Pools gain ground on play-offs
Hartepool closed the gap on the League Two play-offs with a routine 2-0 victory over Northampton at Victoria Park.
After a shaky start when the Cobblers' in-form striker Luke Norris saw a header bounce off the inside of the post, Hartlepool took control.
Talented teenager Luke James was the man to break the deadlock with his tenth of the season.
The 19-year-old controlled a searching pass from Matty Dolan before dispatching a low right-foot finish beyond goalkeeper Matt Duke.
Northampton, rooted to the foot of the division just months after losing the play-off final at Wembley, rarely troubled the Hartlepool backline after that.
And after James crashed a drive against the crossbar moments before the break, the home side emerged from the dressing room and grabbed a second in the 49th minute from the spot.
After the excellent James Poole had been bundled over in the box by Mathias Doumbe after a fine run, midfielder Simon Walton coolly sent Duke the wrong way to extend the lead.
Northampton pushed on more in the latter stages, but Bradley Walker and Jack Compton both went close at the opposite end to extending the advantage.