Lewis Ward and Junior Morias were both praised by manager Dean Austin for their debut performances in Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie with Wycombe Wanderers.
Austin revealed last week that Morias had been desperate for his chance to impress after being thwarted by injury during pre-season and, having sat out the opening two league games, finally that chance came at Adams Park.
The 23-year-old former Peterborough United forward partnered Billy Waters up front and lasted 73 minutes before being replaced by Sam Hoskins, during which time he was full of running and showed the occasional glimpse of his potential.
“Junior’s coming back to fitness and it was his first start,” said Austin. “I thought the signs were there and you know what you’re going to get from him.
“He’s going to cause a lot of teams a lot of problems. Considering how long he’s been out and that he’s not started a game since April time, I thought he did fantastically well.
“Billy played well for most part and took up some great positions and caused problems for them so it gives me some nice selection headaches for Saturday.”
Ward has also been frustrated after his move to Northampton was delayed until just eight days before the start of the season but he too produced a steady, error-free display between the sticks.
“Lewis did very well,” added Austin. “We had a problem with him last week because he had an issue with his finger in the Watford game and we were a little concerned that we might lose him for a few weeks.
“But he’s seen a specialist and had a scan. He’s playing with a splint at the moment but he did well.
“He hasn’t had many games and even though he’s been back in training, he’s been going everywhere with Reading and sitting on the bench and not played many games so it was important for him to get some game-time on Tuesday.”