FORMER Town star Martin Smith was heartbroken to miss out on a Cardiff final against his old club - but he is backing boss Peter Jackson's side to go all the way to Division II.
The 29-year-old - who was McAlpine leading scorer and Player of the Year 12 months ago - was close to tears after Northampton lost 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out to Mansfield in last night's dramatic play-off semi-final second leg down at Field Mill.
Smith scored as Northampton battled back from 2-0 down in the first leg to lead 3-0 last night, being denied only by a Tom Curtis strike for Mansfield before a goalless extra time.
"It's heartbreaking to lose out like that after battling back so well and a sickener that we didn't go through to meet Town," said Smith, who has two years of his Sixfields contract to run.
"I really do hope Town go on and win it now, because they are a great club and they really do deserve to go back up.
"I know the people who boo me and are upset that I left probably don't believe me, but I've a lot of feelings for Huddersfield Town and I'd love to see them go up to Division II by winning the final.
"I still stay in touch with some of the lads and it would be brilliant for the likes of Boothy and Rob Edwards to get promoted, and for the club in general."
Smith was on target in a penalty shoot-out tied at 3-3 before Kevin Pilkington - a Manchester United teammate of Paul Rachubka a few years ago - saved from Eric Sabin.
Laurent D'Jaffo and, finally, Colin Larkin kept their nerve after that to ensure Keith Curle's side went on to meet Town.
"I've lost before in the play-offs with Sunderland and it isn't nice," added Smith.
"It's even worse when someone like Eric has to miss the vital kick after all he's done for us this season. He's distraught.
"Hopefully we can bounce back, though, next season."