadlock.

Bloomfield insists the win is a wider reflection on Wycombe’s positive direction, though he remained fully focused on Sky Bet League One despite the fact they have a Wembley final against Peterborough next month.

He said: “As soon as I heard a whisper he (Butcher) was available I knew we had to get him.

“He’s been fantastic since coming to the football club and exactly what we needed.

“There’s been a lot of exciting news lately. There’s been too much talk of Wembley for my liking because I want to focus on these league games.

“The board have been amazing in their support and the hard work behind the scenes to provide better times ahead for this football club.

“I always felt our performances weren’t far away and now the work the boys have put in all season is being rewarded with wins.

“It was a stop-start first half, but in the second we found a spark and fresh energy.

“The boys that came on off the bench did that for us and that’s their job.

“I’m really pleased with the performance and the result. We’ve started to get the results that our performances have deserved.”

In contrast, one win in seven games makes for poor reading in the latter part of Northampton’s season.

Boss Jon Brady insisted he does not want the defeat to signal an end to his side’s campaign as their dismal recent form leaves little to fight for.

He said: “I said to the boys I think it’s a mindset. I don’t want the season to drift, I want to finish strong.

“The game was scrappy. You come to Wycombe and you know you’ll have to battle and fight.

“I thought there was nothing in the game until the first goal and it was a very soft goal, as was the second.

“We come away very frustrated on the day.

“The second one was looped into the back corner and it should be saved, but there you go.

“We had little half chances, but not much more than that. The differences are in both boxes. We shouldn’t concede those two goals.

“Even if we aren’t scoring at the other end, we should come out of that game 0-0.

“We got ourselves in a good position, but we need to be better and get our edge.

“I feel that we’ve lost our edge in our mindset and our play as well.”

Garry Monk’s first game as Cambridge head coach ended in a 1-1 draw with Northampton.

Monk was appointed on Monday after over three years without a management role, and Jon Guthrie’s late header denied him a debut victory.

His Us side went ahead with their first meaningful attack on 16 minutes, Elias Kachunga firing in after neat interplay between Liam Bennett and Jack Lankester.

Northampton almost scored direct from a corner before keeper Jack Stevens punched Marc Leonard’s delivery away on the line, while Kachunga could have added a second when volleying Lyle Taylor’s cross wide with the last action of the first half.

The Cobblers pressed hard for an equaliser after the break, with Liam Moore’s header deflected off target and Ben Fox shooting wide from the edge of the box just before the hour.

Visiting boss Jon Brady was booked by referee Declan Bourne, seconds before his side drew level eight minutes from the end when captain Guthrie beat Stevens to the ball and headed home Leonard’s free-kick.

Northampton made it seven points from nine with a comfortable 2-0 win at Burton.

Marc Leonard and Mitch Pinnock fired Jon Brady’s side to victory with long-range efforts that ultimately settled a scrappy encounter.

Northampton capitalised on two moments of good fortune in the first half to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and rarely looked in danger from there.

The Brewers had been the dominant side in the opening stages but found themselves behind when Leonard fired in a speculative 25-yard effort that took a wicked deflection off defender Toto Nsiala to wrong-foot Max Crocombe in the Burton goal.

Northampton doubled their advantage when Mark Helm’s loose pass was intercepted by Pinnock who then lashed in Town’s second from distance.

Substitute Shaun McWilliams fired another long-range effort against a post with his first contribution as Town threatened a third.

Kyle Hudlin and Mustapha Carayol went close for Burton late on but Northampton saw the game out comfortably.

Northampton boss Jon Brady was full of praise for Tony Springett after he scored a stoppage-time equaliser to clinch a point in a 2-2 League One draw at near-neighbours Oxford.

The on-loan Norwich winger showed good composure with a tidy finish in a crowded goalmouth after collecting Will Hoskins’ left-wing cross for his first league goal.

Brady said: “It was an excellent moment for Tony and I’m really pleased for him. He’s had to be patient for his opportunities.

“He came on today and the little dummy he did just before when the ball comes across goal… he’s calm enough to move the defender and it was an excellent finish.

“It was a fantastic point overall and I’m very pleased for the boys.

“I felt we were very disciplined in our approach tonight and clinical.

“We reduced them to a lot of shots from distance. (Goalkeeper) Louie Moulden came to the fore right at the end but apart from that, they didn’t really trouble us.”

Oxford led through Josh Murphy’s thunderbolt in the fifth minute but Cobblers levelled through Will Hondermarck, 10 minutes before the break.

Will Goodwin scored his first goal for the U’s by diverting in Owen Dale’s cross in the 81st minute to put Oxford 2-1 up, but Springett earned Northampton a point with his composed finish in the third minute of stoppage-time.

Brady added: “The first goal that we conceded, we’ve got to do better.

“Our players are absolutely excellent in terms of discipline and work rate.

“After conceding early tonight we showed immense character out of possession and I can’t really remember them troubling us apart from distance and our own mistakes.

