Hatters lose to Hornets in Youth Alliance
"The Hatters Youngsters welcomed their Watford counterparts to Ely Way on Saturday morning for the first meeting since the latter's involvement in the league since their re-grading down from the Academy League System and a high tempo game ended with the visitors maintaining their place at the top of the league courtesy of a 3-0 victory.
Watford took the lead in the fifth minute when the ball was scrambled over the line from close range the Hatters claiming an offside which were turned waves away by the officials.
The Hatters’ best efforts in the half came when a Jemale McKenzie-Lowe shot was blocked by a diving Watford defender and then a dangerous Charlie Smith free-kick was headed goalwards by a Watford defender but the effort went straight into the arms of the visitng keeper
If there was a doubt over their first goal, there were none over Watford's second and third that came in a five minute spell towards the end of the half from two headed goals that gave Ben Barnes no chance in the Hatters goal.
The second half saw a much improved showing throughout from the Hatters with good pressure on the opposition goal and a number of chances were created throughout. A series of corners led to the best efforts with Tinashe Chabata hitting the woodwork from one and Brett Longden heading wide from six yards when unmarked from another.
Darill Ngwala replaced Arel Amu for the last quarter of the game and, along with Jordan Davis on the other flank, and they helped create a number of good opportunities with positive runs and crosses with Zane Banton and Charlie Smith in central midfield looked dangerous.
Unfortunately, the Hatters were not able to score the goals that their endeavours deserved and the Championship outfit maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Boss Paul Driver told lutontown.co.uk "We learnt that, at this level, you must take your chances when they come along - we had at least as much possession and as many opportunities as Watford over the course of the game and got beaten 3-0.
“We cannot have the type of sloppy 10 minutes we had towards the end of the first half and get away with it. Having said that, I was heartened by the second half performance because the players listened to what was said at half-time and put that into practice after the break when we could have easily conceded again and rolled over. It was also great to get a half out of Zac Stephens as he returns from long term injury.”
Team: Barnes, Burtenshaw, Jibodu, Rees (sub Galliford 62) Stephens (sub Longden 46), Davis, Banton, McKenzie-Lowe, Smith, Amu (sub Ngwala 71). Subs not used: Carpenter, Pittfield.