Summer signing Junior Morias successfully came through a work out on Tuesday afternoon as Cobblers beat a youthful Watford team 3-1 at the PTS Academy Stadium.
Striker Morias, who has arrived from Peterborough United, played a key role in the opening goal, which was scored by Dean Bowditch.
Kevin van Veen notched Cobblers’ second goal and Billy Waters rounded things off before Watford grabbed a consolation goal.
Town had the opening opportunity when Bowditch lined up a free-kick that whistled over the bar.
The Cobblers broke the deadlock in the 10th minute when Morias saw his effort saved, only for the ball to fall to Bowditch to tap in on the line.
Morias was in again on 16 minutes, with his burst behind the Watford defence spotted by Jordan Turnbull who played an impressive diagonal pass to pick the forward out, but his first-time volley was saved.
The visitors then ventured forward and after some neat play the ball was worked to the edge of the box for a strike to come in, but keeper Lewis Ward, who recently joined Cobblers on loan from Reading, was there to make a decent save and Leon Barnett was in quickly to clear the danger.
The advantage was doubled on 22 minutes through van Veen.
Sean Whaler and Bowditch combined well on the left before Bowditch picked out van Veen’s well-timed run into the box, and the Dutchman kept his cool to find the net from close range.
The ball in-behind was proving a successful tactic with Morias always a willing runner. He came close to adding to the tally on 30 minutes after being played through, but the Watford goalkeeper made an impressive save to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Midfielder Morgan Roberts and Under-18’s goalkeeper Bradley Lashley were introduced at half-time with the Cobblers continuing to dominate the majority of possession from the restart.
Camron McWilliams was a constant outlet moving forward from right-back and he earned a free-kick on 55 minutes.
Van Veen struck the free-kick from 30 yards but it was comfortable for the Watford stopper.
McWilliams then recovered brilliantly at the other end to block a shot on the edge of the box after Watford broke forward.
Waters’ hard work then paid off as he got himself on the scoresheet. A well-timed run saw him get in-behind the Watford defence and his first-time lobbed finish from the edge of the box found the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Both sides then made a few more changes and it was the visitors who had the next chance. After some good possession in midfield the ball was worked back to the young Watford captain, but Lashley was alert to dive low and save his effort.
The visitors were then awarded a penalty on 80 minutes which was well dispatched by Watford’s No.7 to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
Lashley was then called into action to deny Watford three minutes from time, getting down low to deny a strike from just inside the box.
Cobblers nearly added a fourth goal on 89 minutes. A corner from the right fell for Roberts 12 yards out but his goal-bound effort was deflected against the post by the defender on the line.
Under 18’s midfielder Michael Harding then showed neat skill to create space in the box but fired into the side netting in the game’s final chance as the Cobblers saw out the 3-1 win.