The Northampton Town U18s scored their first goals of the EFL Youth Alliance League season as they secured a 3-0 win over Leyton Orient at Moulton College on Saturday morning.
The goals came from Lewis Gilbert, an own goal and Jack Connor in a convincing victory for Jon Brady’s side.
The first real chance of the game came 10 minutes in, when an in-swinging Liam Cross corner was cleared off the line. The ball was played back to the midfielder, who found Max Dyche at the back post, but his volley on the stretch went wide.
On the quarter-of-an-hour mark, Peter Abimbola’s scuffed shot was dropped by the goalkeeper and cleared off the line, moments before the Cobblers won a penalty for handball. Captain Tom Scott saw his spot-kick saved.
Five minutes later, Ethan Lack played a great pass down the line to Lewis Gilbert. He found Eddie Panter with a dangerous low cross, but the striker was blocked off by a defender and was unable to reach the ball to tap-in.
The ball then dropped to Peter Abimbola from a Liam Cross corner, but he half-volleyed just wide from the edge of the area after half-an-hour.
On the stroke of half-time, Dylan Berry saved a shot from 18 yards with his feet, before making a fantastic diving save moments later as Orient ran through on goal.
The visitors had the first chance of the second half, a curling effort from 20 yards that narrowly beat the far post.
A few minutes later, Peter Abimbola played a great cross-field ball to Lewis Gilbert, whose touch was excellent, but his finish was straight at the substitute goalkeeper.
On the hour mark, the pair linked up again as the Cobblers took a deserved lead. Abimbola went on a great run from his own half, teeing up Gilbert in the area, who found the bottom corner with a left-footed effort.
Moments later, Tom Scott saw his shot cleared off the line before Orient failed to convert a goalmouth scramble.
With 20 minutes left, Orient pounced on a loose ball and ran through on goal, but Ethan Lack made a good last-ditch tackle and Dylan Berry claimed the ball.
Tommy Curry forced the goalkeeper into a smart one-handed save with a strong left-footed shot from 15 yards, before the turning point came with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Dylan Berry made a wonderful save from a strike from the edge of the area, before pouncing on the scuffed rebound from six yards. It was a great chance for an equaliser which should have been taken, but Berry reacted brilliantly to deny a near-certain goal.
Three minutes later, the Cobblers made their opponents pay for their missed opportunity when an Orient defender miskicked substitute Courtney Lashley’s cross into his own net, doubling the lead.
The Cobblers’ first win of the campaign was wrapped-up soon after when Jack Connor flicked a deep cross to Tommy Curry, and his return was tapped in by the substitute striker.
The team host Gillingham next week, looking to build on their first goals and first three points of the season.
Lineup - Berry (GK); Lack, Flanagan, Dyche, Leigh (Sub Lashley, 67 mins); Cross, Scott (C), Abimbola, Hill (Sub Curry, 67 mins); Gilbert, Panter (Sub Connor, 58 mins). Unused Subs - Woods (GK), Clark.
Goals - Gilbert (1-0, 58 mins), Own Goal (2-0, 77 mins), Connor (3-0, 80 mins).
Assists - Abimbola (1-0, 58 mins), Lashley (2-0, 77 mins), Curry (3-0, 80 mins).
Booking - Flanagan (dissent).