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.

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor has warned his players to buck up their ideas or risk being sold after Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Northampton.

Rovers trailed as early as the third minute at Sixfields through Patrick Brough’s close-range finish, and he then turned provider to set up Mitch Pinnock for a second shortly before half-time.

The visitors did rally in the second half and Chris Martin briefly restored hope, but Marc Leonard’s sensational late goal rubber-stamped Northampton’s victory.

Rovers have now lost seven of their last 10 league games and drop to 12th in League One.

Taylor said: “I have to be careful what I say because I’m incredibly frustrated but I can’t stand here and keep saying the same things.

“The first half was poor and we couldn’t get any aggression in our running and we were second best too often, but goals are still so important and both are preventable.

“There’s a softness which has been apparent for a long time. We were brighter in the second half, we ran harder and we had more purpose.

“We got back in the game but then another poor goal from a set-piece has cost us again. All three goals are incredibly preventable and that’s a recurring theme.

“The fans are frustrated and rightly so because the way we run at the start of the game was poor.

“We don’t seem to value certain things as a team so I need to find a way to hammer that home on the training pitch or some players will struggle to stay at the football club.

“We need to change things because you can see how soft we are with the goals we concede and when we concede those goals, we’re having to chase games.

“Football is a simple game. Do your job first and foremost.”

The win was Northampton’s first in five games and it lifts them back above Rovers and into 11th.

“We’re really pleased,” said Cobblers assistant manager Ian Sampson. “It’s a great result after a couple of frustrating games and it gets us back on track.

“It was so disappointing to concede in the last minute on Tuesday but it’s testament to the lads and their character because every time we have a hiccup, they respond really well and they did that again today.

“We’ve had one or two problems in certain areas of the pitch but we managed that better today and obviously we’re delighted to win the game.

“It’s really pleasing to score three goals, and they were good goals as well, but we were also better defensively and that’s pleasing for the back four and the whole team.”

Barrow upset League One Northampton in the first round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory at Sixfields.

Emile Acquah’s early header was cancelled out by Mitch Pinnock but second-half goals from Tom White and Ben Whitfield secured Barrow’s place in the draw for the second round.

The League Two outfit made the better start and led after only nine minutes when Acquah headed in Elliot Newby’s corner.

Will Hondermarck curled wide and Sam Hoskins had a shot blocked before Northampton levelled a minute shy of the half-hour mark as Hoskins charged down Niall Canavan’s clearance and the ball rebounded kindly for Pinnock to slot home.

Barrow’s Dom Telford smashed just wide from 20 yards before Hoskins missed a good chance at the start of the second half, poking wide when through on goal.

That proved a big moment in the game as Barrow regained the lead moments later through White’s long-range shot, which took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed Max Thompson.

Victory was secured 18 minutes from time after a mix-up between Thompson and Ali Koiki allowed Whitfield to score into an empty net.

Mitch Pinnock scored a remarkable goal in the final minute of normal time as Northampton picked up their first win of the Sky Bet League One season by beating local rivals Peterborough 1-0 at Sixfields.

Pinnock’s volley from 40 yards out, carried over the line by goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic, gave the Cobblers their first win in this fixture since 2006 and ended Posh’s 100 per cent start to the season.

A shaky start from Northampton allowed Peterborough to take control and two early chances went begging for Will Randall, who blazed over and then glanced a header wide of the far post.

Bilokapic saved from Kieron Bowie at the other end but Posh continued to carry the greater threat in the first half and Kwame Poku was particularly dangerous as he went close with a couple of efforts.

The visitors continued to edge things in the second half as Ephron Mason-Clark had a goal ruled out for offside.

Northampton grew stronger though and finished well, and they snatched victory in the 90th minute when Pinnock’s volley from the right was carried over the line by Bilokapic.

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