Northampton survived a late barrage with 10 men to hold out for a hard earned point after a 1-1 draw at promotion chasing Port Vale.
The visitors were the better side for most of the first-half when Vale goalkeeper Chris Martin made smart saves from Josh Walker and Shaun Harrad.
The game sprung to life when Tom Pope was upended by Paul Rodgers and Justin Richards converted the resulting penalty in the 55th minute.
Leon McKenzie headed an equaliser three minutes later when he rose to head home Marcus Hall's cross from six yards.
Harrad then crashed a shot against the crossbar, but the pendulum swung again when Abdul Osman was shown a straight red card for a 68th-minute foul on Doug Loft.
Vale poured forward in search of a winner and there were several close shaves, including a goal-line clearance from Michael Jacobs and a Kris Taylor effort which struck the bar.