PHIL Parkinson praised his side’s spirit as they roared back into the top two with a dramatic victory over Northampton Town.
Michael Smith had edged the Cobblers ahead, turning in a fine free-kick from ex-Wanderers star Matty Taylor.
The Whites had created opportunities and keeper Adam Smith made one superb stop one-on-one from Adam Le Fondre.
But with 15 minutes left on the clock Taylor was adjudged to have handled David Wheater’s header, giving Le Fondre the chance to drive home emphatically from the penalty spot.
Parkinson’s side did not settle for a point and after a fine move down the left Andy Taylor arrowed in a cross for Filipe Morais to score the winner and his first goal for the club.
“Even in the first half we had two efforts cleared off the line, so I think we deserved it,” he said after the final whistle.
“Northampton were on a good run and they weren’t coming here to lie down.
“When we went a goal down the frustrating thing from my point of view was that we’d said to the lads not to give cheap free kicks away with Matty Taylor being there because his delivery is the best in the division.
“We gave a couple away but equally when it came in the lad pushed Darren Pratley to the ground and how the linesman didn’t see it I just don’t know.
“The response was great. When Alfie went clean through and just misses I wondered whether it was one of those days but we kept knocking on the door.”
It had been a frustrating afternoon up to the point referee Richard Clark pointed to the spot on 75 minutes, with Wanderers aggrieved by a number of the Morpeth-based official’s decisions.
Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh had no argument with the award but Parkinson believes the crowd’s response helped to swing the decision his way.
“The crowd helped us get that penalty,” he said. “They appealed for absolutely everything.
“We have had so many moments this season where we could have had penalties and haven’t got them.
“I just felt the anger of everyone spilled out and we got our rewards in the end.”
Wanderers move a point above Fleetwood, who drew at home to Wimbledon, and have at least one game in hand on every other side in the top six.
Parkinson acknowledged the win had not been as easy on the eye as previous routs at Fleetwood or Gillingham but was delighted with his side’s endeavour.
“The spirit, the never-say-die attitude is key at this stage of the season,” he said. “Sometimes that determination can win you the game and the way we stayed in that game was a credit to the lads.
“There are tired legs out there in both teams but the players willing to go right to the wire get the three points.”