Richard-Noel scores a brace as Cambridge United U18’s beat Northampton Town 2-1 away from home
Goals either side of half time from Richard-Noel meant Cambridge United U18’s picked up another three points, strengthening their challenge for the Merit League 1 title.
There was just the one change to The U’s side after their 2-1 victory last weekend. This saw U15 Kai Yearn start wide on the left after his impressive cameo in last weekend’s win.
It was a slow start to the game with very few chances for either side. However, it was Northampton who were handed the first proper chance of the game after Beckett’s back pass to Gill was cut out by a gambling Northampton striker. Gill saved from the striker’s initial effort but the ball broke lose. This time it was Beckett’s turn to save his team as he cleared the strikers follow up effort of the line to keep the score at 0-0.
32 minutes into the half, The U’s broke to deadlock through Richard-Noel. After
intercepting a casual pass from Northampton’s centre back, The U’s striker powered straight to goal and after a neat finish across the goalkeeper, The U’s found themselves 1-0 up.
The home side responded well to going a goal down, testing Gill several times late in the half. The first of these was from a corner, when a Northampton defender wriggled away from his marker to gain a free header. Unfortunately for the hosts, the defender couldn’t keep his header down and the ball sailed over the crossbar. Arguably Northampton’s best chance of the half came 41 minutes in as a Northampton goal kick was flicked on by their striker, setting his team mate through one on one with the U’s keeper. Baring down on The U’s goal, Gill stood strong forcing the attacker to put his effort wide.
Soon after the break The Cobblers equalised. After causing a threat from set pieces all game, finally Northampton converted. In similar fashion to the first half, a Northampton defender freed himself from his marker and made a darting run across the front post. A pinpoint delivery found the defenders run and he made no mistake this time heading home convincingly to make it 1-1.
However, United were quick to respond. A ball threaded through the Northampton defence from Blake D’Arcy found the run of Richard-noel, who took a touch and from a tight angle dispatched his effort across the keeper in a similar manor to his first goal. After going in front the U’s defended their lead well, allowing few chances for the hosts. Another brilliant moment for the academy came late on as U15 Glenn McConnell came on for the final few minutes for his U18 debut.
The U’s saw out the win, meaning they maintained their 100% win record in Merit League 1.