Northampton 2-1 Port Vale: Match Report
Taylor nets winner as Northampton move further clear of Port Vale and drop zone
Matt Taylor hit a superb late winner as Northampton beat struggling Port Vale 2-1 to edge further away from the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.
Taylor's 88th-minute decider came after Vale's JJ Hooper had cancelled out Aaron Phillips' opener for the hosts, with all three goals coming in the final half-hour.
It was Northampton's third win on the trot and lifted them 11 points clear of fourth-bottom Vale, who themselves are now five points adrift of safety after relegation rivals Oldham defeated Oxford.
Cobblers started brightly, Michael Smith and Keshi Anderson firing over while Luke Williams was also off target with another effort.
Leonardo Fasan pulled off a smart save to deny Anderson from the edge of the box as Northampton made all the running, with John-Joe O'Toole also failing to hit the target for the hosts.
Fasan denied Marc Richards in another Northampton attack before Vale created their first opening just before the break when Anton Forrester was denied by Adam Smith.
After the restart, Sam Foley fired wide for Vale before the home side created further chances, Richards failing to hit the target from a tight angle in the six-yard box and Taylor having a shot blocked.
It was going to take something special to break the deadlock and it came in the 63rd minute when an intended cross from full-back Phillips beat Fasan and found the top corner of the net.
Boosted by the breakthrough, Cobblers went in search of the crucial second goal. Smith went close with a header, while Richards blazed over from close range before then firing wide from the edge of the box.
But it was Vale who struck next, getting back on level terms in the 73rd minute when Northampton failed to deal with a corner and Hooper beat Smith from 15 yards.
Vale began to get on top in the closing stages but Northampton could have reclaimed their lead only for substitute Hiram Boateng to head wide from close range.
The home fans need not have worried, though, as two minutes from the end Taylor caught out Fasan from 30 yards to net home the match-winning strike.