Northampton Town Under 18s won 3-2 away to Brentford in the EFL Youth Alliance South East on Saturday morning.
James Owen and Charlie Carroll both got on the scoresheet whilst a defender scored an own goal as the young Cobblers began the New Year with a victory in a fixture that was reversed due to a waterlogged pitch at home.
Coach Shane Goddard made three changes to the team that drew away to the same opposition in early December, as Matthew Ireland, Archie Murray and Carroll replaced Reuben Wyatt, Jacob Scott and Aleks Jevterevs in the starting line up.
The visitors started well and opened the scoring early on when Owen steered a powerful header into the bottom corner from Josh Rayfield’s whipped cross at the end of a fast-paced passing move.
The Cobblers continued to push forward and threatened again on the quarter-of-an-hour mark as Murray came inches from reaching Ireland’s deflected cross before Marley Tavaziva, who managed to punch clear.
The speed of the game began to decline, allowing the hosts to grow into the contest. Their best chance of the first half fell five minutes before the break, Marcus Bald reacting quickly to beat away Chanse Headman’s header from Remy Bennison’s deep corner.
Leo Jenkins had a similar opportunity at the other end on the stroke of half-time, but Tavaziva held his far-post header from Owen’s inswinging set-piece.
Tavaziva was involved as the Cobblers doubled their lead on the hour, Gregory Asemokhai misjudging his defensive pass and rolling the ball past the ‘keeper and into his own net.
Bald stood strong to deny Marco Haigh’s close-range drive after the ball dropped to the Brentford substitute at the back stick, and the visitors extended their advantage less than two minutes later.
Jamari Hart put pressure on Asemokhai in the area, and Carroll squeezed a low strike home from a tight angle having ran onto the loose ball.
The hosts netted two scrappy goals either side of the 90-minute mark, but the Cobblers were able to hold on to secure all three points.
The youth team travel to Stevenage next week. Josh Tomlinson and Harry Guess both scored as the Cobblers won the reverse fixture 2-0 in September.
Cobblers: Marcus Bald, Josh Rayfield, Kiantay Licorish-Mullings, Tom Cartwright, Leo Jenkins, Matthew Ireland, Archie Murray, James Owen, Harry Guess, Jamari Hart, Charlie Carroll
Substitutes: Elliot Smith, Jozef Baxter, Freddie Findlay, Ollie Evans, Aleks Jevterevs