Seamer Ben Cotton saluted the work of Northants' bowling unit as they impressed on the first day of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash with Gloucestershire.
The home side were bowled out for just 125 at Bristol, with Brett Hutton the stand-out Northants player as he claimed four for 65.
Ben Sanderson chipped in with two for 16, Nathan Buck grabbed three for 32 and Cotton took one for six from his five overs.
Northants then lost an early wicket in their reply as Hutton was dismissed without scoring, leaving the County on four for one at the close.
"There was no doubt that we were going to field first on that pitch," Cotton said. "There was something in it for the bowlers for most of the day.
"That said, you still have to put the ball in the right areas and I thought we performed well as a unit.
"Ben Sanderson and Brett Hutton bowled really well up top to give us a good start and then Nathan Buck and I chipped in.
"Given that we had them 68 for eight at one stage, it was a bit frustrating that the tail wagged.
"But had you offered us that score at the start of the day, we would have taken it."
However, Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent remains confident his side can head into the second innings with a lead.
Dent said: "We knew we would have to bat and we knew it would be a tough day.
"That's how it turned out and we just had to get our heads down and battle on.
"The pitch was more bowler friendly than those we usually play on here and the ball was moving around for most of the day, which made things difficult.
"Whereas pitches in Bristol usually flatten out after the first day, I don't think this one will do that.
"Our bowlers are looking forward to having a go on it and we'll look to bowl them out for less than we got."