A great, solid display from The Bantams at Sixfields combined with an instinctive finish from Nahki Wells, was enough to hand Phil Parkinson's men their second win on their travels this season.
Town's young keeper Lee Nicholls almost gifted City the opening goal when he went to ground to gather the loose ball but Nahki Wells emerged with possession; he teed up Craig Forsyth for a shot which was blocked away for a corner kick.
After Garry Thompson had forced a corner with a dangerous cross, James Hanson headed down the resulting delivery and latched onto his own knock down to poke the ball towards goal, but his effort was blocked on the line.
City had started brightly, but Alex Nicholls came inches away from opening the scoring when he hit a firm, low shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area after Adebayo Akinfenwa had laid him off.
Craig Forsyth looked to get forward at every opportunity and on this occasion he was dispossessed around 30 yards from goal; Wells picked up the loose ball to fire a vicious, dipping shot narrowly over the bar.
Eight minutes into the second half City took the lead; a long ball forward was flicked on by James Hanson and Danny East inadvertently kept the ball moving forward, Wells had the sharpness to latch onto the bouncing, loose ball to stab the ball past Lee Nicholls.
On the 66th minutes James Hanson should've wrapped the game up with the next goal; Forsyth had the audacity to take on a 30 yards drive which could only be parried by Nicholls, and with the goal unguarded Hanson blazed the rebound well over the bar.
A minute later Wells was trying his luck again; with plenty of space to stretch his legs, he manoeuvred forward before hitting a low shot towards goal which was beaten away by Nicholls.
Ben Tozer's gigantic long throw was a threat all evening and after Andrew Davies had headed clear the initial delivery, former City loanee Louis Moult powered a header towards goal which McLaughlin had to be alert to, to back-pedal and push the ball over the bar.
Nahki Wells was causing no end of trouble for Northampton's defenders, and on this occasion he forced Kelvin Langmead into a weak back pass which he intercepted before cutting the ball back for Will Atkinson, but as the substitute closed in on goal the ball was put behind for a corner.
City looked too solid for the hosts on the night, particularly with Andrew Davies winning his personal battle with Cobblers' striker Adebayo Akinfenwa. A great three points were secured with Nahki Wells returning to Sixfields to wreak havoc once again.