“They can have all the possession they wanted tonight, it was how we dealt with it out of possession and I felt we controlled the game that way.”

The U’s have now drawn five of their last six matches to sit fifth in the table but have played two games more than seventh-placed Stevenage.

Oxford head coach Des Buckingham said: “We picked an attacking line-up and to score after only five or six minutes put us on a good front foot.

“We did enough with the changes we made in the second half to get back in front and then it was a matter of making sure we manage those final few minutes.

“There’s a big hint of offside with Northampton’s second goal, but there were still many things we could have done better after that moment.

“It’s frustrating to leave with what we thought would be three points and end up with the one.

“We’re six games unbeaten and I know people don’t want to hear that because most of them are draws rather than wins.

“The most important thing is we’re picking up results and it keeps us in and around where we want to be.

“We’ll get better and get stronger every week.”

Managers Shaun Maloney and Jon Brady both declared themselves satisfied after Northampton and Wigan shared the points in a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Sixfields.

The Cobblers led through Sam Hoskins’ 16th-minute penalty, awarded for a foul by Latics goalkeeper Sam Tickle on Kieron Bowie, but the visitors struck back and netted a deserved equaliser through Josh Magennis after 64 minutes.

It was a match of few clear-cut chances, with Wigan dominating possession for the most part, and both bosses were pleased to come away with a point for their efforts.

“Wigan are a good side, they move the ball well and cause you all sorts of problems with their shape,” said Brady.

“They pull you apart constantly, and we knew that would happen.

“It was the hardest I have had to work all week to try and nullify all of that, and the boys worked extremely hard.

“Then you look at their resources and what they bring on, Charlie Wyke, Callum McManaman, the Smiths, and jeez.

“But what we have got is heart and huge desire, and we dig in.

“I think their position in the table is pretty false, and without the points deduction they’d be in and around us, so I feel overall, although it can be better, I am quite pleased with that today.”

Maloney felt the point was the least his team deserved.

The Latics enjoyed a 67 per cent share of possession as the away team, and Maloney said: “The performance was right up there with the levels we showed in the 1-1 draw at Barnsley on New Year’s Day, but in a different way.

“At Barnsley we played on the counter-attack, today I thought we were very good with the ball on a really difficult pitch, and it is even harder when you go 1-0 down.

“Mistakes like the one for their goal happen, you are going to get that with some of the younger boys, but I thought we played very, very well. I was really happy with everybody.

“We went in 1-0 down, but the performance in the first half was very, very good.

“We didn’t need to change anything, we just needed to be a bit more aggressive and the response in the second half was good.

“It is difficult sometimes when you stand here if you draw or you get beaten and the performance has been good, but today I have nothing but good things to say about my players.”

Northampton made it two wins from their last three League One games with a 2-1 victory over Lincoln at Sincil Bank.

Goals either side of half-time from Jon Guthrie and Kieron Bowie were the difference as Jon Brady’s side inflicted a third straight defeat on Michael Skubala’s Imps.

The visitors opened the scoring after half an hour when Guthrie out jumped Imps goalkeeper Lukas Jensen to head into an empty net from a Marc Leonard cross.

Lincoln began the second half brightly as they went in search of an equaliser with Jack Burroughs denied by Max Thompson in the Cobblers’ goal.

At the other end, Northampton continued to pose a threat on the break and with 58 minutes gone Bowie’s left-footed shot from the edge of the area doubled the visitors’ lead.

Just two minutes later Timothy Eyoma’s close-range header from an Ethan Hamilton corner promised to set up a thrilling finish.

However, any hope Lincoln had of an unlikely comeback ended when Paudie O’Connor was shown a straight red card for a deliberate elbow as Town held on for all three points.

Northampton boss Jon Brady hailed an “absolutely fabulous” win for his side after they climbed into the top 10 with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over promotion-chasing Oxford.

Kieron Bowie nodded the Cobblers ahead early in the second half before Cameron Brannagan hit back from the penalty spot, but substitute Tyreece Simpson’s header deep into stoppage time snatched a fifth win in seven games for Brady’s men.

“Absolutely fabulous,” said Brady. “I’m obviously really pleased with the result and the performance.

“I felt we dominated the first half and the stats suggested that. We had more of the ball and then we get the goal to go 1-0 up at the start of the second half.

“We were in total control and so nearly scored another with Marc Leonard’s chance after a sublime move but to give the penalty away was a bit sloppy and a bit silly.

“I thought we lost control after that and it became a basketball match for five or 10 minutes but we told the boys to push up quicker and go forward more and from that moment, once we did that, we got control and finished well.

“We changed shape because we wanted to go for the win and it paid off. The two boys come on up front and both played their part and I’m so pleased for Tyreece to get his goal and score the winner.”

Oxford have slipped down to fifth in League One following the loss, four points from the automatic promotion places.

“I thought we had done enough to get a result,” said U’s boss Des Buckingham. “We created a few chances in the first half and we should have scored at least a couple of goals.

