Aidy Boothroyd declared himself pleased with Cobblers’ 2-1 win over Stoke City’s development side, but admitted a 5-4 scoreline might have been a fairer reflection of the game.
Town prevailed in a game packed with chances as JJ Hooper and a Ben Heneghan own goal saw the home side seal the win at sunny Sixfields.
Marcel Barrington did get one back before the end for a youthful Potters outfit, for whom Jermaine Pennant was the only recognisable figure.
Both teams could, and maybe should, have scored more, but that was an irrelevance for Boothroyd, whose team are shaping up nicely ahead of next Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two curtain-raiser at York City.
“They (Stoke) were really good, up until the last third,” said the Cobblers boss.
“I don’t think they had enough penetration to hurt us, but, having said that, I don’t think we worked hard enough for parts of the first half.
“A fair reflection might have been a 5-4 because both teams had chances, but that’s what these games are for: to recognise what you need and to work on your strengths.
“Overall, I’m pleased with it.”
The challenge posed by Stoke was one of passing football and clever movement, something not necessarily typical of league two.
Boothroyd recognised that, but still felt it was a useful exercise ahead of Tuesday night’s final home friendly, against Sky Bet Championship outfit Leicester City.
“I’m not so sure we’re going to be playing against teams who will play out from the back as much as that, but still it’s a good test,” he said.
“We had to defend properly against them and we’ve got to make sure we exploit any weaknesses whoever we play so I was pleased with that.
“I wanted to get minutes into a few more and it was a good exercise at this time of the year.
“You want to make sure you keep everybody fit and everybody gets a few minutes on the board.”