Struggling Cobblers beat Pools
Mathias Kouo-Doumbe and Brennan Dickenson struck either side of the break to give Northampton a crucial 2-0 victory over Hartlepool.
It was a vital three points for Chris Wilder's struggling team, even if they ended the day still propping up the Sky Bet League Two table.
Luke Williams twice went close for the visitors in the first half, firing over and later having an effort blocked. In-between, Northampton had a couple of chances but Ricky Ravenhill was off target and Dickenson headed wide from a good position.
In a stop-start first half littered with fouls and free-kicks, chances were few and far between. Northampton's John Marquis was the next player to miss the target when he fired over from a good position.
The Cobblers then broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time. Chris Hackett's free-kick was volleyed back into the six-yard box by Joe Widdowson and Kouo-Doumbe forced the ball home at the far post.
There was still time for Emile Sinclair to go close to doubling Northampton's lead yet he headed over. However, two minutes after the restart, Dickenson increased the hosts' advantage with a close-range header from Hackett's cross.
Simon Walton almost reduced the arrears when he hit the upright while Hackett saw his goal-bound shot blocked at the other end before home goalkeeper Matt Duke was finally called into action to deny Williams twice. But Hartlepool left it too late to create any worthwhile chances.