Tranmere Rovers were condemned to away defeat on Saturday, as Northampton managed to thwart an attempted comeback from the SWA to earn a 3-2 win in a pulsating clash at the Sixfields.
The first real opening of the game went the way of Rovers just after the ten-minute mark, a snapshot from the lively McPake calling Liam Roberts into a save, with the former Walsall Keeper tipping over the crossbar.
Liam Roberts was called into action again shortly after as he thwarted an attempt from Callum McManaman.
McManaman was involved at the other end of the pitch as well and made an excellent block after Ross Doohan had parried a dangerous cross that had found its way into the box.
The hosts did take the lead shortly after, however, as Fraser Horsfall rose highest to fire a header from a Sam Hoskins delivery past a stranded Ross Doohan in the Rovers goal.
With Rovers now under the cosh, the hosts proved why they are also in the hunt for promotion, as they added a second just moments after their first. Horsfall the scorer once again in a similar fashion to the first, with a powerful header leaving Doohan rooted to the spot.
Rovers looked to start a comeback in the limited amount of time which remained in the first period, with Josh McPake once again in the thick of the action for the SWA, his half-volley was saved comfortably by Liam Roberts.
That would bring the first half to a close, with Rovers in control for sustained periods of it but behind due to a scintillating ten-minute spell from Northampton.
Rovers continued their search for a route back into the game after the restart, Kane Hemmings had the ball in the net for the SWA, but the referee ruled out the goal, citing a foul in the build-up.
Shortly after things went from bad to worse as Northampton added their third of the afternoon, Mitch Pinnock the scorer this time, latching onto a pass from Louis Appéré.
Rovers responded well to the Pinnock goal and got themselves on the scoresheet in the 74th minute, a first Tranmere goal for Josh McPake offering the SWA a glimmer of hope.
Keen to pile the pressure on Northampton, Rovers went forward once again and could have reduced the deficit to just a goal when Josh Dacres-Cogley tried his luck from range, his attempt, however, failed to hit the target.
Shortly after Paul Glatzel earned Rovers a penalty after drawing a foul from Paul Lewis in the box, Kane Hemmings converted the subsequent spot-kick, the unlikely comeback now very much on the cards.
Rovers searched desperately in the last few minutes to complete the comeback but were hindered by Northampton, who closed the game out to earn three points.
The SWA are next in action on Friday night as Mansfield Town make the trip to Prenton Park.
Tranmere team: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Clarke, Knight-Percival, McManaman (Hawkes 71'), Warrington (Foley 57'), O'Connor, Morris, McPake, Burton (Glatzel 57'), Hemmings