“We go behind at the start of the second half but got ourselves back in it with the penalty, Stan (Mills) did extremely well to win it, and then it’s a kick in the teeth to concede in the last 30 seconds.

“We knew it would be tough and they are going well but you can’t give away so many opportunity for them to get the ball in the box because eventually one will go in.

“I understand the frustration of the supporters at the end of the game because I want to play football that entertains and we haven’t done that in the away games since I’ve been here.

“You can’t play into the hands of the opposition. We want to win every game but I don’t mind if we lose or draw as long as we’re playing our way.

“If that happens, so be it, but to lose to two set-pieces and to play into their hands as we did in the last 10 minutes, it was frustrating.”

Northampton boss Jon Brady hailed Sam Hoskins’ ability to pop up in the right place at the right time after his late strike sealed a 1-0 win at Cheltenham.

The only goal of a largely uninspiring game arrived in the 88th minute after a ball over the top of the home defence from Sam Sherring and a slip from Lewis Freestone left Hoskins with only Luke Southwood to beat.

He confidently beat the goalkeeper for his third of the season and Cheltenham rarely troubled Max Thompson in the Cobblers goal.

“It just feels great to get the win away from home against a team you’re probably expected to compete with in same area of the table,” Brady said.

“I felt we came here really positively and again we dominated the ball for most of the game. There was probably a five or 10 minute period in the second half – it felt longer at the time – where we wobbled a little bit and they went more brave. They moved to three at the back, pushed their wing-backs right in and went very direct and tried to land on things.

“I think they only had a couple of shots over the bar and three or four crosses and we had to defend that period well, but we made the changes and I felt we could get in behind their defence.

“Lo and behold we did and there you go – it’s that man again Sam Hoskins who scores a late winner. He’s got a knack of that, which is lovely, and to come away with three points feels really good.”

Will Ferry sent a shot over the bar for the home side in the third minute, but Northampton went on to control much of the opening period.

Patrick Brough smashed an effort wide in the 17th minute and Kieron Bowie was off target after good work from Louis Appere in the 23rd minute.

Sherring saw a header hit the bar after Marc Leonard’s corner five minutes later.

Elliot Bonds curled an effort over the bar in the 61st minute and Luciano D’Auria-Henry’s header was kicked away by Sherring in the six-yard box as Cheltenham showed an improvement.

But Hoskins had the final say as promoted Northampton made it seven points from their last three games.

Cheltenham boss Wade Elliott admitted his side need attacking reinforcements before the transfer window closes on Friday night.

“I really feel for the players because in the second half it looked like if one team was going to edge it, it was going to be us,” Elliott said.

“I thought we were on top in the second half, but ultimately, we can’t keep relying on clean sheets to accumulate points. It’s pretty obvious where we are a little bit deficient at the minute.

“In terms of attacking changes, we were very light. In most departments, we are probably OK, but it’s obvious which departments we need help in.”

Northampton boss Jon Brady hailed his side’s “outstanding” performance and said a point was the very least they deserved after Tuesday’s dramatic 2-2 draw against Lincoln at Sixfields.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s sweet first-half finish was added to by a Paudie O’Connor header as Lincoln moved into a 2-0 lead, but both goals came very much against the run of play.

Northampton dominated the majority of the game but had to wait until the final few minutes to get their rewards as Louis Appere levelled on 86 minutes before Sam Hoskins salvaged a deserved point deep into stoppage time.

“It’s a bit bittersweet because I felt we deserved to win the game,” said Brady. “But if you don’t defend your box right you’ll concede goals, and unfortunately we didn’t.

“The second goal was potentially offside, I’ll have to watch to back, but to play the way we played and to have the patience and dominate all the stats, it’s very pleasing.

“We had 19 shots to their six and we kept being patient even when a few fans were moaning and wanted us to go long. The boys stuck to our beliefs and kept playing the way we want to play. It was really good.

“We got into a lot of crossing positions, we hit the post, we have shots cleared off the line, and how the challenge on Kieron Bowie isn’t a penalty, I don’t know. He rolls the defender, he has the goal open to drive at and the defender lands on top of him.

“For some reason it’s not given, but that doesn’t take away from a spirited performance. I thought we were outstanding.”

Lincoln manager Mark Kennedy said: “I’m gutted, absolutely gutted. But you have to take the emotion away from the game and look at the bigger picture.

“You’re 15 seconds from being euphoric, seeing plenty of high-fives and back-slapping and what would have been an amazing start to the season, but when I get away from that I think it’s a good point on the road.

“Without sounding silly, it’s a good point after a good win at the weekend. We’ve had a tough start to the season with a lot of away games but to be honest I was really impressed with them tonight, really impressed.

“I’ve seen their previous games and they’ve actually played very well but haven’t come out on the right side of the results so good luck to them. Jon will say he deserved a point and I probably can’t argue with him.

“I thought we were very good with how we dealt with their pressure and I thought we looked dangerous on the counter-attack and we were very clinical.”

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