Northampton ended their recent winless run with a 3-1 win away at struggling Burton Albion.
The Cobblers arrived at the Pirelli Stadium without a win in 90 minutes in any competition so far in November, but Harry Smith’s double and a late Chris Lines third ensured a comfortable victory over the Brewers.
An injury time penalty by Lucas Akins ruined the clean sheet, but by then Northampton had already done to taste their third away win of the season so far and send Burton to bottom spot in League One.
Keith Curle’s side made a quickfire start in Staffordshire, with Smith firing them in front inside the opening 90 seconds. Smith found space to reach a Sam Hoskins knockdown from Alan Sheehan’s free-kick and was able to poke the ball into the back of the net.
Northampton would maintain their lead going into the half-time break, with the home side coming close through Neal Eardley and John Brayford.
The away side would start the second half quickly, with Hoskins firing just wide and Ricky Holmes seeing a free-kick tipped onto the crossbar by home keeper Ben Garratt.
The second goal would eventually come just after the hour mark, after Jack Sowerby’s through-ball released Smith, who was able to poke the ball home for his and his team’s second goal.
Niall Ennis struck the post moments later, but Northampton were able to repel further attempts at a Burton comeback and sealed the victory with a third goal in the 81st minute.
The clincher came through Lines, as the substitute volleyed in Mark Marshall’s cross.
Burton would grab a late consolation after Akins rolled in a penalty following a handball by Fraser Horsfall, but it was too little too late for the home side to prevent Northampton from leaving with the points.