Alex Nicholls came off the bench to score his first Cobblers goal after more than two years out with injury to put the seal on a victory over AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields.
Kaid Mohamed was also on target in a 2-0 win which ends Town’s four-game losing streak and sees them move above the Dons in the Sky Bet League Two table.
But the afternoon belonged to Nicholls, who converted in style in injury time of a game in which Wimbledon had very little attacking play.
Lawson D’Ath had the ball in the net in the first five minutes when he tapped in Kaid Mohamed’s scuffed shot but the flag was up for offside.
Sean Rigg repeated the feat after a half an hour almost completely without incident, the flag again raised to cancel out the effort.
D’Ath provided the fizzed cross for Mohamed’s goal after darting down the inside-left channel to collect an excellent disguised pass from Joel Byrom.
The ball across goal was hit with power but Mohamed timed his run well to meet it, with Ivan Toney close behind in case no connection was made.
Matt Tubbs should have done better with a chance created when Akinfenwa eased Ryan Cresswell aside with a huge shoulder but the number nine blazed his shot over the target.
The first half was a pretty low-key affair, with the Cobblers allowing Wimbledon to have a lot of the ball as they allowed their defensive line to get gradually deeper.
Town’s best football came on the break and Alex Nicholls, on as a substitute, had a header held by James Shea after Andy Frampton had got across the striker.
Fellow sub Emile Sinclair flashed a right-footed volley wide from 25 yards and then teed up Mohamed for a shot which he turned down in favour of an extra pass back to the striker.
Wimbledon put four players up front for the four added minutes at the end of the game, while Northampton gave a very late cameo to Kelvin Langmead.
But the late glory belonged to Nicholls, who scored with an excellent shot into the far corner after Shea had parried D’Ath’s strike.
Cobblers: Archer; Tozer, Cresswell, Robertson, Newey; D’Ath, Murdoch, Byrom, Mohamed; O’Toole; Toney
Subs: Sinclair (for Toney 67), Nicholls (for O’Toole 67), Langmead (for Mohamed 90)
Not used: Duke, Carter, Collins, Ravenhill
Wimbledon: Shea; Fuller, Barrett, Frampton, Smith; Francomb, Moore, Bulman, Rigg; Akinfenwa, Tubbs
Subs: Sutherland (for Francomb 67), Azeez (for Moore 67), Oakley (for Fuller 90)
Not used: Bennett, Kennedy, Nicholson, McDonnell
Away fans: 468