Manager Martin Allen had words of praise for all his players after Gillingham bounced back from their first league defeat of the season with victory at Northampton.

The table-topping Gills, beaten for the first time by Rochdale on Saturday, maintained their 100 per cent record on the road with a 2-1 success at Sixfields. Goals in either half from Deon Burton and Jack Payne saw Allen's side pick up three more points despite Adebayo Akinfenwa pulling one back for the hosts late on.

The only sour note for the Kent club was the dismissal of Charlie Allen in stoppage-time after picking up his second yellow card. Allen, whose side are five points clear at the summit, said: "That was a fantastic performance."

He continued: "`It's a difficult place to come, Northampton put long throws in from either side of the pitch and you have to battle here. We set out to get the ball down and play in the first half but it was backs to the wall in the second half and every single player did their bit. We knew the ball would be around our box in the second half but everyone stood up to the challenge.

"Deon Burton's finish was excellent and Jack Payne has got two goals from that position now and it was another superb technical finish. He deserved to get a goal like that with his hard work. I thought he might need a few more days of training but in the end I decided to play him."

Allen added: "I've got no complaints over Charlie [Allen's] sending-off. But he's run 40 yards to make the second challenge four minutes into stoppage-time and that shows much he wants to win. It was a great performance from every single player.``

Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd was unhappy with the way his side surrendered their unbeaten home record.

"We cannot use the excuse of injuries for that performance because that simply wasn't good enough," said Boothroyd. "I want to be at the top end of the table - the players here are good enough. I'm not frightened by the teams up there, although Gillingham are a very good side.

"You put a squad together at the start of the season and you are going to get injuries, but we've been undone by one huge punt down the middle of the pitch for their opening goal. You see that sort of goal on a park on a Sunday not in professional football. It was difficult for me to understand because my central defenders have been outstanding for me, but not in this game.

"It was an appalling mistake, especially to give a goal away just before half-time. These things happen and you have to battle back from them. But I don't think we did battle back into it. That was a very average performance and there is still a lot of work to be done."