Orient Under-18s 2-0 Town Under-18s
The Hatters Youth travelled to Leyton Orient for their first Football League Youth Alliance fixture of the season but were unable to get off to a winning start, going down 2-0 to their League One hosts.
Paul Driver was unable to call upon the services of Brett Longden and Zane Banton as the pair were suspended which, added to injuries to Zak Stephens, Jemale McKenzie-Lowe and Jordan Davis and Charlie Smith's elevation to being with the first team squad, meant the start line up had an unfamiliar look to it as a number of triallists were given their chance to impress.
Orient started strongly and had opened up a 2-0 lead within the first 12 minutes. Firstly, Affyi Obafemi broke clear of the defence and his goal bound shot could not be stopped by Jerome Jibodu and then he found space in the box to give Ben Barnes no chance with the finish. A third nearly followed as a shot rebounded back off of the post to safety.
The Hatters Youngsters slowly recovered from the early set back and had a chance of their own when a through ball by Leeroy Maguraushe found Harley Haag who rounded the keeper and shot but a defender had made it back onto the line to clear. A Maguraushe free kick then rebounded off the wall and shot by Callum Cobb went just over the bar.
Half Time Leyton Orient 2 Luton Town 0
The Hatters continued their improvement in the second half which was a much more even affair throughout.
Injury to Ryan Hawkins saw Jibodu switch to Centre Back and Isaac Galliford come on a left back and the pair were much more effective going forward. From a positive run, Jibodu was upended as he approached the Orient box and his resulting free kick was only just off target.
Arel Amu had a great chance as the game came to a close but his shot went agonisingly wide of the target.
Afterwards, Paul Driver commented on the game saying “In the end, we have lost to two early goals because we have taken too much time to settle into the game. Once we did, it was quite a even contest although we still do not create enough chances for my liking. Whether we had three triallists or not, we still need to be much more vocal and we weren't and this played as big a part in the goals as anything.
Hopefully, I'll get Brett and Jemale back next week and Zak soon after so we can be stronger throughout”.
Luton Team. Barnes, Burtenshaw, Jibodu ©, Rees, Chabata, Hawkins (Triallist) (Galliford 55), Cobb (Triallist), Haag (Triallist) (Ngwala 78) Nash, Amu, Maguraushe. Unused. King (GK), Stanley, Allmann