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EFL Youth Alliance action

30 January 2021

Northampton Town Under 18s drew 1-1 away to top-of-the-table Cambridge United in the EFL Youth Alliance League South East on Saturday.

Liam Cross scored the young Cobblers' goal on a cold morning at the Tristel Global Stadium, his seventh in the league.

Manager Jon Brady made four changes to the team that came from behind to beat Leyton Orient three weeks ago.

Charlie Woods, Max Dyche, Ethan Lack and Lewis Gilbert replaced Dylan Berry, Dylan Hill, Miguel Ngwa and Jack Connor in the starting lineup.

The Cobblers youngsters started brightly, as Cross was denied from close range before Peter Abimbola's deflected shot hit the post.

However, Cambridge took the lead on the half-hour mark when Woods saved a penalty but the rebound was converted.

Cross equalised seven minutes later, intercepting the ball and curling into the bottom corner as Cambridge tried to play out from the back.

Woods made two saves either side of the break to keep the scoreline level. He pushed a curling effort past the post before tipping a powerful shot over the bar.

After an hour, Cross forced the goalkeeper into a low save with a half-volley from 12 yards.

Cambridge hit the post from range with 10 minutes remaining, shortly before substitute Connor's low effort was palmed away to the goalkeeper's right.

Woods and Dyche combined to block a close range rebound after Cambridge hit the post from a tight angle late on, and the match ended level.

The youth team's draw with the league leaders means that they stay in fifth place, six points off top spot.

They make the long journey to Southend United next week in another top-of-the-table clash.

Starting XI - Woods (GK); Bailey (C), Dyche, Flanagan, Lashley; Lack, Scott (sub Ngwa, 69), Abimbola; Gilbert (sub Connor, 69), Cross, Curry (sub Watkins-Robinson, 80). Unused subs - Tomlinson, Hill.

Goal - Cross (1-1, 37).

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