THEY say every long journey starts with a single step, and with a bit of luck, this much-improved performance will signal an upturn in Town's fortunes.
Peter Jackson's side, playing 4-4-2, couldn't force the victory their domination deserved, but if they continue to play like this, a three-point haul can't be far away.
Hopefully, the precise distance is 49 miles, the length of Saturday's trip to Chesterfield, where it's crucial Town build on this display.
While the Galpharm side were far from flawless - once again, they allowed their opponents to open the scoring, in this case through Joe Burnell in the 19th minute - they certainly showed character and no little enterprise.
The outcome was a string of chances, one of which was put away (by Danny Schofield in the 66th minute), one of which crashed against the bar and two of which were cleared off the line.
Throw in a number of decent saves by Northampton's goalkeeper Mark Bunn and the odd scare as the visitors counter-attacked, and you've got the story of an entertaining game.
Northampton's former Scotland international midfielder Eoin Jess had the first shot on target after just 90 seconds, his long-range dipper being saved by Matt Glennon.
But Town were soon going forward, and after having a penalty appeal turned down (when Schofield's cross hit Jason Crowe's arm), Andy Booth, who always had the better of his markers in the air, had a sixth-minute header tipped over the bar.
Glennon had to be alert to deflect combative Aussie Pedj Bojic's 25-yard shot over while Scott McGleish flashed an effort across the face of goal on nine minutes.
Booth headed over from Schofield's cross three minutes later, but after 19, Northampton took the lead, Ryan Gilligan getting the better of John McCombe to tee up Burnell for a simple side-footed finish.
It was a familiar setback, but Town responded positively, with Schofield, who had his best game of the season so far, putting in a teasing cross-cum shot just two minutes later.
There was controversy after 37 minutes when, after earning a corner by closing down Luke Chambers, Booth powered a header goalwards from Michael Collins' flag kick.
Goalscorer Burnell was certainly behind the whitewash when he nodded clear, and the reaction of nearby Town players suggested the ball was over the line, but the men whose opinion really mattered, referee Clive Oliver and his assistant Rob Merchant, disagreed.
Undeterred, Town continued to press and just two minutes later, Booth met Andy Holdsworth's cross with another strong header, which this time rattled the bar.
Northampton were stretched, and when they could only partially clear another Holdsworth cross, Collins produced a clever lob, only for McGleish to block on the line.
Fears that half-time would break the flow of chances proved unfounded as Matt Young brought a fine save from Bunn with cracking low-right footer on 47 minutes.
McCombe should have done better with a close-range header after 50, as should Gary Taylor-Fletcher on 59, when Bunn touched the ball wide.
The breakthrough finally came seven minutes later when Taylor-Fletcher picked out Schofield, who beat Bunn with a lovely right-foot shot.
McGleish missed a gilt-edged chance to head his side back in front three minutes later.
But it was Town who finished the stronger, with Booth, Collins and Schofield all out of luck as the Cobblers held out for the point.
The moment in the 37th minute when assistant referee Rob Merchant ruled Andy Booth's header had not crossed the line before Northampton's Joe Burnell headed it clear. The Town players nearby immediately appealed, but having looked to his linesman, referee Clive Oliver waved play on. A home goal then might have brought a flood.
How They Rated:
Matt Glennon Left exposed for Northampton's goal, and other than a couple of dodgy kicked clearances, did well. Rating: 6/10
Andy Holdsworth Much better display from the right-back who admits his confidence had dipped. Supplied some decent crosses. Rating: 6/10
Danny Adams Caused a scare when allowing a late long ball to bounce, but otherwise looked pretty solid at left-back. Rating: 6/10
John McCombe Allowed opponents to get goalside a couple of times, one of them leading to Northampton's opener. Rating: 5/10
David Mirfin Another steady display in the heart of defence from one of the most consistent players at the club. Rating: 7/10
Gary T-Fletcher Has yet to recapture his pre-injury form. Played as an orthodox striker and should have done better with two headers. Rating: 5/10
Michael Collins Did well in the midfield maelstrom. Worked hard to spark attacks and had one particularly good run himself. Rating: 6/10
Mark Hudson Did some good covering work to thwart a string of Northampton attacks, but was below-par going forward himself. Rating: 5/10
Danny Schofield Looked like he was enjoying himself as he produced his best display of the season. Goal was nicely struck. Rating: 7/10
Andy Booth Stand-in skipper had a very good game. Bossed the aerial battle and was very unlucky not to score. Rating: 7/10
Matt Young Produced an energetic and enthusiastic display wide out right. Several of his crosses caused problems. Rating: 6/10
Spotlight on the Ref
Northumberland's Clive Oliver managed to mystify both sides with an award of one first-half free-kick to Town, and missed a sly touchline kick on Danny Adams by feisty Aussie Pedj Bojic. Turned down two home penalty appeals and controversially ruled Andy Booth's 37th-minute header had not crossed the line. Otherwise, he did okay!
Bunn, Crowe, Hunt, Holt, Dyche, Chambers, Jess (Kirk, 77mins), Bojic, Burnell (Taylor, 72mins), McGleish, Gilligan (Wright, 77mins). Subs not used: Watt, Dunn. Booked: Hunt.