Northampton Town Under 18s lost 5-3 to Stevenage in the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League on Saturday.
Max Dyche, Josh Flanagan and Miguel Ngwa scored the young Cobblers’ goals on a wet morning at the Lamex Stadium.
Lead Youth Development Phase Coach Shane Goddard (pictured) made four changes to the team that beat Peterborough United a fortnight ago.
Reece Irwin, Dylan Hill, Kieran Watkins-Robinson and Jack Connor replaced Brad Smith-Howes, Liam Cross, Kai O’Keeffe and Kenny Ndefo in the line up.
The Cobblers youngsters made a slow start, and their opponents were four goals ahead after 22 minutes.
A 25-yard free-kick was curled into the bottom corner early on.
The advantage was doubled five minutes later, moments before a third was added.
A low cross was swept in from the penalty spot 10 minutes later.
Shortly before half-time, Dyche pulled a goal back, finishing at the back post from Watkins-Robinson’s wide free-kick.
Ethan Lack played Ngwa in down the left 10 minutes into the second-half. His whipped cross was bundled home by Flanagan.
On the hour mark, Ngwa reduced the defecit to one, cutting in from the left and smashing the ball in at the near post.
However, Stevenage halted the Cobblers’ comeback with 20 minutes remaining. A through ball was poked past James Dadge and into the back of the net despite Courtney Lashley’s slide on the line.
The youth team remain in second place. They travel to Cambridge United in the final fixture of their season next week.
Starting XI - Dadge (GK); Hill, Irwin (sub Tomlinson, 74), Dyche (C), Lashley (sub Hart, 74); Lack, Flanagan, Abimbola; Watkins-Robinson (sub Curry, 83), Connor, Ngwa. Unused subs - Luketi, Wyatt.
Goals - Dyche (4-1, 42), Flanagan (4-2, 54), Ngwa (4-3, 60)
Assists - Watkins-Robinson (4-1, 42), Ngwa (4-2, 54)