Ivan Toney became an instant Cobblers hero with two goals as Chris Wilder’s side secured a win at Dagenham & Redbridge that could seal their Football League survival.
Former Weston Favell School pupil Toney scored after six minutes and again on 40, with a superb Ian Morris strike in between those goals in an emphatic 3-0 win.
It is enough to put Northampton three points clear of Wycombe, who slipped into the bottom two for the first time this season after losing at home to Bristol Rovers.
And it means they will be in the League ranks next season if they can avoid defeat against Oxford United at Sixfields next Saturday.
The game started at a frantic pace and the huge Cobblers contingent of supporters were in dreamland after only 11 minutes, with a two-goal lead established and their team in complete control.
Toney, who enjoyed the kind of performance that will excite everyone about his potential, got the ball rolling after just six of those minutes, producing a textbook downward header from a superb first-time Morris cross which curled away from the home defence.
The away-end celebrations went up a notch shortly afterwards when a Chris Hackett corner was cleared to Morris on the edge of the box.
Without taking a controlling touch, the midfielder struck an instinctive first-time volley over the crowd of players in the area and into the far corner of Jordan Seabright’s net.
It was the perfect start for the Cobblers but Dagenham grew into it and Matt Duke had to tip a Luke Norris header over his crossbar as the home side sought a route back into the contest.
But the third goal came moments later and it came, again, through the excellent Toney.
A Darren Carter corner squirmed to the youngster after Seabright and Brian Saah both went for the ball in but he still had a lot to do.
With his back to goal, Toney took a touch and acrobatically scissor-kicked it beyond the static goalkeeper.
The second half continued in the same manner as the first, with John Marquis tapping in Darren Carter’s inswinging free-kick but from an offside position.
Town could have had a fourth had a Carter corner fallen to one of their attacking players and not Gregor Robertson, whose slashed effort went all the way back to the midfielder on the touchline.
Chris Hackett saw a curled free-kick palmed away by Seabright and carved out a half-chance for substitute Emile Sinclair, although he failed to reach it.
Norris had a quiet game against his former club and was unfortunate to end it on a stretcher after suffering what looked like a bad injury. Town fans sang his name and gave him a standing ovation as he was carried off.
Shortly afterwards, the full-time whistle was blown, on the team’s biggest win of the campaign and only the second match in which they have scored three times.
Two of those came from Toney, who made himself an instant hero to the club with his performance in this match.
Dagenham: Seabright, Hoyte, Doe, Saah, Ogogo, Howell, Connors, Elito, Norris, Obafemi
Subs: Shields (for Obafemi 46), D;Ath (for Ilesanmi 68), Turgott (for Norris 88)
Not used: Lewington, Bingham, Saunders, Gayle
Cobblers: Duke, Tozer, Diamond, Robertson, Hackett, Ravenhill, Carter, Horwood, Morris, Toney, Marquis
Subs: Sinclair (for Marquis 73), McSweeney (for Toney 80), Langmead (for Hackett 90)
Not used: Snedker, Doumbe, Deegan, Connell
Away fans: 1,234