Paul Driver's side were unfortunate not to leave with a point
Cambridge United 2
Luton Town 1
The Hatters youth team slipped to their fourth defeat of the season after two goals in quick succession from Cambridge United in the second half gave the Hatters too much to do late on.
After a slow opening half, the match was brought to life with twenty minutes to go when the hosts took the lead from a header and then they doubled their tally in the 73rd minute with a close range finish.
Jack Snelus smashed home from twenty yards on the 79th minute to halve the deficit, but Town were unable to grab a late equaliser at the Clare College Sports Ground.
Both teams moved the ball well with a fast tempo in the opening 45 minutes, which saw very few clear cut chances for either side.
The Hatters best work came in wide areas and good crosses from Corey Panter, Arthur Read and Michael Shamalo tested the home defence.
Cambridge put in some good deliveries from set plays that also tested the Hatters defence and keeper, Tiernan Parker, but these came to nothing.
Snelus had an opportunity to give his side the lead on the half hour mark, but his lob just cleared United's bar.
Moments later he almost turned provider as he picked out George Murray in the Cambridge box, but as he cut in the ball was nicked off the end of his toe and the attack broke down.
Cambridge's best clear cut chance came just before the break when an attacker broke clear in the box, but a superb last ditch tackle by the impressive Panter denied him.
The second half continued at the same high tempo as the first without any real chances for either team early on.
Kavan Cotter should have given his team the lead just after the hour mark, when he was slipped through by Snelus, but his shot from 15 yards went agonisingly wide.
The home side then shot into a quick two goal lead with a close range header from a corner in the 69th minute and a tap in from a left wing cross four minutes later, leaving the visitors facing a real uphill battle to get anything from the game.
Geo Craig and Scott Belgrove replaced Read and Shamalo for The Hatters in the 76th minute and they made the impact Town youth team boss Paul Driver was hoping for just three minutes later. Harry Bean played the ball into Tomlinson, who then fed Snelus and the midfielder struck an unstoppable shot from 20 yards to give the Hatters hope of snatching something from the game.
The remainder of the game saw the Hatters push hard for the equaliser that their overall play deserved and all of the good work was driven by the determined Cotter.
In the 85th minute, he made space for himself but his shot went just over and then with a minute left of normal play left, he was found by Snelus to put him through, but his shot shaved the bar.
The final chance came in the third minute of stoppage time when a long ball forward by Ciaren Jones found Belgrove in space and he tried to lift his header over the home keeper but he was unable to get enough height on his effort.
After the game, Driver was disappointed not to see his side take something from the game, but he couldn’t fault his players’ efforts.
He said: "The game was a credit to both sets of players in terrible conditions with all the rain. Despite the result, I am really encouraged by the performance of the players and we are starting to see definite improvements with the first year boys and the 16s.
“I thought Corey Panter was excellent and he looks comfortable at this level, so does Tiernan (Parker) and Connor Tomlinson looked a threat too.
“Cotter and Snelus worked tirelessly all game and are a great example for the younger boys to follow.
“We certainly deserved something from the game and they were hanging on a bit at the end but it wasn't to be, but we take great heart from the overall team performance going into the Dagenham game on Thursday at Kenilworth Road."
TOWN: Parker, Bean, Panter, Sorunke, Mead, Jones, Cotter (c), Murray (Tomlinson 59), Shamalo (Craig 76), Read (Belgrove 76), Snelus.