The Cobblers were dumped out of the Capital One Cup in emphatic fashion by a first-class Bournemouth team.
First-half goals from Dan Gosling and Brett Pitman put the Cherries in the driving seat before former Coventry City striker Callum Wilson completed a comfortable 3-0 win.
There was little for the 332 travelling supporters to cheer, with the exception of a late run-out for long-term injury victim Alex Nicholls on the left wing.
For long periods of the game the home side - as should be the case with any Championship team with a good squad and talented manager - were a cut above their opponents, passing it around as though the match was a keep-ball session on the training ground.
Manager Chris Wilder, as expected, rotated his team selection for the game - on-loan Spurs goalkeeper Jordan Archer was handed his debut while there was a first start in Northampton colours for the hero of the previous round, Lawson D’Ath.
Emile Sinclair, after his goal against Shrewsbury on Saturday, came in for his first start with Ivan Toney left out of the matchday squad completely.
Sinclair started on the left of a three-pronged attack that had Marc Richards at its centre and Kaid Mohamed wide right.
D’Ath and Joel Byrom were used as conventional central midfielders with Ricky Ravenhill, restored to the side, acting as a defensive midfield shield.
He was powerless to prevent the home side from having the game’s first good chance, though, when the excellent Eunan O’Kane rattled Archer’s bar from 25 yards after Marc Pugh’s cross had been cleared straight to him.
Lee Collins provided a scare when he headed narrowly wide at a corner, and will perhaps feel he should have done better considering the slack marking.
It was a rare attack in a first period of the game spent on the back foot for Northampton and when they conceded, the goal had an air of the inevitable about it.
Tokelo Rantie, all £2.5m of him, wriggled away down the right and cut an intelligent pass back into the path of Gosling, who really could not miss but took the chance well.
The second was a gift for Pitman, who was 20 yards behind the Town defence when a horrible hooked Ravenhill pass put him clean through.
The striker made it look easy as he dribbled around Archer and rolled the ball into the net and with only half an hour played the tie looked as good as over.
Richards headed over in the final minute of the first half after a good, Mohamed-led counter-attack but the forwards were forced to feed largely off scraps.
Bournemouth provided an illustration of their strength in depth when they put on Wilson and Matt Ritchie with 20 minutes to play - between them the two players have cost the Dean Court club £3m.
The duo combined for a chance that Archer somehow managed to keep out at his near post as the home side went in search of more goals.
Wilson missed an even better chance moments later but did not pass up a second invitation to head in a loose ball after Ritchie’s shot had been rebounded to him.
By that point, though, Northampton hearts had been warmed by a first appearance in the team for Nicholls for 22 months.
The forward played the final 15 minutes of this game, made runs, went into tackles and did not for one second look out of place.
It was probably the only piece of good news on this particular trip to the south coast.
Bournemouth: Camp; Smith, Cook, Cargill, Harte; Fraser, O’Kane, Gosling, Pugh; Rantie, Pitman
Subs: Wilson (for Pugh 70), Ritchie (for Rantie 70), Stanislas (for Pitman 82)
Not used: Flahavan, Elphick, Daniels, Kermorgant
Cobblers: Archer; Tozer, Diamond, Collins, Robertson; D’Ath, Ravenhill, Byrom, Mohamed; Sinclair, Richards
Subs: O’Toole (for Ravenhill 57), Moyo (for Sinclair 72), Nicholls (for D’Ath 76)
Not used: Duke, Hackett, Warburton, Jackson
Cobblers fans: 332
Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey)