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EFL Youth Alliance action

3 December 2022



EFL Youth Alliance action

3 December 2022

Northampton Town Under 18s returned to EFL Youth Alliance League South East action with a 2-2 draw at home to third-placed Gillingham on Saturday morning.

Rico Duggan and Josh Tomlinson scored the young Cobblers’ goals as they came from behind twice to earn a point on a cold morning at Moulton College.

Both sides’ first shots were tame efforts from the edge of the area, Duggan taking aim for the hosts.

The first real opportunity fell to Gillingham, the Cobblers surviving a number of efforts in quick succession.

Ronnie Sithole was denied by James Dadge one-on-one, Tomlinson blocked the forward’s follow-up on the line and Dadge held Harry Bridle’s shot from a tight angle.

The visitors broke the deadlock on the half-an-hour mark when Kai Garrett ran through on goal and slotted into the far corner past the Cobblers goalkeeper.

Northampton looked to respond before the break, as Jamari Hart’s drive from just outside the box was pushed wide by Tobey Smith.

The second half was more open than the first, with both teams creating more chances.

Gillingham came close to doubling their lead within a minute of the restart, Dadge tipping captain Jules Kuhr’s long-range strike over.

The Cobblers equalised in scrappy fashion soon after. Smith reached Duggan’s shot across goal, but the ball still hit the inside of the post and rolled across the line.

The visitors restored their advantage after the hour when Sian Skipper drove at the Northampton defence and found the top corner from 25 yards.

Kenny Ndefo almost brought the Cobblers level for a second time straight from kick-off, but his close-range flick from Hart’s cutback was saved by the outstretched arm of Smith.

Ndefo was in again with little under a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, but the Gills ‘keeper sprinted off his line and got a slight touch on the ball to deny the forward.

Just as time appeared to be running out for Northampton, Reuben Wyatt looped a wide free-kick into the area and Tomlinson’s header sneaked home at the far post.

The Cobblers’ second equaliser turned out to be the final action of the match, as both sides came away with a point.

The youth team host second-placed AFC Wimbledon next week.

Cobblers: James Dadge, Brad Smith-Howes (sub Will Ronald 80), Leo Jenkins, Josh Tomlinson, Ayo Lekuti, Reuben Wyatt, Rico Duggan (sub Harry Guess 76), Jacob Scott, Fin Amidi (sub Matty Ireland 76), Kenny Ndefo, Jamari Hart (sub Charlie Carroll 84)
Sub not used: Tom Ladyman

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