A last-minute winner from Arel Amu secured the Under-18s’ sixth win in seven Youth Alliance fixtures with a 2-1 victory over Northampton on Saturday.
Boss Paul Driver made a number of changes to the side narrowly defeated by the Cobblers in the League Cup the week before, with Luke Trottman, Charlie Smith, Amu, Jemale McKenzie-Lowe and Zane Banton all returning to the start line-up.
The first half saw both sides looking to play a passing game on a good surface and an even first 45 minutes saw few real chances for either side. Runs into the box by Amu and Isaac Galliford created crossing chances that were blocked and Amu got in behind the Cobblers back line but his effort went into the side netting. For Northampton, a Kieran Fitzgerald header cannoned back off of the crossbar to safety and the sides went into the break at 0-0.
The Hatters were the stronger team in the first period of the second half and deservedly took the lead around the 67th minute when a Trottman cross bounced down to McKenzie-Lowe and he drilled his shot low into the corner of the net from 15 yards.
As the game entered the final five minutes, the Cobblers drew level from a volley by skipper Connor Roberts and the hosts nearly got themselves in front a minute later but a brilliant block from Lee Hawkes denied them.
However, all three points were grabbed by the Hatters as the game entered injury time. Smith played a ball into McKenzie-Lowe and his neat flick allowed Amu to drive into the box and he finished from a narrow angle from close range to seal the win.
A delighted Driver said afterwards: "We did well today and it was great to have Luke Trottman back as this adds balance to the back line.
“We moved the ball well for the first hour and deserved to go in front from Jemale's strike. Credit to Northampton, though. They never gave up and having worked so hard to get level they will be disappointed to get nothing from the game."
Town Under-18s: King, Trottman, Hawkes, Rees, Chabata, Tamplin, Amu, Smith, McKenzie-Lowe, Banton, Galliford. Subs not used: Barnes, Perry, Allman, Tayali, Ngwala.
The Town youngsters are next in action on Wednesday when they travel to Boston United in the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup.