The Northampton Town under 18s ended what has been a fantastic 2019 with a rare defeat as they were beaten 4-2 away at Cambridge United on Friday.
Ethan Johnston and Michael Harding scored the goals but coach Jon Brady said his side lacked their usual intensity.
"Cambridge deserved their win," he said.
"We were a little bit below the high standards we set ourselves and we can have no complaints.
"That said, it has been a fantastic 2019 for the under 18s, both collectively and individually, and there is lots to be positive about as we look forward to 2020."