The Hatters won for the first time in three games
Luton Town youth 4
Gillingham youth 0
Town midfielder Jack Snelus netted his second hat-trick in four games to secure his side a victory for the first time in three matches, as the Hatters ran out 4-0 winners over Gillingham at Ely Way on Saturday.
Snelus scored twice from the spot within the opening 35 minutes before firing in from close range just before half-time to complete his treble.
Freddie Hinds added Town’s fourth of the game with a smart finish to make it four.
Paul Driver named a strong side for the contest, welcoming back Akin Famewo from injury, with the central defender getting an important 45 minutes in the build-up to the FA Youth Cup clash with Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.
The only notable absentee was Tyreeq Bakinson, who was rested for the game.
After a strong start, the Hatters were awarded their first penalty following a positive run by Snelus, who had won the ball in the centre circle before driving forward and feeding Hinds, who was upended just inside the box.
Snelus took it and he sent the visiting keeper the wrong way to give his side the lead.
In the 34th minute it was a similar build up that led to the second penalty of the day, with Snelus playing in Hinds for the striker to jink past a defender who tripped him, and the referee awarded the spot kick, which Snelus duly dispatched.
Snelus grabbed his third of the day on the stroke of half-time with a positive dribble into the box and a close-range finish.
Joe Mead replaced Akin Famewo as planned after the break, and the Hatters started the half well.
Hinds added Town’s fourth in the 49th minute when he powered into the box and finished neatly with his left foot into the bottom corner of the Gillingham goal.
There was a long delay on the hour mark when Harry Bean took a nasty kick to the chest and was taken to hospital, but the defender’s injuries weren’t as bad as first feared and he should be back training soon.
When the game restarted, Michael Shamalo, Scott Belgrove, Geo Craig and Connor Tomlinson replaced Bean, Hinds, George Murray and Snelus respectively.
Both sides had their chances in the final half-hour with Tiernan Parker pulling off a great save down low and Tomlinson heading just wide for Town. Belgrove was also unlucky with a great run and right footed strike from 25 yards that went a whisker wide of the upright.
The Hatters held on to record the win and add a confidence building clean sheet to the achievements for the day.
Paul Driver said after the game: "I thought we were very good today. We started really brightly and looked good going forward all day and it's great to get a clean sheet against a side of the calibre of Gillingham.
“Having Akin in the side really helped with that but the younger lads around him stepped up after last week's defeat and that's a real credit to them.
“We'd like to thank the staff from Gillingham for their help with Harry (Bean) after the injury which, thankfully, doesn't look a bad as first thought and he should be back training sooner rather than later.”
Luton Team: Parker, Bean (Belgrove 59), James, Sorunke, Famewo (Mead 45), Jones, Cotter, Murray (Craig 59), Hinds (Tomlinson 59), Read, Snelus (Shamalo 59).