Town youngsters beaten by Posh
The Hatters’ Under-18s visited Peterborough on Saturday morning for their latest Youth Alliance Fixture and almost pulled off a late recovery to secure a point against their League One rivals in a competitive, tight contest.
With Tinashe Chabata and Craig King not recovering from injuries sustained in midweek at Colchester, Liam Gooch started in goal and Frankie Mosunda returned to central defence to captain the side. Arel Amu, fit again after a metatarsal break in January also returned to the team.
A bright start from the Hatters saw a Daril Ngwala strike and an effort from Jemale McKenzie-Lowe saved by the Posh keeper and McKenzie-Lowe was marginally offside when through and ready to shoot.
It was Peterborough who took the lead from a corner when defender Liam Marshall headed home when apparently offside - indeed after initially giving the offside award, the referee changed his mind after consultation with the linesman. Peterborough then had a great chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot when a foul, seemingly outside of the box, was deemed to be inside but Gooch again performed heroics to save from Marshall and make his third penalty stop in a row.
The remainder of the first half and the whole of the second period was played at a high tempo with both sides working hard throughout to create a competitive encounter, and the home side doubled their lead from close range with 10 minutes remaining to, seemingly, kill the game off.
The Hatters were not going to allow them an easy ride, though, and a McKenzie-Lowe header from a Daril Ngwala corner on 90 minutes set-up a nail-biting finish. From another Ngwala corner, Harry Tamplin guided a header which seemed to have gone into the net before getting hooked clear but the officials again decided against the Hatters and Peterborough held on to secure the points.
A disappointed Paul Driver told lutontown.co.uk: "I am gutted for the lads. They put in a great shift but we did not get the rub of the green when it came to the important decisions in the game.
“However, I get more and more excited about next season with this group - nearly all of them will be with us when we return at the end of June - as they have again acquitted themselves really well against a strong side.
“They are showing me that they are learning and improving every week.”
Team: Gooch, Trotman, Perry, Justin, Hawkes (sub Tamplin 61), Mosunda, Ngwala, Amadi (sub Allman 69), McKenzie-Lowe, Amu, Atkinson (sub Bakinson). Sub not used: Tayali.