Cobblers boss Keith Curle picked out his side's 'game management' as the outstanding attribute of their accomplished 2-1 home victory over Exeter City on Saturday.
Town were the superior side for much of the game, especially in the first-half when Aaron Pierre's scrambled finish from close-range handed them the lead at half-time.
Andy Williams tapped in a second just shy of the hour-mark before Aaron Martin's header three minutes later set up a jittery final half-hour for home supporters.
But when in times gone by the Cobblers might have panicked and conceded again, this time they stood firm with impressive ease to see out a third straight victory, moving them up to 14th in League Two and eight points away from the play-offs.
"We were playing against a very good team today who have operated in the play-offs for the majority of the year but, on the balance of play, they probably had only 12 or 15 minutes when they played how they wanted to," said Curle.
"The credit for that goes to us because we stopped them from playing and nullified their threats. I'm disappointed with the goal we conceded but I thought we managed the game very well.
"The second goal was excellent and then, again we had the manage the game in the second half and we did that very well."
Saturday's victory was only Town's second on home soil in nine games since early November.
"A home win was the only thing that has been missing because our away form has been very good," added Curle.
"David Cornell maybe made one very good save low down but, apart from that, we managed the game.
"We got on the front foot in the first-half and handled the departure of Marvin Sordell to injury very well because Andy Williams came on and slotted straight into the system, and he got his reward with the goal."