Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard was disappointed with his side’s 3-1 defeat away to Cambridge United in the EFL Youth Alliance South East on Saturday morning.
James Owen scored the young Cobblers’ goal as they suffered a defeat in their penultimate match of the regular season.
“Both halves were polar opposites of each other,” Goddard said.
“We controlled the first half and played some really good football.
“It triggered a bit of a reaction from them at the start of the second half, and the frustration is that we dropped our levels.
“You can be as good as you want between both boxes, but it’s in the boxes where it really counts.
“We weren’t clinical enough in attack, and we defended our own box pretty poorly.
“This is the first time this season we’ve come away thinking we weren’t good enough in the defensive third.
“We’re aiming to qualify for Merit League 1, and it’s out of our hands now.
“We have to bounce back next week and see where we finish afterwards.”
The youth team end the regular season at home to Milton Keynes Dons.