Ethan Johnston scored a hat trick as the Northampton Town Under 18s tightened their grip at the top of the EFL Youth Alliance South East Division with a convincing 7-2 win over Leyton Orient Under 18s at Moulton College on Saturday.
The Cobblers made a rapid start to the match as a wonder goal from Michael Harding put them in the lead early on – the forward cut in from the left and curled into the top right corner from the edge of the box.
Ten minutes later it was 2-0, after Ryan Smith played through Ethan Johnston who poked over O’s goalkeeper Rhys Byrne.
Lawrence Hammond scored a free front post header from a corner moments later to get a goal back for Leyton Orient. but after half an hour, Ethan Johnston found space in the box and unleashed a left footed strike into the top left corner, scoring his second and Northampton’s third.
Cobblers captain Haydn Price dribbled through midfield and his low shot from the edge of the area found the bottom left corner five minutes later.
Northampton led 4-1 at half time, a deserved scoreline after their domination and control of the first half.
Two minutes into the second half, Evan Clarke dribbled through middle and his strike from outside the box found the top left, making it five for the Cobblers.
Ethan Johnston scored his hat trick and Northampton’s sixth, sweeping in from a Clarke low cross soon after.
With twenty minutes to go, Johnston had a chance to score his fourth of the game – a penalty was given when May Dyche’s shirt was pulled, so much so that it was ripped in the process, however the forward’s penalty was tame and saved low to Rhys Byrne’s left.
Alex Solomon tapped in for the O’s after a defensive mix up moments later, a rare lapse of concentration from the Cobblers while at the other end, with a quarter of an hour remaining, Ethan Johnston tapped in from six yards, however the goal was disallowed for offside.
In the dying moments of the game, a Liam Cross free kick from fourteen yards found the top left corner, rounding up a resounding 7-2 victory for the hosts.
Northampton travel to Milton Keynes Dons next Saturday full of confidence, with the two sides being at complete opposite ends of the group, and the Cobblers having played very well this week.
Northampton: Patching (Sub Berry, 68 mins), Bailey (Sub Bates, 68 mins), Ballinger, Price (Sub Scott, 62 mins), Dyche, Fowler, Smith, Cross, Johnston (Sub Curry, 78 mins), Clarke, Harding (Sub Gilbert, 62 mins).
Leyton Orient: Byrne, Marfo, Bonne (Sub Frempong, 76 mins), Papadopoulos (Sub Ifeanyi, 76 mins), Solomon, Francois-Vernal, Sivi, McClenaghan, Hammond, Lovett (Sub Young, 76 mins), Adeyemi. Unused Subs: Pegrum, Campbell.