Burton moved out of the relegation zone after surviving Northampton's second-half onslaught at Sixfields to triumph 3-2.
The Brewers looked to have had all three points in the bag after establishing a 3-0 lead in the first half but had to withstand Northampton's pressure to cling on for a valuable away victory.
Andy Corbett gave the visitors a 22nd-minute lead, turning in a low cross from Jacques Maghoma at the far post.
John McGrath doubled Burton's lead in the 37th minute with a cracking 25-yard volley and two minutes later Russell Penn's deep cross caught out Northampton keeper Chris Dunn who could only carry the ball over his own line.
John Johnson gave Northampton a glimmer of hope in first-half stoppage time, heading home a Michael Jacobs free-kick at the near post to set up a second-half comeback.
Andy Holt pulled another goal back in the 61st minute when he headed home a Josh Walker free-kick and substitute Billy McKay then saw his glancing header hit a post as Northampton sought the equaliser.
But Burton dug deep and managed to hold on to pick three crucial points.
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