Northampton dragged Exeter deep into relegation trouble as Ian Morris' goal moved the Cobblers to within three points of their fellow strugglers.

A tense opening half finished goalless with David Wheeler wasting a glorious chance for the Grecians.

But Morris secured the breakthrough for the in-form visitors as he got on the end of Chris Hackett's pass.

Exeter failed to get a shot on target after the break as their long-suffering fans saw yet another home loss.

Wheeler's almost inexplicable miss in the first half could come back to haunt Exeter, whose last home win came against Plymouth Argyle on 5 October, while Tom Nichols, Matt Oakley and Liam Sercombe also had efforts on goal.

Emile Sinclair missed his team's best chance before the break, but the Cobblers were much improved after the restart with Hackett breaking down the right before crossing for Morris to volley into the ground and over keeper Artur Krysiak.

The Grecians have now lost four of their last five games to plummet down the table, while Northampton are building up momentum as they picked up their 11th point from the last 15 available to them.

Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder told BBC Radio Northampton:

"I've got a headache and lost my voice because of how hard Alan Knill and myself had to work the players in the first-half, and during half-time.

"We weren't at the races. It was perhaps the kind of performance that got us into this league position.

"But we kicked on and got a great reaction from the players and I can't deny it's not a big three points for us.

"Whatever happens with the teams above us, we have to show the kind of performance we did in the second half and if we do that, as I've always said, we'll be OK."

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (5)

Exeter City

  • 01 Krysiak
  • 15 Moore-Taylor
  • 03 Woodman
  • 08 Oakley
  • 06 Coles
  • 04 Bennett
  • 32 Wheeler (Reid - 74' )
  • 29 Grimes
  • 25 Parkin (Richards - 61' )
  • 20 Nichols
  • 07 Sercombe

Substitutes

  • 02 Butterfield
  • 05 Baldwin
  • 11 Davies
  • 14 Richards
  • 18 Reid
  • 33 Hamon
  • 35 Gill

Northampton Town

  • 01 Duke
  • 02 McSweeney
  • 29 Robertson
  • 04 Carter
  • 27 Kouo-Doumbe
  • 23 Diamond
  • 11 Hackett
  • 17 Deegan
  • 09 Marquis (Connell - 54' )
  • 07 Sinclair (Moyo - 83' )
  • 35 Dickenson (Morris - 54' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Morris
  • 12 Tozer
  • 13 Snedker
  • 18 Connell
  • 20 Moyo
  • 24 Toney
  • 28 Roberts
Ref: Steve Bratt
Att: 2,785

Match Stats

Shots

10 7

On target

0 4

Corners

5 1

Fouls

9 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Exeter City 0, Northampton Town 1.

90:00 +4:33 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Exeter City 0, Northampton Town 1.

90:00 +4:02

Attempt missed. Eliot Richards (Exeter City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

85:39

Attempt missed. Jamie Reid (Exeter City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

85:12

(Exeter City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:12

Foul by David Moyo (Northampton Town).

84:15

Matt Grimes (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:15

Foul by Chris Hackett (Northampton Town).

83:04

Corner, Exeter City. Conceded by Zander Diamond.

82:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northampton Town. David Moyo replaces Emile Sinclair.

81:10

Attempt missed. Matt Oakley (Exeter City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

78:25

Attempt missed. Jamie Reid (Exeter City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

75:51

Tom Nichols (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:51

Foul by Matthias Kouo-Doumbe (Northampton Town).

74:06

Eliot Richards (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:06

Foul by Gary Deegan (Northampton Town).

73:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Exeter City. Jamie Reid replaces David Wheeler.

72:29

Corner, Exeter City. Conceded by Leon McSweeney.

71:52

David Wheeler (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:52

Foul by Leon McSweeney (Northampton Town).

70:49

Attempt saved. Darren Carter (Northampton Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

69:42

Matt Oakley (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:42

Foul by Gary Deegan (Northampton Town).

67:03

Foul by Eliot Richards (Exeter City).

67:03

Gary Deegan (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

65:33

Foul by Matt Oakley (Exeter City).

65:33

Gary Deegan (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:31

Eliot Richards (Exeter City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

63:31

Foul by Leon McSweeney (Northampton Town).

63:04

Attempt blocked. Ian Morris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked.

62:17

Foul by Scott Bennett (Exeter City).

62:17

Alan Connell (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Exeter City. Eliot Richards replaces Sam Parkin.

60:00

Attempt missed. Matt Oakley (Exeter City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

59:22

Liam Sercombe (Exeter City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

59:22

Foul by Gregor Robertson (Northampton Town).

58:33

Attempt saved. Darren Carter (Northampton Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

57:43

Attempt missed. Ian Morris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

55:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Exeter City 0, Northampton Town 1. Ian Morris (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Chris Hackett.

53:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northampton Town. Alan Connell replaces John Marquis.

53:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northampton Town. Ian Morris replaces Brennan Dickenson.

50:29

Artur Krysiak (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

50:29

Foul by John Marquis (Northampton Town).

49:40

Foul by Matt Oakley (Exeter City).

49:40

Gary Deegan (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:26

Daniel Coles (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

46:26

Foul by Gary Deegan (Northampton Town).

45:00

Second Half begins Exeter City 0, Northampton Town 0.

45:00 +1:18 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Exeter City 0, Northampton Town 0.

43:28

Foul by Matt Grimes (Exeter City).

43:28

Chris Hackett (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:50

Attempt missed. Liam Sercombe (Exeter City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

42:34

Attempt blocked. Tom Nichols (Exeter City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

37:22

Attempt missed. Tom Nichols (Exeter City) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

36:54

Corner, Exeter City. Conceded by Gregor Robertson.

31:07

Attempt saved. Brennan Dickenson (Northampton Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

29:24

Corner, Northampton Town. Conceded by Artur Krysiak.

27:37

Foul by David Wheeler (Exeter City).

27:37

Brennan Dickenson (Northampton Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

27:03

Attempt missed. Emile Sinclair (Northampton Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

26:19

Foul by Tom Nichols (Exeter City).

26:19

Zander Diamond (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:55

Attempt blocked. Matt Oakley (Exeter City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

22:11

David Wheeler (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:11

Foul by Gregor Robertson (Northampton Town).

18:24

Daniel Coles (Exeter City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:24

Foul by John Marquis (Northampton Town).

16:42

Foul by David Wheeler (Exeter City).

16:42

Leon McSweeney (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:17

Foul by David Wheeler (Exeter City).

12:17

Zander Diamond (Northampton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

10:53

Corner, Exeter City. Conceded by Darren Carter.

10:24

Corner, Exeter City. Conceded by Leon McSweeney.

7:42

Attempt missed. David Wheeler (Exeter City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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