Northamptonshire FA’s Under-18 Representative Side were narrowly beaten 4-3 by Staffordshire FA on Sunday 20 January in the Midlands Counties Youth Championship.
Taking place at Rushall Olympic FC, the fixture - which was Northants FA’s first of 2019 - started brightly, with both sides showing attacking intent right from the start.
A slip-up in the Northants defence allowed Staffordshire to take the lead early on, and they doubled that lead 20 minutes later when a lapse in concentration from Northants led to the second goal of the game.
Having suffered that early set-back, Northants ramped up the pressure and were rewarded when an own goal reduced the deficit to 2-1. On a high, Northants dominated the latter stages of the first half and Louie Barrett grabbed an equaliser to take the game to 2-2 at half time.
The second half started with both teams putting real pressure on each other’s defences and testing the opposing goalkeepers. However, 15 minutes into the second half, Staffordshire took the lead again.
Northants fought back and equalised once more following a great cross from Jessie Obeng, which was finished off by Kyle Ansell.
With the game looking set to finish honours even, Northants conceded a late penalty and Staffordshire took full advantage to secure the 4-3 win.
Congratulations to Staffordshire FA on their win and many thanks for the warm welcome and hospitality. Both teams produced an entertaining game that was a credit to County Representative Football.
FULL TIME: Staffordshire FA 4-3 Northamptonshire FA
Northamptonshire FA Man of the Match: Connor I’Anson