They went into the game with tired legs and they put in a really good shift. They’ll benefit from that further down the line.Richard Beale
Wes McDonald maintained his goalscoring form from the end of last season with a terrific trademark effort, cutting in from the right before crashing home a shot from 25 yards into the top corner, to cancel out an early Cobblers goal from Alex Revell.
Blues made lots of changes after the break to give all their travelling party equal game time and the League One side’s greater experience told with second-half goals from Billy Waters, Marc Richards, Dean Bowditch completing a 4-1 win for Justin Edinburgh’s side.
But, at the end of a draining week in searing heat, there were plenty of positives to come out of the game from a Blues perspective.
"It really wasn't about the result, it was about the performance,” said Richard Beale, Blues’ Senior Professional Development Coach.
“We did a lot of work with them instilling a different game style and the lads are learning that, as well as doing a lot of fitness work this week.
“They ran eight kilometres in training yesterday and they trained this morning as well, so really this game was just an extended training session for the boys and we’re really happy with how it went.
“We made sure everybody got 45 minutes, a few players got a little bit more, but it capped off what has been a really productive week.
“They went into the game with tired legs and they put in a really good shift. They’ll benefit from that further down the line.”
Beale added: “Northampton were a really big, physical test, they’ve got some good players and we hope they go on to have a good season.
“Overall it’s been a really good week for us with good facilities. It was a very productive trip, the boys worked really hard and we got all the objectives we wanted out of it.”
Blues: Trueman (Weaver ht); Harding, Cleary (Redmond 65), Scarr (Hutton ht), Seddon (Timms ht); Maxwell (Mulders ht), O’Keeffe (McCoy 65), Bailey (Lakin ht); McDonald (Bailey 65), McCoy (Hale ht); Lubala.