Town youngsters clinch South East championship
The Hatters Under-18s secured the Youth Alliance South East title after a 2-0 win at Stevenage on Tuesday afternoon.
After Southend’s defeat at Barnet at the weekend, the Town youngsters got the three points they needed to become champions thanks to the routine win over Boro which saw James Verney and Cameron McJannet find the target.
Striker Verney fired the Hatters in front on 10 minutes before McJannet made victory safe with 20 minutes to go when he lashed home from a narrow angle after his corner was half-cleared.
The victory, their 16th in 19 league matches this season, also ensured the Town’s passage into the Merit Division which begins in mid-February. The Hatters and next five clubs from the South East will form a division with the top five clubs from the South West section.
A proud Paul Driver told lutontown.co.uk: “It is a wonderful and deserved achievement from a fine group of players.
“The effort and hard work the boys have put in has been absolutely tremendous. To reach 50 points after 19 games is a terrific achievement – not to mention the number of clean sheets, the goals scored and the goal difference.
“They are a dream group to work for, too. They always take on board what we tell them but I can’t stress how hard they work.
“On and off the pitch their work ethic is second to none but is it important to remember that only five of the group are second year scholars.”
With three league matches in the Alliance to play before the Merit League begins, attention turns to the FA Youth Cup, a League Cup semi-final and the players’ continual involvement in the Town development squad.
“We will keep the boys together for the Merit League but will judge each game on a week-by-week and match-by-match basis,” said Driver.
“There will be a change of emphasis because the boys will be involved in tougher matches and in the development squad on a more regular basis.”
Everyone at Luton Town would like to congratulate everybody involved with the youth team on this fantastic achievement.
The Hatters would also like to thank the Stevenage groundstaff for their hard work to enable Tuesday’s game to go ahead.
Town v Stevenage: Gooch; Justin, McJannet, Musonda, Famewo; McGhan-George (sub Murray 27), Bakinson, Atkinson, Snelus; Verney (sub Peck 81), Hinds (sub Bean 78). Sub not used: Gordon-Stern.
Click here for the Under-18s’ fixtures and results.
UPDATE: The Hatters Under-18s will travel to Oldham Athletic in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup. The young Latics saw off Bournemouth on penalties on Tuesday night. The match is due to be played later this month. Time and dates to be confirmed in due course.