Northampton manager Keith Curle hailed his side’s attitude and application after their impressive 2-0 victory over Newport.
The Exiles were unbeaten in all seven league games this season and sat second in the League Two table ahead of kick-off.
But they were behind to Andy Williams’ goal as early as the fifth minute before Sam Hoskins sealed the points with 18 minutes to go.
“The result and the performance started on Monday,” said Curle. “I thought we gave a decent performance at Bradford away last week but there were things to work on.
“As a follow-up to the win over Plymouth in our last home game, it was pleasing enough and it all started when we had a meeting on Monday.
“We identified the areas we did well against Bradford, the areas we can do better and we highlighted the challenge that faced us and the work ethic, the application and the attitude from the players has got us that result.
“Everyone was switched on. I gave the players a challenge because these (Newport) will try and bully you, try and find a weakness and try and find somebody who’s prepared to go on the back foot too easily.
“You need to stand up to them and you match their endeavour and match their willingness and then play at the right times and I thought we did that – we earned the right to play.”
Newport, who had Jamille Matt sent off late on, suffered a first league defeat since their previous visit to Sixfields in March of last season, a run of 17 games.
“We had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside and then we score an own goal so it’s a bit frustrating,” admitted manager Michael Flynn. “It was a so-so performance.
“The first goal was a definite foul but I’m not going to get drawn on that because I don’t want to take the victory away from Northampton.
“They did what they did well and we weren’t quite at it so I’m not going to go on too much about making excuses. They got the three points and they deserved it.
“I’ll end up with a fine if I get drawn into it but I will be going in to see the referee and his assessor.
“We weren’t brave enough on the football in the first half and conceded a goal that, nine times out of 10, he clears off the line. Second half we got on top but the breaks in play helped them to turn the momentum around.
“The players have been on a fantastic run. They give their all day in, day out and we won’t get carried away because we knew a loss would come sooner or later – I’m just glad I don’t have to come back here this season!”