Town's tremendous season continues
• Cameron McJannet scores the winner
• Town now away to Preston in fifth round
• First Hatters side to reach last 16 since 2003
• 24 wins and 17 cleans in 29 games this season
A stunning goal from Cameron McJannet earned the Town Under-18s a 1-0 win at Oldham to book their place in the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night.
The left-back struck a sweet half-volley past Latics goalkeeper Chris Renshaw two minutes before half-time and the goal was enough for the Town youngsters to set-up a fifth round tie away to Preston.
It could have been even better for Paul Driver’s side as midfielder Alex Atkinson missed a second-half penalty.
But the miss mattered little and another solid defensive display – their 17th clean sheet of the season – kept the Latics at bay.
Chasing a place in the fifth round for the first time since 2003, the Hatters began well and Freddie Hinds was thwarted by Renshaw after just eight minutes.
George Murray was then denied by a last-ditch Oldham tackle on the quarter-hour mark before the home side began to dominate as the first half wore on.
There were hearts in Town mouths on 35 minutes when goalkeeper Liam Gooch dropped a high ball but thankfully the Hatters were relieved to hear the whistle of the referee for a foul.
However, the moment the Hatters had been waiting for came two minutes before the break. James Justin’s forceful run forward from central midfield was ended when he was fouled on the edge of the area.
McJannet’s resultant free-kick hit the wall but, from the rebound, the ball sat up perfectly for the defender to slam home a superb half-volley. It was his third goal of the season.
A minute after the break Jack Snelus’ shot was saved by Renshaw as the Hatters looked for an early second, but moments later Oldham missed their best chance of the night when Jake Hargreaves shot over the crossbar when well-placed.
Oldham’s Ryan Leonard shot wide shortly before the hour, but, on 63 minutes, the Town missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot. However, Redshaw guessed right to keep out Atkinson’s spot-kick.
That missed spurred both sides into action: Gooch saved well from Alex Read’s deflected shot before Akin Famewo headed over for the Town with two minutes to play.
As time ticked down the Town had one final nervy moment to overcome when Gooch did well to react to Lee Knight’s shot in the first of four added minutes – but the Hatters held on to celebrate another gutsy performance on the road and book a fifth round trip to Deepdale.
Reaction to follow.
VERY MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE INVOLVED!
Town U18s: Gooch; Bean, McJannet, Famewo, Musonda; Justin, Bakinson, Snelus, Atkinson; Murray, Hinds.
Subs: Gordon-Stearn, Brown, Verney, McGhan-George, Shamola.