EFL YOUTH ALLIANCE LEAGUE
Saturday September 18th, 10.30am
NORTHAMPTON TOWN UNDER 18s 0
GILLINGHAM UNDER 18s 2
Bailey Akehurst 53
Joseph Grode 90
Cobblers: James Dadge, Dylan Hill, Reece Irwin, Miguel Ngwa (sub Kieran Watkins-Robinson 46 (sub Jai Newell-Hollely 85)), Peter Abimbola, Jack Connor, Tommy Curry (sub Courtney Lashley 54), Ayo Lekuti, Kai O’Keeffe, Josh Tomlinson, Tom Cartwright (sub Josh Brown 65)
Sub not used: Callum Cook
Gillingham: Tom Crump, Harvey Lintott, Bailey Akehurst, Julien Kuhr, Freddie Carter, Alex Giles, Matt McCarthur, Ethan Smith, Joseph Grode, Kai Garett (sub Chucks Uzor-Greey 81), Ronald Sitole
Subs not used: Toby Smith, Dammi Taiwo Pratt, Will De Wilde, Archie Hatcher
Cobblers: Kai O’Keeffe (43), Reece Irwin (90)
Gillingham: Kai Garett (59), Ethan Smith (90)
Cobblers: Ayo Lekuti (53)
Northampton Town Under 18s lost 2-0 at home to Gillingham in the EFL Youth Alliance League on Saturday.
Coach Shane Goddard made six changes to the team that lost to AFC Wimbledon last week, including a late enforced switch as Kenny Ndefo was replaced by Tommy Curry.
Gillingham created more opportunities and limited the young Cobblers to very few chances throughout.
Julien Kuhr headed Ronald Sithole’s cross wide from close range before Sithole cut inside and saw his shot from the edge of the area deflect wide midway through the first half.
Ethan Smith was not able to capitalise on Freddie Carter’s flick on at the back post five minutes before the break.
Gillingham made the breakthrough 10 minutes into the second period when captain Bailey Akehurst converted from the penalty spot after Ayo Lekuti was adjudged to have blocked a header on the line with his arm and was sent off.
Smith shot wide from the edge of the box before Cobblers’ goalkeeper James Dadge dived low to his left to tip his effort on the turn past the post with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Joseph Grode fired wide from long range twice and Sithole flashed an effort across goal late on.
The Cobblers’ youngsters’ best opportunity came with one minute of normal time to go when Kai O’Keeffe’s cross was punched away by Tom Crump with Jack Connor ready to head home.
Gillingham doubled their lead in injury time when Grode dribbled towards goal and slotted into the bottom corner from close range.
The youth team travel to Swindon Town in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup second round next week.