Town youngsters cap fine week by sealing cup final place
The Town Under-18s ended a superb week for the academy by beating AFC Bournemouth 4-2 to earn a place in the southern final of the Youth Alliance League Cup.
Paul Driver’s side clinched the South East Alliance division title on Tuesday and a Freddie Hinds hat-trick inspired his side to a comfortable victory over the Cherries on Saturday morning.
The Town striker netted a remarkable four-minute hat-trick inside the first 11 minutes to help put Bournemouth to the sword.
Hinds opened the scoring in the eighth minute when rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home past two defenders on the line.
A minute later the striker doubled his and the Town’s tally when firing home inside the penalty area – and a similar finish on 11 minutes put the Hatters 3-0 in charge.
Alex Atkinson was twice denied as the Hatters threatened to run riot but the Cherries pulled a goal back on the half-hour.
But, moments before half-time, the Town put the game to bed when James Justin drilled home after his run into the box went unnoticed.
The second period saw Bournemouth attempt to reduce the deficit – but the Hatters nullified the Cherries’ threat and held onto win comfortably despite a 96th-minute consolation.
A thrilled Driver told lutontown.co.uk: “It’s not been a bad week! Freddie will take the plaudits for his exploits but defensively we were excellent against a decent Bournemouth side who have a front two who will cause any team a lot of problems.
“It was a good defensive and disciplined performance to reduce Bournemouth to only half chances.
“It’s a great win. The boys have been excellent for me. We’ll enjoy this and look forward to the next couple of weeks, going into the next few games with great confidence.”
The Hatters will play either Cheltenham or Swindon in the final in March.
Town: Gooch, Bean, McJannet, Musonda, Famewo, Bakinson, Atkinson, Justin, Snelus, Murray (sub Brown 75), Hinds (sub Verney 85).
Subs not used: Parker, Shamola, James.
*Unused goalkeeper sub Tiernan Parker has been called-up to the Northern Ireland Under-15 squad. Many congratulations, Tiernan!