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Reaction to the weekend's EFL Youth Alliance action

22 January 2023

Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard was pleased with his side despite their 2-1 defeat at home to Stevenage in the EFL Youth Alliance League South East on Saturday.

Jamari Hart scored the Cobblers’ goal as Goddard named a young squad that included eight Under 16s and three Football and Education Programme students.

The coach was proud of his side’s performance against a Stevenage side mainly made up of second year scholars.

“I’m really happy with what the boys produced and I have no complaints about the level of performance, dedication and attitude,” he said.

“There were times when we were flustered by the press and could have played a bit more, but there were also some really good moments.

“To be aggressive, assertive and on the front foot and to really take the game to a much older group who are aiming to finish near the top of the league is outstanding.

“We’ll continue to embed some more of the principles that drip down from first team level along with the academy philosophy, focussing on how we want the boys to play, what decisions they need to make and what we look like tactically.

“We’re at the phase of the season when all the second years have gone out on loan, results aren’t the be-all and end-all and it’s all about performances and learning about each other.

“We set a really good marker to start from today, and I’m really happy.”

The youth team travel to bottom-of-the-table Leyton Orient next week. The two sides played out a goalless draw in the Cobblers’ opening fixture of the league season

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