The Cobblers collected a solid point at Morecambe as they recovered from their midweek loss to Rochdale with a valuable away draw.
Town took the lead through an Andrew Wright own goal in the final minute of the first half but Padraig Amond bagged a deserved equaliser for the home side with a goal 20 minutes from time.
Results elsewhere mean the gap to safety remains three points and there will be concerns about the fact the team’s strikers again failed to find the target.
A big week lies ahead, with home games against Wimbledon and Bury on Tuesday and Saturday respectively.
Town suffered a setback after a quarter of an hour when Chris Hackett was forced off with what looked like a hamstring strain.
Gary Deegan took his place, reuniting the midfield four that started at Scunthorpe, albeit in not quite as narrow a set-up.
The first good chance, though, went to Morecambe.
Padraig Amond’s clever run beat the offside trap and he benefited from a lucky ricochet off Ben Tozer, who had made a good sliding challenge, to create space for a shot.
Amond made a clean connection on his right-footed strike and Matt Duke was well beaten but the ball struck the left-hand post and bounced to safety.
Town’s goal came in the final minute of the first half, Emile Sinclair getting the benefit of the doubt in terms of an offside decision to carry the ball all the way to the right-wing touchline.
From there he fizzed in a low cross that struck right-back Wright and nestled in the back of the net.
Morecambe made a very bright start to the second half with Kevin Ellison forcing Duke into a good low save with a firmly-struck free-kick after Mathias Doumbe tripped Amond 25 yards from goal.
At no point did they subject Northampton to a sustained period of pressure but the visitors did pay the price for a slow spell 20 minutes from time.
A good piece of build-up play ended with Amond getting into a position where he could fire a first-time shot beyond Duke from just inside the penalty area.
The response with good, with a left-footed Deegan shot parried by Barry Roche who then caught the follow-up effort from Sinclair on the stretch.
Ian Morris perhaps should have done better with a late chance that was blocked on the line by a posse of defenders after Zander Diamond had knocked down a Darren Carter corner.
Jamie Devitt thought he had won it for the home side, cutting off a weak Gregor Robertson header back to Duke but sliding his instinctive shot wide of the target.
Morecambe: Roche, Wright, Edwards, Hughes, Threlfall, Ellison, Fleming, Devitt, Kenyon, Amond, Sampson
Subs: Redshaw (for Sampson 62), Marshall (for Ellison 86), Diagne (for Amond 90+1)
Not used: Arestidou, Williams, McCready, McGee
Cobblers: Duke, Tozer, Diamond, Doumbe, Robertson, Hackett, Ravenhill, Carter, Morris, Connell, Sinclair
Subs: Deegan (for Hackett 14)
Not used: Snedker, McSweeney, Lopez, Moyo, Toney, Dickenson
Away fans: 395