Brentford's return to winning ways came with a convincing victory over Northampton, The Bees first at Sixfields. Both Brentford goals came in the first half, with a return to the kind of performances that gave The Bees a table topping lead earlier in the season.
The Bees started the brighter of the two, and Brentford's opening chance came as early as three minutes gone. Stephen Hunt raced down the wing but Vine's shot was simple enough for Lee Harper in the Cobblers goal. However - The Bees broke the deadlock four minutes later.
Following a foul on Stephen Hunt, Kevin O'Connor
's whipped a precision free kick into the area. Ibrahima Sonko was first to the ball, and his bullet header from five yards whistled past Harper to the delight of the 519 Bees fans behind the goal.
Northampton's first opening fell to Marco Gabbiadini in the seventeenth minute. Leo Roget mistimed his tackle near the half way line, and the Cobblers front man outpaced Sonko but Paul Smith came to Brentford's rescue with a superb save, pushing the ball away from point blank range.
It was another set piece that saw Northampton go further behind in the 25th minute. Paul Smith's free-kick was neatly flicked on by Mark McCammon, and Rowan Vine's shot (at the second attempt) trickled in off the post. Christian Hargreaves registered the Cobblers early intentions two minutes after the break, but his volley went over the Brentford bar. Moments later, Brentford's flowing football gave them another opportunity to increase their lead but Town goalkeeper Lee Harper tipped O'Connor's header away from a testing Anderson left wing cross.
In the 57th minutes Hargreaves thunderous shot was palmed away from Paul Smith as Northampton tried to claw their way back into the game.
Brentford continued their dominance with 25 minutes left, Kevin O'Connor
involved in both attacks. Mark McCammon found himself with just Harper to beat but hesitated and nearly lost possession. He managed to drag the ball back O'Connor but his shot was off target, as sixty seconds before he went close to making it three with a surging run into the penalty area.
With six minutes left, a deflection found Stephen Hunt with the goal at his mercy. The Irishman took the ball on the full, which Harper kept out brilliantly. Leon Constantine's follow up shot was placed wide of the post. In the dying moments Jamie Forrester scored a goal for Northampton, poking the ball past Smith to give The Bees some jitters in injury time.