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Pre-season action at the PTS Academy Stadium on Tuesday afternoon

25 August 2020

The Cobblers’ pre-season preparations continued on Tuesday afternoon as they welcomed West Bromwich Albion under 23’s to the PTS Academy Stadium for a behind-closed-doors fixture.

The first chance for Keith Curle’s side came after 10 minutes, with Morgan Roberts winning a corner on the left. Samir Carruthers’ delivery found the on-rushing Fraser Horsfall at the back-post but he couldn’t quite turn the dangerous delivery on target.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman then had a chance for the visitors minutes later, cutting on to his left foot before curling wide of Steve Arnold’s post from 15 yards.

Trialist Antonio German then combined with fellow trialist Ricky Korboa on the edge of the box, German then working his way into the penalty area before seeing a shot blocked. Matt Warburton was then quickly denied on the rebound.

A well-worked move followed, starting and finishing with Roberts. The young winger broke forward before getting on the end of Chris Lines’ cross to the back-post, but his resulting header dropped just wide.

However, West Brom took the lead with a superb free-kick just before the break. Winger Tyrese Dyce curled into the top corner from 25 yards, and despite Arnold’s best efforts at full-stretch, the ball found the back of the net.

A host of changes were made for the Cobblers at the break, with Cian Bolger, Joseph Mills and Christopher Missilou among the players brought in to the action.

Another half-time substitute, Harry Smith, got the Cobblers level on 55 minutes. Ryan Watson had possession on the right side of the penalty area before curling in a cross for Smith to powerfully head home.

Northampton then took the lead on the hour-mark through a well-taken Joseph Mills goal. He combined with fellow wing-back Michael Harriman to convert a cross from the right side the box, seeing a first-time strike beat ‘keeper Anderson.

A minute later, the visitors were level at 2-2. Striker Owen Windsor took aim from just outside the penalty area, scoring with a well-struck curling effort.

Sam Hoskins came close to restoring the lead on 65 minutes following a drive to the by-line and cross by Watson, but he saw his first-time effort well saved by Anderson.

There was also a first-run out in Cobblers colours for defender Luka Racic, coming on for the final 20 minutes having joined on a season-long loan from Brentford last week.

Mitchell was called into a good save with ten minutes remaining, palming a powerful effort from Baggies forward Nicolas Clayton-Phillips over the bar. Cian Bolger then made an important block to deny a strike from the edge of the box.

A useful run out for both sides ended in a 2-2 draw, with the Cobblers’ next test coming this Saturday against Sky Bet Championship side Luton Town at the PTS Academy Stadium (KO 1.30pm), a match you can watch live on the club's YouTube channel.

Cobblers starting XI: Steve Arnold, Connor Johnson (trialist), Fraser Horsfall, Joe Martin, Ricky Korboa (trialist), Chris Lines, Samir Carruthers (trialist), Morgan Roberts, Matt Warburton, Antonio German (trialist), Ethan Johnston

Second half starting XI: Jonathan Mitchell, Michael Harriman, Fraser Horsfall, Cian Bolger, Joe Martin, Joseph Mills, Christopher Missilou, Ryan Watson, Sam Hoskins, Harry Smith, Ricky Korboa (trialist)

West Brom U23s: Anderson, White, Harmon, Taylor, Sharpe, Solanke, Gardner-Hickman, Brown, Windsor, Clayton-Phillips, Dyce
Subs: Delaney, Salah, Williams, Thorndike, King, Smith.

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