Young Hatters' Youth Cup run comes to an end
The Hatters’ Under-18s bowed bravely out of the FA Youth Cup at the third round stage following an extra-time defeat to Championship Huddersfield at the John Smiths Stadium on Sunday.
It was a tremendous effort against a highly-rated Huddersfield side who sit top of the Premier League Under-18 Division 2 North.
Huddersfield spurned the best chance in normal time when Philip Billig saw his penalty strike the crossbar following a handball.
After 90 goalless minutes it was the Hatters that broke the deadlock on 107 minutes when Zane Banton dribbled through the Terriers back-line and finished superbly.
However the Town’s joy was short-lived. Billing was pulled down in the box just 30 seconds later and Regan Booty sent the resultant spot-kick past Ben Barnes to make it one apiece.
The Hatters’ ecstasy then turned to agony just a minute later when Huddersfield completed a dramatic turnaround when Jake Charles ran from inside his own half to slot past Barnes.
With the Town pushing forward as time ticked down in a bid to take the tie to penalties, Huddersfield hit a third goal with two minutes left to seal a fourth round spot when Jack Boyle fired home.
The Hatters rallied in the closing stages and Banton was unlucky not to score a second in the dying moments but the hosts held.
It’s back to Youth Alliance action for the Town from now on and the target of lifting the South East title. Paul Driver’s side lie three points off of the top with two games in hand. Next Saturday they entertain MK Dons at Ely Way.
Reaction to follow.
Town U18s: Barnes; Trotman, Perry (sub Tayali 112), Tamplin, Chabata; Rees, Smith, Amu, Ngwala; Banton, McKenzie-Lowe.
Subs not used: McMonagle, Allman, King, Hawkes.