Northampton hold off Bury fightback to record successive wins
High-flying Northampton made it back-to-back wins as they held on for a 3-2 victory over struggling Bury.
A brace from Marc Richards and another from Matt Taylor saw the hosts seemingly cruising at 3-0 up with 16 minutes to go, but they were made to sweat in the end as goals from George Miller and Zeli Ismail set up a grandstand finish.
Both sides had early chances, Sam Hoskins denied by Ben Williams and Marc Richards heading over for the Cobblers while Tom Walker fired over for the visitors.
Neil Danns also saw his effort saved by Adam Smith before Danny Mayor shot wide from the edge of the box as Bury pushed for the opener.
Chances continued to fall at both ends and in between efforts from the lively Hoskins and Paul Anderson for Northampton, Bury defender Antony Kay should have done better with a close-range header which he could not keep on target.
The deadlock was broken in the 36th minute when Matt Taylor's free-kick was fired into the bottom corner of the net by Richards.
It was almost 2-0 before the break when Hoskins raced through but he was denied by Williams, who also thwarted JJ Hooper.
After the restart Taylor was just off target from a free-kick and Hoskins fired over before again denied by Williams as Town looked to build on their lead.
That second goal arrived in the 64th minute, when Hoskins earned a penalty which Richards converted for his second goal of the afternoon.
Hooper fired wide before the Cobblers made it 3-0 in the 71st minute with another trademark Taylor free-kick, the midfielder finding the top corner of the net.
That goal looked to have killed off Bury, but they reduced the arrears in the 74th minute when Miller headed home after being set up by Danns following a free-kick.
The visitors then pulled another goal back in the 82nd minute when Ismail netted from the edge of the box.
Bury pushed for an equaliser and they almost got it in stoppage time when Kay saw his shot saved by Smith.