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Reaction to Saturday's EFL Youth Alliance action

29 January 2023

Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard says there are lots of positives to take from his side’s 3-1 win away to Leyton Orient in the EFL Youth Alliance League South East on Saturday.

Tommy Curry scored a brace and Leo Jenkins netted the young Cobblers’ other goal as they secured all three points.

Goddard believes there are things for his players to work on, but is happy with the overall performance.

“We named another young squad today with a view to the future,” he said.

“The first 65 minutes were positive because we controlled large periods and created clear chances whilst limiting theirs.

“We were cruising and playing really well, and we had four or five openings to add a fourth goal.

“I think a little bit of inexperience crept in and we started trying to manage a game that didn’t need managing because we were winning 3-0.

“We were on top and if we kept doing what we were doing, we’d potentially get a fourth or a fifth.

“That little bit of naïvety gave them a route back into the game, and it’s a frustrating goal to concede because they didn’t create a lot of chances and our lack of focus in that moment gave them it.

“However, we finished strongly and there were lots of positives to take.

“There were really good periods of play, we made lots of entries into the final third and scored three quality goals.

“I’m also over the moon for Tommy after the year he’s had, getting two goals on his first start in the best part of 12 months.

“He’s shown real resilience, and that’s something the younger lads can learn from.

“On the whole, the young lads did well and things are looking positive moving forwards as we further embed our principles.

“I’m really excited to see what they become.”

The youth team host Sutton United next week. The two sides played-out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture, Kai O’Keeffe bagging a brace and Josh Tomlinson netting the Cobblers’ other goal.

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