The Cod Army’s impressive unbeaten run came to a cruel end on Saturday afternoon as Luke Norris’ injury time free-kick earned Northampton only their third win of the season.
Fleetwood Town had won their last four games in all competitions, and most recently booked their place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Section semi-final after beating League 1 opposition Carlisle United last Wednesday evening.
Graham Alexander made one change to the side that beat the Cumbrians in midweek, with Nathan Pond returning to the starting eleven at the expense of Mark Roberts.
Cresswell said: “I think we did everything right from start to finish. We handled their physical presence and in the last twenty minutes there was only one team looking to win it, but we’ve been done at the end with a free kick and everyone’s disappointed”.
With the clock ticking down, referee Gary Sutton awarded the Cobblers a close range free kick, which Norris duly dispatched, and Cresswell was left frustrated: “The referee just said there was a bit of a scuffle on the edge of the box and he’s awarded their lad a free kick. I think it's six of one half a dozen of the other and it’s gone against us, and he goes and puts it in the top corner which is a blow”.
The centre half believes Town absorbed Northampton’s pressure well during the first period, before countering to make better of the second. “We knew they were going to throw everything at us first half and they did. We stood up to it and overpowered them really, but the second half was different and we started playing a bit and had a couple of good chances”.
The Cod Army suffered a blow midway through the first half as striker David Ball came off with a nasty-looking shoulder injury. “The lads are devastated. Everyone’s thinking of him as he’s in hospital having some checks on his shoulder, but hopefully it’s nothing too serious as we want him back on that pitch very soon”.
Despite slipping from top spot to fourth in League 2 at Sixfields yesterday, Cresswell has urged his side to forget about the defeat and look ahead to Mansfield Town at home on Saturday. “This one’s gone now. We’ve come here, we’ve lost a game of football and we go to the next game now. We’ll prepare for Mansfield next week and nothing will change; training will be the same and we’ll approach it professionally and I look forward to it hoping we get the three points”.
Tickets are on sale all week for Saturday's Skybet League 2 fixture at home to Mansfield Town. The club shop is open for tickets and Puma club wear each day from 9am to 5pm and 9am until 3pm kick-off on Saturday. Or call 01253 775080 to book or online.