Kelvin Langmead was the Cobblers’ injury-time saviour as he scored an injury-time goal to bank a point in an entertaining draw at Torquay.
Town looked to be heading for a fourth straight defeat as the game entered time added on but the skipper had other ideas, crashing a shot in off the foot off the post as the home side failed to deal with a Chris Hackett corner from the left to end it 1-1.
It cancelled out a goal from former Northampton loanee Ryan Jarvis that looked like it would settle the contest.
And it prevents the team from recording their worst losing streak under Aidy Boothroyd while also ensuring their best league result at Plainmoor for more than 12 years.
Within the first minute of the game, the Cobblers served notice of their threat with the Tozer throw, Hackett swinging and missing at a loose ball 15 yards out after one from the right and Adebayo Akinfenwa heading onto the roof of the net with one from the left.
It was a start that was as bright as the team’s ‘electric lime’ kit, although the game soon settled into a pattern of Torquay looking to play down the sides and Northampton going early to Clive Platt at just about every opportunity, especially from the full-backs.
Both sides seemed happiest, too, when playing on the break, On one such counter, Joe Oastler failed to deliver a telling ball when in a good position while at the other end, a deflected Hackett cross required a headed clearance by Angus Macdonald from his own goal line.
Such last-ditch defending was mirrored by the Cobblers on the half-hour mark when Clarke Carlisle blocked a header from former Town loanee Ryan Jarvis on his own line as Torquay looked to build pressure with a brief flurry of corners.
The centre-half has been criticised for his recent performances but did well here, putting in an expertly-timed block to foil Lee Mansell’s first-time attempt after a purposeful Danny Stevens run down the left.
At that stage, Northampton were not seeing a lot of the ball but used it well enough to create a shooting position for Ben Harding a minute before the break, the midfielder clipping a shot goalwards that required a good fingertip save from Michael Poke.
Poke did similarly well with a fizzed Hackett shot that bounced awkwardly in front of him as the half wound down.
Torquay took the unusual route of changing strip at half-time, replacing their home yellow shirts and shorts with navy blue ones, presumably because they felt there was a clash.
But despite the new wardrobe, it was Northampton who started the second period looking better, with Ben Harding seeing a strong penalty appeal turned down and Akinfenwa scooping wide after the home defence had failed to deal with a Tozer throw.
They were the better side at that point and the goal was a crushing one, secured when Stevens showed good pace to get down the left and good awareness to pass square for the arriving Jarvis to tap home simply.
Lee Nicholls then had to be at his best to deny Jarvis an almost instant second as the visiting defence was caught out by his late run to beat the offside trap.
The goal was a real setback for Town, who took 10 minutes or so to compose themselves rediscover a foothold in the game.
Once they had, their best opportunities came almost exclusively from set pieces, such as the throw that went through a swathe of bodies and was hooked wide on the turn by Langmead at the back post.
As the clock ticked onto 90, Langmead found space for another header that was somehow diverted away for a corner by Macdonald, and although the first one was dealt with, the second was battered in off the post.
Torquay: Poke, Oastler, Macdonald, Downes, Nicholson, Mansell, Easton, Craig, Stevens, Jarvis, Howe
Subs: Thompson (for Stevens 82), Lathrope (for Jarvis 86)
Not used: Leadbitter, Rice, Cruise, Yeoman, Mackenzie
Cobblers: Nicholls, Tozer, Langmead, Carlisle, Charles, Hackett, Hornby, Harding, Huws, Akinfenwa, Platt
Subs: Robinson (for Hornby 71)
Not used: Snedker, Mukendi, Moult, East, Dias
Cobblers fans: 140