Northampton Town Under 18s ended their pre-season tour of the Netherlands with the short trip across the German border to face Bochum on Tuesday.
Reuben Wyatt scored the young Cobblers’ goal as they were defeated by their Bundesliga Under 19 opponents.
The hosts, who finished third in the top level of German youth football last season, started the contest well and raced into a two-goal lead.
They opened the scoring in the third minute when a low cross was turned home.
The advantage was doubled when a shot at the end of a slick passing move left James Dadge with no chance.
But the Cobblers grew into the game, Kai O’Keeffe testing the goalkeeper with a fierce strike and Wyatt’s spectacular 40-yard lob halving the deficit before the break.
The Cobblers youngsters threw everything at Bochum in the second half, but the hosts showed their class in the final 20 minutes to secure victory.
Northampton created a good opening before the hour, Wyatt slipping in Fin Amidi whose low shot was denied by the ‘keeper.
Then came a whole host of Bochum substitutions, and the fresh legs of a top tier side swung the match firmly in their favour.
However, Shane Goddard’s side were in the game for large periods and there are certainly positives to take from the outing.
The youth team return to competitive action a week on Saturday away to Bournemouth in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup southern section first round.
Cobblers: James Dadge, Brad Smith-Howes, Josh Tomlinson, Tom Cartwright, Ayo Lekuti, Dylan Hill, Jacob Scott, Reuben Wyatt, Kai O’Keeffe, Fin Amidi, Reece Irwin
Substitutes: Marcus Bald, Conor Thomas, Jamari Hart, Rico Duggan