Peterborough moved within five points of the Sky Bet League One automatic promotion places following a 5-1 demolition of Northampton Town in the Nene derby.

The Cobblers actually struck first at the Weston Homes Stadium, but they collapsed in the face of an onslaught from a rampant Posh side who recorded their third win in a row.

Northampton went ahead in the ninth minute when Marc Leonard’s inviting cross following a short corner was nodded in by captain Jon Guthrie at the back post.

But Peterborough were level in the 25th minute when Jadel Katongo played in a terrific low ball that was finished off by Ephron Mason-Clark.

Kwame Poku then completed a rapid turnaround three minutes later when he whipped a shot into the bottom corner and it was 3-1 just before half-time when his mishit came off Jack Sowerby for Joel Randall to finish.

The Posh were relentless in the second half, with Hector Kyprianou heading in just before the hour and Josh Knight completing the rout after Randall’s corner wasn’t cleared.

Northampton made it seven points from nine with a comfortable 2-0 win at Burton.

Marc Leonard and Mitch Pinnock fired Jon Brady’s side to victory with long-range efforts that ultimately settled a scrappy encounter.

Northampton capitalised on two moments of good fortune in the first half to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and rarely looked in danger from there.

The Brewers had been the dominant side in the opening stages but found themselves behind when Leonard fired in a speculative 25-yard effort that took a wicked deflection off defender Toto Nsiala to wrong-foot Max Crocombe in the Burton goal.

Northampton doubled their advantage when Mark Helm’s loose pass was intercepted by Pinnock who then lashed in Town’s second from distance.

Substitute Shaun McWilliams fired another long-range effort against a post with his first contribution as Town threatened a third.

Kyle Hudlin and Mustapha Carayol went close for Burton late on but Northampton saw the game out comfortably.

Substitute Tony Springett earned Northampton a late 2-2 League One draw at near-neighbours Oxford with a stoppage-time equaliser.

The on-loan Norwich winger showed good composure with a tidy finish in a crowded goalmouth after collecting Will Hoskins’ left-wing cross as the hosts recorded their fifth draw from their last six games.

Northampton also inflicted late pain on Oxford just before Christmas when they grabbed a stoppage-time win at Sixfields.

Josh Murphy gave the U’s the perfect start here by taking a pass from Billy Bodin and hammering a 20-yard drive into the net after just five minutes for his second goal in successive games.

Northampton levelled in the 35th minute from their first effort on goal. Brighton loanee Marc Leonard crossed the ball deep from the right and Will Hondermarck headed powerfully home for his first goal of the season to equalise.

Cobblers goalkeeper Louie Moulden beat out a drive from Cameron Brannagan before the break and Greg Leigh shot narrowly wide just after it.

Will Goodwin diverted Owen Dale’s right-wing cross home the 81st minute for his first Oxford goal to put them 2-1 up, but Springett had the final say to give Cobblers a point at the death.

Manager John Mousinho feels his Portsmouth side are back on track after thrashing Northampton 4-1 at Fratton Park.

Paddy Lane scored twice as the leaders cruised to victory despite having debutant Tom McIntyre sent off.

Connor Ogilvie and Callum Lang also netted while Colby Bishop missed a penalty for Pompey, who had debutant Tom McIntyre sent off, before Marc Leonard grabbed a consolation for Northampton.

It is now 10 points from four games for Portsmouth since a 3-0 home defeat by Leyton Orient.

Mousinho said: “I am delighted with the performance and everything we did in the first hour.

“We came out the traps showing we meant business and were determined to cast out the demon of the Leyton Orient result. I think that has been hanging over us since then.

“We were good value for the 2-0 lead. We missed a penalty and I felt we could have had more in the first half.

“We started the second half a bit cagey and of course the sending off changed things.

“But we kept our heads and put the game to bed. They got a late goal and even with the added 10 minutes I felt we weren’t in any danger.

“My initial reaction to the sending off was that I thought it was a great tackle. In terms of appealing, we’ll look at it in detail and then decide.”

Pompey took the lead after seven minutes when Marlon Pack’s free-kick from 30 yards was headed home by Ogilvie.

The second came after 16 minutes. A long clearance from Pack found Lane, who turned inside a defender to drive home.

