Promotion-chasing Northampton secured their first win in five Sky Bet League Two matches with a hard-fought 1-0 success at Colchester.
Louis Appere’s first-half goal proved decisive as the Cobblers climbed to fourth in the table.
The Essex side almost went ahead early on when Northampton defender Sam Sheering deflected Noah Chilvers’ curled effort just past his own post for a corner.
The visitors made the decisive breakthrough in the 42nd minute when Appere swept home a loose ball from close range, after Colchester had failed to clear Marc Leonard’s corner.
Appere hooked a decent chance wide at the far post in first-half stoppage-time from another Leonard corner, as the visitors went in at the break ahead.
Tom King denied Kwesi Appiah early in the second half and seconds later the Northampton goalkeeper palmed defender Connor Hall’s 25-yard strike away for a corner, as the hosts pressed.
But Colchester goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara twice saved from Appere and Wood cleared substitute Will Hondermarck’s effort off the line, before Jon Guthrie headed just wide from a corner.
O’Hara denied Jack Sowerby deep into stoppage-time, as Northampton claimed a welcome victory.