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University of Northampton student James Wiles watches the Cobblers youngsters go top

27 October 2019

Northampton Town reclaimed top spot in EFL Youth Alliance South East Division, comfortably defeating the previous leaders Peterborough United 5-1 on Saturday morning.

The Cobblers took the lead early on, as Caleb Chukwuemeka ran in behind on the right, putting in a low cross that went in off the sliding defender.

After half an hour, a Posh attacker volleyed into the net after a short corner, but he was ruled offside.

Five minutes later, a Liam Cross free kick from the right found its way to Michael Harding at the back post, before the striker shifted the ball on to his left foot and fired in off the bar to double Northampton’s lead.

Cross later had a header cleared off the line at the front post from a corner, and Ethan Johnston fired a volley over the bar from eight yards, after being found by Caleb Chukwuemeka.

On the stroke of half time, Richie Bailey brought down a Peterborough attacker in the area, and the resulting penalty was converted into the top left corner, reducing the Cobblers’ lead to 2-1 at the break.

Thirty seconds into the second half, Michael Harding played through Caleb Chukwuemeka on the left, and the strikers’ low cross was tapped in by Ethan Johnston at the back post, making the score 3-1 to the home side.

Soon after, Jacob Ballinger brilliantly curled a cross from the left, from which Ethan Johnston volleyed wide.

Moments later, the two linked up again when the left back crossed low, finding the striker who chipped over the goalkeeper, but on to the bar.

On the hour mark, the Cobblers scored a fourth after Ethan Johnston’s backheel from just inside the box rolled over the line off a Posh defender, who had handled the ball to try to prevent the goal.

Johnston was again involved from kick off, unsettling the goalkeeper, who dropped a high ball at the feet of Caleb Chukwuemeka, whose side footed shot was blocked on the line.

With five minutes to go, Jacob Ballinger was played in on the left before being taken down in the area, which allowed captain Haydn Price to step up and slot his penalty into the net, making the final score 5-1 to the Cobblers.

On Wednesday night, Northampton Town take on Colchester United in the first round of the FA Youth Cup at the PTS Academy Stadium, hoping to build on their victory over the Posh.

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