Northampton Town Under 18s lost 2-0 at home to Stevenage in the EFL Youth Alliance League South East on Saturday morning.
Coach Shane Goddard made three changes to the team that lost to Sutton United a fortnight ago.
Charlie Woods, Kai O’Keeffe and Tommy Curry replaced James Dadge, Ethan Lack and Kieran Watkins-Robinson in the line up.
The first half was a physical battle with Boro coming out on top and the young Cobblers unable to create any clear opportunities.
Stevenage opened the scoring early on, Harry Gilzean volleying home Theo Alexandrou’s floated cross at the back post.
Woods dived to his left to deny Finlay Johnson’s low shot as the visitors looked to double their lead before the break.
The Cobblers’ youngsters only real chance came on the hour mark when captain Peter Abimbola shot wide from the edge of the area after O’Keeffe’s in-swinging corner almost caught out goalkeeper Alex Aitken at the near post.
Stevenage double their advantage five minutes later when skipper Sam Dreher nodded in from Jake Watkiss’ corner.
Boro saw out the rest of the game and almost added a third, Johnson flicking Sam Tinubu’s cross over before being denied by Woods and the crossbar in a goalmouth scramble.
The youth team travel to MK Dons next week. Jack Connor scored four goals in a 6-1 win when the sides last met.
Cobblers - Woods (GK); Smith-Howes, Irwin (sub Sarpong, 71 mins), Tomlinson, Lashley; Hill, Ngwa, Abimbola (sub Duggan, 66 mins); O’Keeffe, Connor (sub Ndefo, 71 mins), Curry (sub Lekuti, 71 mins). Unused sub - Dadge (GK).
Stevenage - Aitken (GK); Gilzean (sub Giroud, 60 mins), Dreher (C), Mahoney, Tinubu; Watkiss (sub Onyeagwara, 71 mins), Keller, Middleton, Lynn (sub Lynn, 88 mins); Johnson, Alexandrou. Unused subs - Champness, Edgeworth.
Goals - Gilzean (0-1, 10 mins), Dreher (0-2, 66 mins).
Bookings - Middleton, Curry (both fouls).