Northampton Town Under 18s drew 2-2 away to Brentford in the EFL Youth Alliance South East on Friday.
Harry Guess and Charlie Carroll scored the young Cobblers’ goals as they earned a point on a freezing evening in West London.
Coach Shane Goddard made three changes to the team that played against Bugbrooke St. Michaels in the Northamptonshire FA David Joyce Cup second round last week, as Reuben Wyatt, Guess and Aleks Jevterevs replaced Matty Ireland, Neo Dobson and Charlie Carroll in the starting line up.
Brentford created an early chance as Marcus Bald made a low save from Remy Bennison’s shot across goal.
The Cobblers seized control of the contest and forced two opportunities of their own before the half-an-hour mark, Guess having a half-volley pounced on by Evan Anderson and Wyatt placing wide of the far post from a tight angle.
The visitors opened the scoring a few minutes later, Guess running onto James Owen’s through ball and smashing into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Brentford responded before the break with Josh Djoro heading Bennison’s cross over from close range.
They equalised on the stroke of half-time when Emeka Peters tapped in a low ball across goal at the back post.
The hosts came inches from taking the lead shortly after the interval, Kerron Samuels stabbing a mis-hit corner over at the near post.
The Cobblers almost restored their advantage on the hour when Josh Rayfield tackled ‘keeper Anderson in his box but fell onto the ball, preventing Carroll from finishing into the open goal.
The half-time substitute was able to get on the scoresheet going into the final 20 minutes, converting Guess’ low cross at the back stick.
Momentum was with the visitors, and another free-flowing passing move led to a chance for Owen a few minutes later. The midfielder side-footed narrowly wide across the face of goal.
Wyatt sprinted onto a loose defensive pass and had a first-time strike from long range clawed off the line by the recovering Anderson as the Cobblers continued to push forward soon after.
Brentford drew level against the run of play late on as a wide free-kick was flicked home by a near-post runner.
There was still time for one more Cobblers opportunity, Carroll controlling Wyatt’s cross in the middle before being denied by the onrushing Anderson.
The youth team travel to Leyton Orient in their next EFL Youth Alliance South East fixture a week on Saturday. Captain Jacob Scott, Neo Dobson and Jamari Hart scored as the Cobblers won 3-0 in the reverse fixture.
Cobblers: Marcus Bald, Josh Rayfield, Kiantay Licorish-Mullings, Tom Cartwright, Leo Jenkins, Jamari Hart, Reuben Wyatt, James Owen, Jacob Scott, Harry Guess, Aleks Jevterevs
Substitutes: Elliot Smith, Jozef Baxter, Gabriel Badero, Daniel Collin-Kolawole, Charlie Carroll