Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd was delighted to see his struggling side pick up a win as they downed high-flying Fleetwood 1-0.
Luke Norris struck his fifth goal in six games to grab the stoppage-time winner with a superb free-kick to end Fleetwood's run of four wins on the trot in all competitions and knock them off top spot.
It was not enough to lift Cobblers off the bottom of the table, with Accrington winning at Scunthorpe, but Boothroyd still feels it could be the turning point in what has been a frustrating season so far.
Boothroyd said: "Fleetwood deserve to be where they are and are a very good side, but my players worked really hard to get that win from start to finish. Our work-ethic and the will to get out of the trouble we're in was terrific.
"Fleetwood were very positive and kept looking for the winner but so did we and our defence was solid when it needed to be late on. There are fine margins between getting beat at Rochdale and beating the leaders so I'm delighted for our supporters, they've not had a lot to cheer at home this season.
"Fleetwood were top of the table and we're bottom but on this evidence there isn't a lot between the two teams. I've told the players now they've beaten the league leaders there can be no excuses.
"I know what the league table looks like but I don't care, we're on the up. There are 30 games left and now we've got to build on this when we go to Hartlepool, the confidence is very high in the squad."
Boothroyd picked out matchwinner Norris as well as fellow loanee Ricky Ravenhill for special praise.
He added: "Luke Norris has a lot of potential, he has the raw material and he's the sort of player I enjoy working with. He's young and listens when you talk to him.
"But Ricky Ravenhill was outstanding, he is exactly the type of player we needed - he's good in the dressing room and strong on the pitch. He's the sort of player I would love to keep here if we can."