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Academy

YOUTH TEAM NARROWLY LOSE TO GILLINGHAM

EFL Youth Alliance action

11 November 2023

Academy

YOUTH TEAM NARROWLY LOSE TO GILLINGHAM

EFL Youth Alliance action

11 November 2023

Northampton Town Under 18s lost 2-1 away to Gillingham in the EFL Youth Alliance South East on Saturday morning.

Leo Jenkins scored the young Cobblers’ goal as they returned to league action with a defeat.

Coach Shane Goddard made five changes to the side that progressed to the FA Youth Cup second round proper with a win away to Mickleover last week.

Kiantay Licorish-Mullings, Freddie Findlay, Daniel Collin-Kolawole, Charlie Carroll and Aleks Jevterevs replaced Josh Tomlinson, Matty Ireland, Jacob Scott, James Owen and Jamari Hart in the starting line up.

Both sides created early opportunities, Gillingham threatening twice in the opening five minutes with Kai Garrett forcing Marcus Bald into a low save at his hear post and Dami Taiwo-Pratt hitting the base of the upright with a header from the resulting corner.

The Cobblers responded soon after as Findlay’s drive from the edge of the box was beaten away by Tobey Smith and Harry Guess’ follow-up deflected off a defender and hit the underside of the crossbar.

Carroll’s half-volley from the edge of the area was held by Smith midway through the first half and the ‘keeper tipped the forward’s strike from a tight angle wide as it travelled towards the top corner 10 minutes before the break.

The two chances came either side of the hosts’ opening goal. Garrett ran onto Alfie Humphrey’s long ball, rounded Bald and cut back to Jimmy Heasman, who found the back of the net from the penalty spot.

Gillingham controlled the beginning of the second period and came close on numerous occasions, but the Cobblers equalised on the hour mark when Jenkins headed substitute Owen’s inswinging corner home from inside the six yard box.

Josh Bayliss hit the inside of the post with a curled effort from the edge of the box and Bald denied Heasman’s close-range rebound as the hosts looked to restore their lead going into the final quarter-of-an-hour.

They did just that within a minute when the Cobblers were penalised for a handball in the area and Garrett rolled the resulting spot-kick into the bottom right corner.

Guess had a powerful strike tipped over by Smith and Tom Cartwright’s left-footed shot at the end of a mazy dribble was held by the ‘keeper as the visitors searched for a late leveller, but they were unable to find a second goal as they fell to a narrow loss.

The youth team host EFL Youth Alliance North East side Harrogate Town in the FA Youth Cup second round proper on Thursday evening.

Kick-off at Sixfields Stadium is at 7pm. Tickets are priced at £5 for adults and senior citizens and £2 for under 18s, and they are available from ntfcdirect.co.uk and the ticket office.

Cobblers: Marcus Bald, Tom Cartwright, Leo Jenkins, Kiantay Licorish-Mullings, Freddie Findlay, Daniel Collin-Kolawole, Reuben Wyatt, Harry Guess, Josh Rayfield, Charlie Carroll, Aleks Jevterevs

Substitutes: Elliot Smith, Matty Ireland, James Owen, Jamari Hart, Joziah Barnett


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