Rob Page made a victorious return to Vale Park as goals from Ryan Taylor and Rigino Cicilia proved to be in vain.
Manager Bruno Ribeiro named an unchanged line-up for the game but it was the visitors who arguably had the stronger start.
Vale threatened through Alex Jones and a Ryan Taylor free-kick but it was Northampton who took the lead when Gabriel Zakuani was unchallenged at a corner-kick and headed home. Vale then forced a succession of corners but were also grateful to Jak Alnwick for some crucial saves as the visitors continued to look dangerous.
Rob Page’s side should have doubled their lead early in the second-half but Remie Streete did well to block the former Vale striker.
Minutes later, Vale drew level when Ryan Taylor’s third goal of the season. Taylor initially mis-kicked but recovered to lash the ball into the net on 50 minutes. The goal spurred the Valiants into life and Kiko went close with an effort.
Bruno Ribeiro then brought on Gezim Shalaj for Sam Kelly but it was the visitors who threatened when Alex Revell missed a good chance and then Jak Alnwick produced two important saves to deny Marc Richards. However, with fifteen minutes to go the away side did take a chance as Sam Hoskins scored from a left-footed shot.
In the dying moments, a break away move proved decision as Anderson sealed the win for the visitors after Jak Alnwick had pulled off a couple of good saves from Marc Richards. The Vale keeper was arguably the best player on the home side during what was turning out to be a hugely disappointing performance.
There was a late consolation goal for Rigino Cicilia to narrow the gap to just one goal but it proved to be too little, too late as Vale duly recorded a disappointing home league defeat after last weekend’s cup success.
The result moves Rob Page’s side above Port Vale and will raise more questions about Bruno Ribeiro’s management – particularly the insistence on one upfront and zonal marking at the back.
Attendance: 4,379 (451 away)