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Reaction to Tuesday's EFL Youth Alliance action

24 January 2023

Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard was pleased with elements of his side’ performance despite their 4-2 defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Youth Alliance League South East on Tuesday evening.

The young Cobblers opened the scoring in the first minute through Kenny Ndefo, but conceded four goals in quick succession just before the break.

The hosts improved in the second half and Reuben Wyatt pulled a goal back, but they were unable to salvage a result against their second-placed opponents.

Goddard assessed his team’s performance, saying: “We started really well and took the lead early on.

“I was pleased with how we played for the first 20 minutes because our intensity and pressing were causing them problems.

“Then we had a poor 15-minute spell during which we conceded four goals, and that put us on the back foot.

“There was another shift in momentum towards the end of the first half when we had a couple of openings and hit the post, and we created the clearer chances in the second half.

“We forced the ‘keeper into two saves from distance, and Kai O’Keeffe was really unlucky when he nearly caught him off his line.

“We pulled a goal back through another worldie strike from Reuben, but it was just a case of them taking their chances in the first half, and us not taking advantage of similar openings in the second.

“Even so, we were really competitive overall, pushed them all the way, and made them work hard for their win.

“Most of the second years will go back to their loan clubs on Saturday, so we’ll be looking for the younger players to build on the positives from their last two performances.”

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

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