The U’s went into the game just five points outside the relegation zone following a run of seven games without a win.
But Harrison Dunk’s second goal of the season lifted Cambridge up the table as they secured only their second success in eight outings. In doing so, Cambridge put a big dent Northampton’s play-off hopes.
Money said: “It was an outstanding performance from everyone involved, one of determination and good quality.
“You can sense when players have come through a dark period and I started to see things turning in Friday’s game with Bury.
“I’m not going to say we were going to come here and win but I knew we could produce a performance like that. It was worthy of all three points and I’m relieved we got them.
“We’ve been very nervous in recent games when we’ve gone ahead and there was a long time to go after we scored. We had good opportunities to make the game safe, their keeper made a brilliant save in the first half, and a second goal would have made it a lot easier.
“But I thought we kept Northampton at bay, they looked dangerous in a few areas but most of those were a long way from our goal. The spine of the team was very strong and that made a massive difference.
“People shouldn’t forget that we are still new to this league and our confidence was low after recent results. We just needed something to kick-start our season, Friday’s performance was the beginning of it and the players went out there with the right approach from back to front.
“Chris Dunn didn’t have a serious save to make but he kept his goal very well. He came and took some important crosses and that relieved the pressure but the players in front of him put in some important blocks.
“I can appreciate the nervousness around the club after nine seasons outside the Football League and, to get ourselves into trouble would have been terrible, I’m not going to deny that.
“It’s not over yet but this result helps us, it makes life a bit easier, but now we need to back it up with a victory over Accrington.”
Northampton boss Chris Wilder admitted his side have it all to do to get back into the play-off picture, but he is not giving up just yet.
He said: “It was a big opportunity missed against a team I expected us to beat.
“It’s very frustrating but when teams have been on a poor run you can’t afford to give them a massive lift that early on. The goal deflated us and forced us to move the ball around in front of them because they sat so deep.
“I wasn’t disappointed with the attitude, the character and the commitment of my players. The early goal killed us but our decision making let us down after that.
“When a team sits that deep it’s very difficult to break them down, we had plenty of possession in the final third but didn’t do enough with it.
“We lacked the bit of quality to score, the players tried everything they could to break them down. After the goal it was one-way traffic, we just needed a break in front of goal but we didn’t get one.
“If we had equalised even with 10 minutes to go I felt we could have gone on to win the game.
“The players have given everything on Friday and today and I can’t fault them for effort.
“This is a new team we built since Christmas and they’re having a right go at it; three points today would have been massive. They are very disappointed but they’ve given it all and just lacked the quality in the final third.
“Stevenage is now a must-win game but there is no reason why we can’t go there and win, like we did at Shrewsbury. I don’t want the season to peter out, we’ll dust ourselves down and go again.”