Seven home games have now produced just two draws for the Cobblers, but they created more than enough chances to send Colin Todd's side away empty-handed from this first meeting between these clubs for 24 years.
Only Ian Taylor will know how he failed to score the best chance of the match which arrived in only the third minute when the veteran midfielder was sent clear by Pedj Bojic's pass.
Instead of slipping the ball past the giant form of Donovan Ricketts, Taylor somehow screwed it horribly wide.
Ricketts made several excellent stops despite suffering a leg injury midway through the first half after dashing from his box and colliding with former Bradford player Eoin Jess.
Ricketts had already made a quality save to deny Andy Kirk in the 12th minute, when the striker cut inside and fired in a low shot and Ricketts repeated the dose from Jess five minutes before the break and although he couldn't hold on to the ball, Nathan Doyle hacked it clear.
City didn't create a single chance of note in the first half and although they stepped it up a little after the break, it was still the home side who came closest to breaking the deadlock.
City were a whisker away from leading in the 49th minute when skipper David Wetherall almost converted a flashing cross by Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, but Northampton responded with Jason Crowe testing Ricketts with an overhead kick before David Hunt struck the second of two fierce long-range drives which narrowly missed the target.
City had drawn a blank last week, while this was Northampton's third game on the trot without a goal and the visitors hinted at better to come when Steven Schumacher sidefooted a shot wide from the edge of the box after good approach work by the tricky Lee Holmes down the left.
The match had ten minutes of injury time, split between the two halves, so perhaps it wasn't surprising that City saved their best moment for the death when Holmes delivered a far-post cross and although Doyle got his head to the ball, Town keeper Lee Harper tipped it over.