Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard was pleased after his side won 2-1 away to Luton Town in the EFL Youth Alliance South East on Saturday morning.
Neo Dobson and Jamari Hart scored the young Cobblers’ goals as they defeated the side that finished top of both the regular season and Merit League One tables last season.
“The game had everything from start to finish,” Goddard said.
“We started really brightly and showed that we can compete with anybody in the league.
“We wanted to show that we can play on the front foot and have quality in a group that works relentlessly hard.
“We deserved to be in the lead, felt hard done by after their goal and had to dig in after losing a player.
“We also deserved the second goal, and the game lit up after that.
“Our discipline, understanding and individual quality meant that we were good for the three points.
“It’s a massive step forward for us because this is a really tough place to come to, and they’ve had the better of us over the last few years.
“We have to go again and maintain our quality and consistency.”
Marcus Bald returned from injury to make his first competitive appearance of the season, replacing Stevie Bausor in the starting line up. Bausor had been recalled by his parent club, Leicester City, earlier in the week.
“The lads were excellent today and we really put a shift in,” goalkeeper Bald added.
“We dealt with them really well, got on top and managed to hold on.
“I’m buzzing to be back in the team and I feel like I’m ready to push on from here.”
The youth team host Bristol Rovers in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup southern section second round in a fortnight. Leo Jenkins and Dobson scored the Cobblers’ goals in a 2-1 win when the sides met in Merit League Two last season.