First-team members get minutes at Moulton College
A Northampton Town reserve side featuring David Cornell, Raheem Hanley, Aaron Phillips, Jak McCourt, and Emmanuel Sonupe were beaten 2-0 by Watford reserves on Tuesday afternoon at Moulton College.
The Cobblers started brightly and Joe Iaciofano was denied twice in the opening stages, firstly seeing a shot blocked on the edge of the box followed by a powerful effort being tipped over the bar. Shaun McWilliams then combined with Iaciofano and Sonupe on the right side but the dangerous cross into the box was cleared away.
Watford, who were managed by former Leeds United and Liverpool winger Harry Kewell, didn’t trouble the Cobblers back-line at all inside the opening 30 minutes as the Cobblers pressed well and forced the visitors into mistakes across the pitch.
Town then came close again on 35 minutes following a McWilliams volley from the edge of the box, but his left-footed effort fizzed just over the cross bar. He then won a free-kick on the left following a good burst forward which led to a free-kick. McCourt delivered the ball but Cobblers couldn’t quite convert following a goalmouth scramble.
Watford then had their first meaningful shot on goal on 43 minutes but an effort from 25 yards ran a yard wide of Cornell’s near-post as the sides went in level at the break.
Cornell was called into his first meaningful piece of action early in the second half after denying a Watford forward by getting down low and palming the ball away from his feet.
Watford improved as the second half went on and took the lead on the hour mark. A loose ball was picked up 25 yards out which was then played into the box and a low finish into the bottom right corner beat Cornell.
The Cobblers had the chance to go level almost immediately as Potter broke forward and played in Sonupe, but his powerful shot from a tight angle went over the bar. Phillips then headed over the bar from a corner and McCourt had a long-range strike saved as the Cobblers pressed for an equaliser.
But it was Watford who doubled their lead with 11 minutes to go after a neat finish from the edge of the box looped over Cornell and into the back of the net.
Town kept pressing to get back into the game and McWilliams combined with Phillips on the right to cross the ball to the back-post but it was just too high for Iaciofano to connect before the referee blew for full-time.