Match ends, Torquay United 1, Northampton Town 2.
Emile Sinclair's brace gave bottom-of-the-table Northampton a vital win over fellow League Two strugglers Torquay.
Sinclair's first came when he finished off a break with a low strike and he shrugged off Krystian Pearce before firing in from an angle to make it 2-0.
Pearce's volley cut the gap just before half-time, while Anthony O'Connor hit the post twice in a matter of seconds.
Torquay's Joss Labidie saw his late shot held up by the muddy pitch after an error from goalkeeper Matt Duke.
Manager Chris Hargreaves was taking charge of his first home match following three successive postponements, but his side's first-half performance lacked the urgency and aggression needed in such a key relegation clash.
The Gulls were much-improved after the break, but could not find the breakthrough as Northampton cut the gap between the two sides at the foot of the table to just three points.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder tells BBC Radio Northampton:
"We gave ourselves a chance and a platform to win the game today. We were lively at the top of the pitch and nice and solid.
"I thought the two wingers did great jobs in protecting the full-backs and Ricky Ravenhill and Darren Carter were superb.
"It has to be a group effort, from myself and the staff through to the players and supporters if we're going to succeed this year.
"It wasn't a game for the faint-hearted but everybody's got to go and compete. They've done that tonight."
- 5PearceBooked at 79mins
- 17GoodwinSubstituted forO'Brienat 86'minutes
- 18LabadieBooked at 28mins
- 26BenyonBooked at 56minsSubstituted forHawleyat 60'minutes
- 10BodinSubstituted forChapellat 21'minutes
- 7SinclairSubstituted forMarquisat 60'minutes
- 34RavenhillBooked at 33mins
- 35DickensonSubstituted forTozerat 81'minutes
- 18ConnellSubstituted forGermanat 77'minutes
- Chris Sarginson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Torquay United 1, Northampton Town 2.
Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Anthony O'Connor.
Lee Mansell (Torquay United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Antonio German (Northampton Town).
Attempt saved. Joss Labadie (Torquay United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Torquay United. Aiden O'Brien replaces Shamir Goodwin.
Attempt saved. Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.
Foul by Anthony O'Connor (Torquay United).
Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Jordan Chapell (Torquay United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Corner, Torquay United. Conceded by Joe Widdowson.
Attempt blocked. Damon Lathrope (Torquay United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Northampton Town. Ben Tozer replaces Brennan Dickenson because of an injury.
Krystian Pearce (Torquay United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by John Marquis (Northampton Town).
Delay in match (Torquay United).
Antonio German (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Krystian Pearce (Torquay United).
Krystian Pearce (Torquay United) is shown the yellow card.