Northampton moved back into the top three in Sky Bet League Two with a well-deserved 1-0 victory over mid-table Crewe at Sixfields.
Louis Appere scored the game’s only goal midway through the first half as the Cobblers overtook Carlisle to move up to third place.
Sam Hoskins was a whisker away from breaking the deadlock when his close-range shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced away to safety, before James Beadle tipped over Jack Sowerby’s rasping drive.
Appere deservedly gave Northampton the lead on 23 minutes by converting Hoskins’ volleyed cross, and they almost had a quick second but Beadle just about clawed away Kieron Bowie’s shot just before it crossed the line.
The chances kept coming for the dominant hosts as Hoskins dragged wide from a corner and Will Hondermarck saw two efforts saved in quick succession.
The second half was more even but despite Crewe improving, they did not manage one shot on target throughout the whole game and the Cobblers deservedly saw it out for a third 1-0 home win in a row.