Northampton Town Under 18s were knocked out of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup Southern Section Second Round as they lost 2-1 to Cambridge United at Moulton College on Wednesday afternoon.
Goals at the start of each half condemned the Cobblers to their second consecutive defeat in all competitions following their 1-0 league loss away to AFC Wimbledon at the weekend.
The conditions were cold, wet and windy, and Cambridge took the lead less than two minutes in when a cut back was coolly finished.
Kieran Watkins-Robinson flashed a cross-shot just over a few minutes later as the Cobblers looked to respond.
Soon after, Tommy Curry ran down the left and his cross was blocked – handball appeals were waved away.
The Cobblers were back on level terms after half-an-hour thanks to their captain, Tom Scott. Curry beat his man on the left wing and clipped in an excellent ball from which the skipper nodded home.
The lively Curry was involved again just before the break, dribbling past two men before his cross was cleared to Scott, whose volley was inadvertently blocked by Lewis Gilbert.
Penalty claims in the aftermath were ignored.
Gilbert had a fantastic opportunity to put the Cobblers ahead at the start of the second half, firing over after being played through by Watkins-Robinson.
Cambridge made the most of this let-off, regaining the lead moments later when a cross from the right was hooked in at the back post.
On the hour mark, Courtney Lashley swung in a great ball, but Jack Connor headed straight at the goalkeeper from six yards.
With ten minutes remaining, goalscorer Scott fired a free kick from the edge of the box into the keeper’s arms as time began to run out in the Cobblers’ search for an equaliser.
Cambridge withstood heavy pressure late on to progress to the next stage of the competition.
Lineup – Berry (GK); Cross, Dyche, Flanagan, Lashley; Watkins-Robinson (Sub Ndefo, 62’), Abimbola, Scott (C), Curry; Gilbert, Connor (Sub Ngwa, 78’). Unused Subs – Dadge (GK), Hill, Lack.
Goal – Scott (1-1, 33’).
Assist – Curry (1-1, 33’).
Booking – Lashley (Foul).