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A report on Saturday's EFL Youth Alliance action

28 October 2023



A report on Saturday's EFL Youth Alliance action

28 October 2023

Northampton Town Under 18s were beaten at home to Cambridge United in the EFL Youth Alliance South East on Saturday morning.

Reuben Wyatt scored the young Cobblers’ goal.

Coach Shane Goddard made two changes to the side that lost away to Sutton United a fortnight ago, as Tom Cartwright and Charlie Carroll replaced Kiantay Licorish-Mullings and Harry Guess in the starting line up.

Both sides created opportunities in an even first half, the visitors threatening early on when Amaru Kaunda cut inside and had a shot beaten away by Marcus Bald and the hosts responding a few minutes later as Wyatt took a touch before firing over from the edge of the box.

The Cobblers continued to force half-chances before the quarter-of-an-hour mark, Jamari Hart having an effort pushed away by Jasper Briggs and smashing another over. The ‘keeper also held James Owen’s stab towards goal.

The hosts came closest to opening the scoring midway through the opening period when Carroll drilled across the face of goal but Ty Ewens-Findley managed to turn the ball over his own bar from close range.

Cambridge ended the half in the ascendency, with Josh Rayfield blocking George Hoddle’s goal-bound half-volley from Harry Dawson’s deep cross and Ronan Ismaili driving off target from Kaunda’s knock-down.

The Cobblers regained control shortly after the restart, Owen having a side-footed effort from Carroll’s lay-off blocked and captain Jacob Scott sending the first-time follow-up wide.

Both teams created within moments of each other on the hour, Hart playing a one-two with Matty Ireland before whipping in a cross which Scott came inches from reaching on the penalty spot and Randy Bulakio dribbling into the area and shooting across goal from a tight angle at the other end.

The hosts had an opportunity to open the scoring five minutes later when Ireland’s cross struck an outstretched arm and the referee awarded a penalty. Wyatt stepped up and placed the spot-kick to Briggs’ left.

However, Kaunda headed across goal and into the far corner to equalise soon after and lifted a shot into the side-netting almost straight from kick-off to score a quick-fire brace and turn the game on its head.

Wyatt curled a 25-yard free-kick towards the top corner as the Cobblers pushed for a leveller going into the final quarter-of-an-hour, but his attempt flew narrowly wide.

Cambridge were still creating chances on the break, and Bald made a one-handed save before recovering to tip the powerful follow-up over to keep his side in the contest late on.

The ‘keeper dived to his right to save Ismaili’s penalty in added time, but he was unable to prevent substitute George Munday from smashing the rebound into the roof of the net.

Another sub, Mo Habib, fired across goal and into the bottom corner to round-off a counter-attack and secure his team’s victory soon after.

The youth team travel to Mickleover in the FA Youth Cup first round proper on Thursday evening.

Cobblers: Marcus Bald, Josh Rayfield, Leo Jenkins, Tom Cartwright, Matty Ireland, Jamari Hart, Reuben Wyatt, James Owen, Jacob Scott, Charlie Carroll, Aleks Jevterevs
Substitutes: Elliot Smith, Kiantay Licorish-Mullings, Harry Guess, Daniel Collin-Kolawole, Joziah Barnett

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