Ian Morris came off the bench to fire the Cobblers to a vital victory at Exeter City.
Morris bundled home Chris Hackett’s cross after 56 minutes with his first touch of the game after coming on as a substitute to give Town a 1-0 win.
It is a result that extends the team’s unbeaten run to five games but more crucially will give their supporters renewed hope that the team can secure their Football League status this season.
Results elsewhere mean the gap between Northampton and the team in 22nd, which is Exeter, is now just three points and Chris Wilder’s men have played a game less.
David Wheeler had the perfect opportunity to give Exeter the ideal start to the game when he arrived unmarked at the back post but slid his attempt, from no more than three yards, into the side netting.
Town had to wait 27 minutes for their first good chance, John Marquis putting Emile Sinclair in down the inside-right channel, an area from which he scored twice against Torquay.
But, slightly further up the road, his finish was lacking and he blazed horribly into the stand.
There was very little action other than that, with Northampton looking lethargic for the majority of the game and Exeter missing a final ball for a lot of it.
The visitors did manage to get into a good area 10 minutes into the second half when Marquis engineered a break down the middle that ended with Sinclair on the ground looking for a penalty that never came after coming into contact with goalkeeper Artur Krysiak.
The referee was unmoved but moments later Krysiak was collecting the ball from the back of his net.
Hackett, finding space in an attacking area for the first time in the game, beat the full-back and sent over a cross that Morris met with his first touch after coming on as a substitute to bundle home.
Northampton had to weather something of a storm after that but it was all pressure and territory for Exeter with very little in the way of goalscoring opportunities.
Anything they played in the air was headed away by Mathias Doumbe, whose red-hot form continued in this game, while out wide their crosses were either overcooked or well defended.
Four nerve-jangling minutes were added on by the referee but they passed without incident and the victory was duly sealed.
Exeter City: Krysiak, Bennett, Coles, Moore-Taylor, Woodman, Sercombe, Oakley, Grimes, Nichols, Parkin
Subs: Richards (for Parkin 60), Reid (for Wheeler 73)
Not used: Hamon, Butterfield, Baldwin, Davies, Gill
Cobblers: Duke, McSweeney, Diamond, Doumbe, Robertson, Hackett, Carter, Deegan, Dickenson, Marquis, Sinclair
Subs: Morris (for Dickenson 54), Connell (for Marquis 54), Moyo (for Sinclair 83)
Not used: Snedker, Tozer, Toney, Roberts
Cobblers fans: 150