Pompey were awarded a penalty two minutes before half-time after Harvey Lintott pushed Myles Peart-Harris over but Bishop’s tame kick was easily saved by Lee Burge.

Pompey were reduced to 10 men after 54 minutes when McIntyre was shown a straight red for a foul on Mitchell Pinnock.

But Pompey got a third in the 58th minute, Lane playing a one-two before slotting home.

It was 4-0 after 71 minutes as an in-swinging free-kick from Pack saw Lang pick up the loose ball and stab it past Burge.

Northampton got a consolation goal a minute from time when Leonard fired into the roof of the net from a corner.

Cobblers boss Jon Brady said: “It is very disappointing.

“We’ve conceded an early goal from a set piece, which we should defend better. The goals we gave away were more down to us giving them to Portsmouth rather than them executing them well.

“They’re fighting to win the league and we’re fighting to stay in it. We’ve had some great form recently but the last two games have been too easy for the opposition.

“Just look at the team I have put out. It’s nowhere near the team I had picking up three points not long ago.

“am Hoskins has come off with his hamstring which is a blow. Sam Sherring has felt his ankle in the warm-up, so we were unable to get him on, and Ben Fox has been out all season, so could only get 15 minutes on the pitch.

“We started looking like we had purpose when they went down to 10 but then we got sucker-punched with their third a couple of minutes later.”

Burton boss Dino Maamria was heavily critical of his side’s “really poor” performance as they were beaten 2-0 by out-of-form Northampton at Sixfields.

A tight first half ended in stalemate but the Cobblers dominated the second and goals from Marc Leonard and Sam Hoskins ended their six-game winless run in all competitions.

Burton themselves are now five games without a win in all competitions and their manager had no complaints.

“It was a poor performance,” admitted Maamria. “We were outfought and outplayed and the second half especially was really poor.

“There wasn’t much in the first half so the message at half-time was to push more bodies forward and play more forward but we didn’t do that.

“They scored a brilliant goal and that probably galvanised them but I’m really disappointed with our response because we didn’t get going after that and they dominated us.

“The most disappointing thing is that we were outfought in every department. They won first and second balls, they closed us down, they got behind the ball quicker and they asked more questions.

“There are ways to lose games and you don’t lose like we did today. Northampton are in a difficult moment and the goal helped them and they finished the game better, but we were outfought and that’s not like us.

“We missed easy chances. We should have got one goal back near the end and if you do that, it’s a different game, but we deserved absolutely nothing today and I’m gutted for our fans because they turned up in their numbers.”

It was a much-needed win for Northampton boss Jon Brady.

“I’m really pleased with the performance,” he said. “We needed that and every player came to the table.

“That’s the type of energy, work-rate and tempo we need because that’s our tempo.

“It’s been tough because we’ve been playing the same players week in, week out but today we were able to freshen it up with players coming back in. That makes one hell of a difference and we looked more physical and had more about us.

“The game opened up in the second half. Tactically, they went to 4-4-2 so the midfield opened up more and if we won their balls in good areas, we were able to get in behind us and play forward and more space opened up.

“That helped us and then we broke on them brilliantly after we got the first goal.

“On top of that, our energy to get back into shape was excellent so a lot of key things worked for us today and the boys implemented what we had worked on so full credit to them.”

Northampton ended their six-game winless run by beating Burton 2-0 at Sixfields in League One.

After a tight first half, the Cobblers dominated the second and came away with all three points thanks to goals from Marc Leonard and Sam Hoskins.

Joe Powell curled an early free-kick over the angle of post and crossbar as Burton made a bright start before the home side grew into the game and enjoyed a good spell of their own.

But goalmouth action was at a premium in the first half as both sides lacked quality and creativity in the final third, with neither goalkeeper forced to make a save of note.

Northampton broke the deadline nine minutes into the second half when Leonard picked out the top corner with a terrific strike from long range.

Burton goalkeeper Max Crocombe kept out Mitch Pinnock’s header from a fast counter-attack and he was also alert when denying Leonard on two separate occasions.

But the Cobblers did eventually wrap up all three points when Hoskins showed excellent composure in a crowded penalty box to find the bottom corner 12 minutes from time.

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