John Sheridan praised an improved second-half performance from his Chesterfield side as they downed Northampton 2-1 to maintain their 11-point lead at the top of League Two.
Craig Davies notched his 21st goal of the campaign in the 63rd minute and Jack Lester bagged his 11th five minutes later, rendering John Johnson's late header for the Cobblers inconsequential.
Sheridan said: "We could have been a couple of goals in front but then we got off the pace of the game and didn't get going. We gave the ball away cheaply and I told them at half-time they had to get their act together and, to be fair to them, they came out and responded really well."
He added: "We got at them a bit more and put them under more pressure. Jack (Lester) has created a chance for himself like he does and although the keeper made a good save, Craig (Davies) was in the right place at the right time.
"The second goal was a great goal and Jack has put it away with his left foot. They then got a corner when we gave the ball away in midfield and scored but I felt comfortable and it was an excellent performance."
Northampton boss Gary Johnson was left to rue the "soft" short spell in which Chesterfield bagged both goals and warned his players in the dressing room afterwards that he expects his side to toughen up.
Although he was left downbeat by the result, Johnson had plenty of praise for the work-rate within his side at the b2net Stadium.
He said: "We played some decent football after the first 10 minutes but we let them get into it after half-time and there was a really soft 10 minutes when they got the two goals.
"But then we came strong towards the end and people started getting on the ball.
"To be honest, the lads have probably seen another side of me because I was so disappointed we got beat because I thought they worked very hard against a good side who are going to go up."
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