Ben Tozer’s long throw provided a 13th goal of the season for Adebayo Akinfenwa and a third successive win for the Cobblers as Morecambe were beaten 3-0 at Sixfields.
Akinfenwa headed home a Tozer throw from the left wing and Kevin Ellison glanced one into his net from the right to set up a victory that puts Town ninth in npower League Two, just one point off the play-offs, and only three points shy of the top three.
Then, with the game won, Ishmel Demontagnac curled home an excellent free-kick to put the icing on the cake and make it 3-0
This was a game short on entertainment with goalmouth action in short supply - in such games the margins are generally fine and they are often settled by a set-piece or a mistake.
In the case of this contest, the decisive goals were one from each category with Tozer finding his range to clinical effect and Demontagnac providing a moment of real magic to cap a thorough performance.
Clarke Carlisle received a warm welcome from his adoring Sixfields public for a second debut for the club and he marked it in typical style, with a solid header early in the proceedings.
But things turned sour for the defender when he misjudged an aerial ball to allow Kevin Ellison a clear run at Lee Nicholls’ goal.
Ellison, on his weaker right side, produced a fierce shot that beat Nicholls but thudded against his right-hand upright and bounced clear to safety.
Hackett bristled throughout, and not just with his substantial Movember ‘tache. Twenty-five minutes in he took it upon himself to sprint inside from his right wing and fizz a left-footed shot no more than a yard past the post.
It was a match of limited chances, with the main goalmouth action usually originating from an error or misjudgement and any eventual attempts either scuffed or taking sizeable deflections.
The goal, when it arrived, came through a method that has become a Northampton Town hallmark all season.
Tozer had elected to take a short throw to Hackett moments earlier on the right wing but gave the one in the 56th minute the towel treatment and launched it onto the capable forehead of Akinfenwa.
The big man was in attendance five minutes later when Tozer heaved one into the six-yard box from the opposite wing.
On this occasion, the ball skimmed off the unmistakeable bald head of the unfortunate Ellison - perhaps as some kind of footballing karma for the pressure he put on the referee to book Hornby earlier in the contest - and beyond Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal.
Everything afterwards had a token feel to it; the visitors tried in vain to get some cohesive play together and Northampton used the final stages to rest some of their more used players and provide first-team minutes to those currently outside the selection frame.
Louis Moult got the ball in the net with two minutes to go but it was ruled out for a foul on Hackett and although he complained initially, his fear were soon calmed.
Up stepped Demontagnac to curl home an inch perfect shot with his left foot that gave Roche no chance.
The best was certainly saved until last.
Northampton: Nicholls, Tozer, Langmead, Carlisle, Widdowson, Robinson, Hornby, Harding, Demontagnac, Hackett, Akinfenwa
Subs: Platt (for Akinfenwa, 73), Moult (for Robinson, 78), Huws (for Hornby, 81)
Not used: Charles, Snedker, Mukendi, East
Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Fenton, McCready, Mustoe, Drummond, Fleming, McDonald, Ellison, Brodie, Reid
Subs: Alessandra (for Reid, 69), Redshaw (for Brodie, 69)
Not used: Threlfall, Haining, McGee, Parrish, Arestidou
Away fans: 48