Northampton Town’s play-off push suffered a slip-up after the Cobblers lost 2-1 at Cheltenham Town.

The Cobblers had struck first at Whaddon Road through Ryan Watson. But the visitors failed to build on Watson’s third minute opener, with Ryan Broom equalising for the home side inside the opening 20 minutes.

Cheltenham substitute Luke Varney then scored a late winner for the home side.

Victory over the Robins would have taken Northampton above Cheltenham in the table. But as a consequence of their reverse, the Cobblers remain 7th in the League 2 table, and are level on points with Colchester and Port Vale either side of them.

Northampton had arrived on a high after seeing off Exeter and started quickly when Watson fired home after he received a long throw.

Cheltenham responded by applying pressure, and moments after Alfie May was denied by David Cornell, they were level. Space opened up for Broom to shoot, and he was able to place a strike from 25 yarder beyond Cornell.

Sam Hoskins would see a strike denied by Owen Evans, with both sides going close in positive moments during the first half.

Nicky Adams, Jordan Turnbull and Lloyd Jones all came close as Northampton pressed after the break.

But Cheltenham began to come back with their own attacking intent, with their best chance coming when May was well denied by Cornell.

Moments after May was denied, Cheltenham would grab the game’s third goal. At a scramble following Chris Hussey’s corner, Varney got the final touch to force the ball over the line and put Cheltenham in front for the first time.

Northampton attempted to press in response, but couldn’t find a way through and sunk to back-to-back away defeats.