Marc Richards grabbed the only goal of the game as Northampton beat Accrington 1-0 at Sixfields.
Stanley were quickly out of the blocks as Sean McConville grazed the crossbar with a speculative 25-yard effort and Brad Halliday flashed a low drive wide of the far post.
In between, Cobblers created a couple of decent openings as Nicky Adams saw his effort deflected wide and Richards volleyed just past the upright.
Piero Mingoia fired over for Stanley and goalkeeper Adam Smith denied McConville from close range, but both sides lacked a cutting edge in the final third.
The game opened up after the restart.
McConville tested Smith with another long-range effort and Josh Windass was thwarted by Smith at the second attempt.
Cobblers finally broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute when substitute Ricky Holmes crossed for Richards to head the ball past Jason Mooney.
Richards fired over moments later and saw Tom Davies block his close-range effort after a mistake by Mooney.
But Stanley were always a threat, McConville forced Smith to turn his low drive around the post and Davies headed over from the resulting corner.
Smith thwarted Billy Kee and Windass fired over from the rebound before the busy Cobblers keeper denied Matt Crooks.
Source : PA