A spirited performance was not enough as Accrington Stanley lost at Northampton Town.
The only goal of the game came from Marc Richards – who now has five goals in his last four games against the Reds.
He headed home on the hour mark as the Cobblers maintained their position in the League Two promotion places.
Stanley had good chances to take a late point through Josh Windass and Matt Crooks, but the defeat leaves the side without a win in their last three matches.
Some supporters were still finding their seats when Sean McConville’s strike cannoned against the crossbar just 12 seconds into the match.
The winger was found by Billy Kee at the kick off on the left touchline before cutting inside and hitting the woodwork from 25 yards out.
Northampton responded and Nicky Adams thought he’d scored the opener with the aid of a Tom Davies deflection but his shot trickled just past the post.
The Cobblers came close again minutes later as Richards’ volley on the edge of the six yard box was just off-target.
Stanley held their shape well and looked to create chances on the counter attack when Northampton threw numbers forward.
Piero Mingoia found space on the right wing but watched his long range effort fly over the bar while Kee tangled with Ryan Cresswell when clean through – and was frustrated nothing was given in Stanley’s favour.
As half-time edged closer, McConville latched ontoWindass’ perfectly weighted cross across the Northampton box, but Brendan Moloney made a crucial last ditch tackle to deny the midfielder.
The second half continued to entertain the bumper crowd as both teams looked to chase the victory.
Windass had the chance to extend his position as Accrington’s top scorer after a blocked shot fell kindly to the attacking midfielder.
The 21-year-old looked for the bottom corner with his effort, but Northampton goalkeeper Adam Smith was equal to it and parried the shot round the post.
As Stanley rued the missed opportunity, the home side broke the deadlock through their own leading marksman.
Substitute Ricky Holmes crossed from the left wing and Richards’ header looped over Stanley’s Jason Mooney and found the top corner to increase the striker’s tally to 14 goals this season.
John Coleman’s side pushed forward as they tried to salvage a result from the match and McConville drilled a shot from the edge of the area and agonisingly wide of the far post.
Matt Crooks was sent through on goal with just the Cobblers ‘keeper to beat, but Smith made a superb save at his feet to deny the midfielder.
A break from a dangerous Northampton move led to club captain Terry Gornell having a great chance with a header at the near post, however, the striker could only find the side netting.
The full time whistle followed with the Reds left frustrated by the result of not the performance.