Driver's Under-18s continue impressive defence of League Cup
STEVENAGE FC YOUTH 0
LUTON TOWN YOUTH 4
The Hatters’ Youth Team crossed the county border on Saturday morning to play Stevenage for the second time in a fortnight, this time in the Youth Alliance Cup.
The Under-18s registered an excellent 4-0 win to continue their defence of the competition they won last season and progress to the Southern Area semi-finals, avenging the defeat suffered in the league encounter with the Hertfordshire club a fortnight ago.
Paul Driver took a strong side to The Shephalbury Academy with Akin Famewo and Tyreeq Bakinson both featuring in the team as a pair for the first time since the end of August.
The Hatters got off to the best possible start when, in the fifth minute, a neat move involving Arthur Read, Jack Snelus and Kavan Cotter progressed into the Stevenage box, where a Cotter cross was smashed into the net by Geo Craig.
The visitors continued to have the better of the possession in the half with Stevenage looking at their most dangerous from set plays.
Freddie Hinds was looking dangerous as he looked to run in behind the Stevenage defence, and he had claims for a penalty turned down when he looked to have been impeded by the home keeper.
Half Time: Stevenage FC Youth 0 Luton Town Youth 1
As with the first half, the Hatters started well and scored early to double the lead in the 48th minute when Cotter was fouled in the corner to give Read the chance to deliver a free-kick into the box. His precise cross met the run of Cotter, who made no mistake with his close-range header.
Stevenage made a couple of substitutions and slowly got their way back into the game, having an excellent 15-minute spell around the hour mark when they asked questions of the Hatters’ defence. Their best chance came from a long range dipping shot that struck the bar and bounced to safety.
With just over a quarter of an hour to go, though, the game was effectively over when Famewo was fouled at the back post as he went to meet a cross and the referee awarded a penalty. Snelus made no mistake from 12 yards to put the Hatters 3-0 up.
The scoring was then completed in the 83rd minute when Read combined with Cotter from a short corner and drove into the box, beating the oncoming defender and placing the ball into the corner of the net to make it four.
A delighted Paul Driver spoke to lutontown.co.uk afterwards, and he said: "I thought we were excellent today and thoroughly deserved the win which has more than made up for the disappointment of the defeat here in the league two weeks ago.
“We won this cup last year and want to do our best to repeat that, so we went with our strongest possible team that was available and the quality of the group when we do that was there for all to see.
“Tyreeq and Akin were superb with their attitude and application today, as well as with their performances. It was good to get them a game with the group as we prepare for the start of this year’s FA Youth Cup.”
TOWN LINE-UP: Gooch, Sorunke, James, Bakinson, Famewo, Mead, Cotter ,Craig (Shamalo 72) Hinds (Peck 84), Snelus, Read. Subs Not Used: Parker, Panter, Moserai.