An early goal from Nick Powell proved decisive as Northampton Town suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to League One leaders Wigan Athletic.

Powell struck the game’s only goal inside the opening five minutes, with the one time Manchester United midfielder heading in Gavin Massey’s cross.

Wigan scored 7 at Oxford and 4 at AFC Wimbledon in their previous two away games, but couldn’t find a quick second. Their best attempts saw Will Grigg have an opportunity blocked by Brendan Moloney and Chey Dunkley hit the bar.

Northampton saw Daniel Powell’s cross just fail to connect with runners in the opening moments of the second half, while Chris Long fired wide when well placed after half-time.

But although the hosts improved in a more even second half, they struggled to create much, and Wigan saw Grigg and Lee Evans spurn second half chances for a second.

Nevertheless, it was defeat for Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink’s side, who have now lost 3 straight League One games and sit 5 points from 20th placed Oldham, who were beaten by Shrewsbury. The struggling Cobblers will look for a boost in their next game, when they play Southend on Saturday.