The Northampton Town Football & Education side welcomed Berwick Rangers to Sixfields on Wednesday afternoon in their final National Football Youth League fixture of the season.
The Cobblers started an entertaining game on the front foot and were ahead within 10 minutes. Midfielder Brandon Williams was alert to win the ball near halfway before bursting forward and creating a chance on the left. The ball was then worked back to Charlie Green who finished confidently into the bottom corner from 15 yards.
The lead was then doubled midway inside the first-half through defender Aaron Pike. A low free-kick was delivered towards the near-post by Williams and after a couple of ricochets right-back Pike was on hand to convert the loose ball from close range.
The second goal seemed to provoke a response from Rangers and they completed an unlikely first-half comeback with two goals within 5 minutes. A through-ball seemed to catch the Cobblers unaware and a late run into the box by the Berwick striker went unchecked as he slotted calmly past keeper Thick to halve the lead. The equaliser then came moments later with a neat finish from the edge of the box by Berwick’s left-winger.
However, Northampton were back on top and re-took the lead 5 minutes before the break. Green’s dangerous cross was turned behind for a corner which was then met by the head of Sam Russell whose powerful header found the net from 8 yards.
The Cobblers restored their two goal lead straight after half-time following a superb finish by Mitch Clayson. The forward picked the ball up on the edge of the box and powered a low strike into the bottom corner to give Northampton some breathing space.
Williams was a thorn in the side of the Berwick defence all game and he almost extended the lead further. The attacker broke into the box and beat his man before going over in the box but the referee waved play on and Berwick eventually cleared.
The visitors worked hard in an attempt to get back into the game and a couple of substitutions gave them fresh energy but Thick remained largely untroubled in the Cobblers goal.
Williams drove forward again on the left and found space for a cross which was blocked away for a corner. He then received the ball back on the left and arrowed a strike towards the near-post but could only find the side-netting.
With Berwick struggling to create any further chances the Cobblers took the opportunity to bring on a number of substitutes to see the game out and ensure that the Northampton Town Football & Education programme ended the season with a victory, enjoying the opportunity to play on the Sixfields surface.