Northampton Town Under 18s won 1-0 at home to Kettering Town in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday morning.
Josh Tomlinson scored the young Cobblers’ goal.
Neither team created any clear opportunities in a scrappy first half.
Miguel Ngwa’s early cross was diverted towards goal by a defender, but the goalkeeper made a save.
Midway through the first period, two Brad Smith-Howes free kicks were headed wide by Reece Irwin and Jack Connor respectively.
Soon after, the Poppies headed over from a deep corner.
Crosses from Courtney Lashley and Kai O’Keeffe both caused problems for the visitors’ defence before the break, but it remained goalless.
Five minutes after the interval, substitute goalkeeper Callum Cook held the Poppies’ best effort of the match, a driven long-range shot.
Ethan Lack’s 25-yard effort was palmed wide by the goalkeeper on the hour mark, and Ngwa volleyed wide from Courtney Lashley’s cross moments later.
The deadlock was finally broken with 20 minutes remaining when Tomlinson nodded home at the back post from an Ngwa corner, and it proved to be the winner.
The youth team host Leyton Orient in their opening EFL Youth Alliance League South East fixture next week.
Starting XI - Dadge (sub Cook, HT); Smith-Howes (sub Cartwright, HT), Tomlinson, Irwin (sub Sarpong, 64 mins), Lashley; Lack, Hill (sub Hart, 72 mins), Abimbola (sub Wyatt, 83 mins); O’Keeffe (sub Lekuti, 58 mins), Connor, Ngwa.
Goal - Tomlinson (1-0, 68 mins).
Assist - Ngwa (1-0, 68 mins).
Booking - Sarpong (foul).