THE DAYS of non-League heroes emerging from victorious dressing- rooms awash with ale and adrenalin to predict further giant-killing glory appear to be over, if Yeovil's goalscorers are anything to go by. Warren Patmore, having wreaked his revenge on the manager who twice sacked him, was not giving interviews; Steve Thompson, a perennial Cup marksman, was off home to look after the kids while his wife went out on the town.
It was not that there was anything lacking in the celebratory air at Huish Park. A bumper 5,218 crowd roared the Conference side through to the third round, the 12th time they have reached that revered landmark, producing a top-class conga. The home dressing-room was full of good cheer - but the Match of the Day cameramen did rather have to persuade them to change their chant from "Mag-al-uf" to "Wemb-ur-ley" as they captured the good old magic of the Cup.
Yeovil's history in the oldest cup competition is legendary and Colin Lippiatt's players lived up to this sense of tradition by outplaying their Second Division opponents in the first half to instigate the uprooting of their 18th League scalp.
The players' immediate reward, apart from a steaming pot of tea being wheeled into the changing-room, was the promise of a holiday later in the season. The preferred destination appeared to be a unanimous choice.
Thompson's immediate destination was back home to Plymouth to watch the Cup highlights with his children Daniel and Callum, his wife already having booked the night out for her Christmas bash. Yet the 35-year-old, three times a Wembley winner with Wycombe Wanderers and Woking, had clearly sensed further drama was at hand, scoring in a chaotic scramble. Patmore's header was parried, Stott's follow-up effort was blocked on the line and as most awaited a verdict on a possible handball Thompson drove the ball home.
Injury-stricken Northampton looked a team on a hiding to nothing. Once the substitute Chris Freestone arrived, the chances started flowing, though only the hero against the Hammers will know how he fell over when John Frain's 60th-minute centre found him unmarked at the far post.
Nine minutes from time Patmore's big moment arrived. Rejected by Ian Atkins both at Cambridge and at Northampton, the 27-year-old scratch golfer was put through by Tony Pounder and, though his first effort was parried by Billy Turley, he putted in the rebound.
"Warren was caught between becoming a pro golfer and staying a pro footballer when I arrived at Northampton with the club one off the foot of the League," recalled Atkins, after suffering his first Cup defeat by a non-League side. "He certainly looks a more accomplished player today. Good luck to him."
Patmore, a scorer in each round of Yeovil's latest Cup adventure, and Thompson, Woking's hero in the 1-1 draw at Coventry two years ago, savoured their 15 minutes of fame quietly. Perhaps they are saving their night on the tiles for after the third round.
Goals: Thompson (14) 1-0; Patmore (81) 2-0.
Yeovil Town (5-3-2): Pennock; Piper, Brown, Cousins, Hannigan, Fishlock; Pitman (Pounder, 71), Stott, Thompson; Patmore, Dale (Smith, 90). Substitutes not used: Franklin, Appleton, Mountain (gk).
Northampton Town (5-3-2): Turley; Gibb, Wilkinson, Hill, Sampson, Frain; Hunter (Freestone, 57), Hunt (Warner, 86), Savage; Corazzin, Lee (Hughes, 69). Substitutes not used: Parrish, Woodman (gk).
Referee: P Richards (Preston).
Bookings: Northampton: Hill, Lee, Hunt, Gibb, Freestone.
Man of the match: Thompson.