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15 October 2012

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Town and Cobblers draw blank

The Hatters Under-18s entertained Northampton Town for the second time in three weeks - this time in the league cup competition - and the result was the same as in the league match previously as the sides played out an entertaining goalless draw. 
With the final qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup coming up on Wednesday, manager Paul Driver took the chance to give match time to three Under-16s who will make up part of the squad. Lee Hawkes came into the starting line-up at left back as Jerome Jibodu joined Tinashe Chabata in central defence.  Darill Ngwala and Luke Trottman were on the bench and joined the fray for the seond half.
Despite both sides producing some good build up play and a number of good passing moves, first half chances were at a minimum.
The best of the Hatters play came when the impressive Jordan Davis was involved in the build up and the closest the Town came was when a Davis cross found Jemale McKenzie-Lowe in the box, but a great block by the Northampton defender denied the striker the opener.  A Charlie Smith corner was then cleared to Jibodu on edge of the box but his strike went straight at the visiting goalkeeper.     
The Hatters started the second half very brightly and created a number of good chances in the first 10 minutes after the restart but a Zane Banton shot and two efforts from Smith - one a great strike from 30 yards - couldn't open the scoring.  A 64th-minute corner from Smith was met by the run of Hawkes but his header went just wide.
Northampton came back well from the spell of pressure and their best chance came in the 76th minute when Moyo had a shot strike the bar and bounce to safety.

The Town’s final chance came in the closing minutes when Ian Rees’ header almost dropped home but despite some late pressure it ended all square.

Driver told "Again, there was very little between the sides and a draw was a fair result in my opinion.  

“Overall though, the standard of the games this season have definitely been much better than last season and this was another good quality encounter.  

“I was extremely pleased with the back-line and they deserved their clean sheet - Jerome was immense in the centre and Lee Hawkes was superb given that it was his first Under-18 game this season.”

Remember the Hatters Under-18s face Barton Rovers at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday evening in the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup. Kick-off is at 7.30pm and we would like to encourage as many supporters along to the stadium to get behind our youngsters.

Town team v Northampton:  Carpenter, Burtenshaw, Hawkes, Rees, Jibodu, Chabata, Davis, Banton, McKenzie-Lowe, Smith, Amu (sub Ngwala 46).  Sub not used: Stanley.

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