Match ends, Northampton Town 1, Portsmouth 0.
Ricky Holmes scored against his former club as he set Northampton on their way to a third straight League Two win with victory over Portsmouth at Sixfields.
The visitors, who had been seven matches unbeaten, saw Ryan Taylor and Josh Passley both waste early chances.
But Holmes, who moved on a free to the Cobblers from Pompey in January, curled in superbly from 25 yards.
Pompey were better in the second half but saw Ben Chorley sent off late on for a second yellow.
Andy Awford's side had earlier come close when Ryan Cresswell cleared Craig Westcarr's header off the line.
Wes Fogden, making his first appearance of the season, fired over from Jed Wallace's pinpoint cross as Northampton held on to move to within three points of the play-offs.
Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder told BBC Radio Northampton:
"I thought Ricky was outstanding. His calves went tight with 10 minutes to go and he came off to a great reception. The whole team have put it in a great effort.
"We played a good side and they've pushed us all the way and will probably feel a bit hard done by.
"Every game becomes important when you get to March. We want to keep this run going."
- 36CresswellBooked at 61mins
- 3HorwoodBooked at 76mins
- 11HackettSubstituted forCarterat 67'minutes
- 21TaylorBooked at 90mins
- 25ByromBooked at 39mins
- 26HolmesSubstituted forNeweyat 83'minutes
- 19D'AthSubstituted forRichardsat 55'minutes
- 6ChorleyBooked at 90mins
- 18PassleySubstituted forWestcarrat 59'minutes
- 25AtanganaSubstituted forBarchamat 59'minutes
- 34ButlerSubstituted forFogdenat 78'minutes
- 8J Wallace
- Phil Gibbs
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Northampton Town 1, Portsmouth 0.
Jason Taylor (Northampton Town) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Jason Taylor (Northampton Town).
Matt Tubbs (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Ryan Cresswell (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Second yellow card to Ben Chorley (Portsmouth).
Foul by Ben Chorley (Portsmouth).
Corner, Portsmouth. Conceded by Ryan Cresswell.
Attempt blocked. Matt Tubbs (Portsmouth) right footed shot from very close range is blocked.
Substitution, Northampton Town. Tom Newey replaces Ricky Holmes.
Attempt saved. Matt Tubbs (Portsmouth) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt missed. Wes Fogden (Portsmouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Substitution, Portsmouth. Wes Fogden replaces Dan Butler.
Evan Horwood (Northampton Town) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt blocked. Marc Richards (Northampton Town) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked.
Attempt saved. Ryan Taylor (Portsmouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Danny Hollands (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ivan Toney (Northampton Town).
Foul by Marc Richards (Northampton Town).