Expectation raised for U18s as they host Daggers in Youth Cup

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Luton Town boss Nathan Jones knows there is expectation for the club’s U18s to progress when they entertain Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup at Kenilworth Road this evening.

Paul Driver’s side defeated Barnet 3-1 recently, whilst the Daggers toppled Colchester United 7-3 to progress from the first round.

First team boss Nathan Jones was at the Hive to witness George Murray’s double and Freddie Hinds’ strike put Luton through, with tonight’s winners travelling to Sheffield Wednesday in the next stage.

Jones believes the pressure is now on Town’s youngsters as they try to replicate the success of last season, in which the club reached the quarter-final.

He said: “We’re starting to build a tradition here and there’s bit more expectation this year as everyone’s expecting them to do well.

“So that will be a bit more pressure on them which we’ll enjoy seeing how they react, but it was wonderful performance and credit to the people involved.

There’s bit more expectation this year as everyone’s expecting them to do well.

Nathan Jones

“They’re a good group and the club’s in a good place at the moment in terms of how we play and how we go about our work.”

Luton beat Dagenham 4-0 in the league ealier this month, with Michael Shamalo (2), Jack James and Scott Belgrove on target and on the club’s recent win at Barnet, Jones added: “They were excellent, it should have been far, far more.

“It was a wonderful performance again.

“It was a very tight game early on, Barnet missed a penalty and then scored, but we were the better side and finished really strongly in the first half after scoring.

“Then second half I thought we were excellent, some real good performances in there.”

J“They were stronger, they had far more fluency in the way they played.

“As soon as they realised that they controlled the game I thought out players were excellent.

“We missed chances, but Barnet’s a hard place to go as you know going there with the first team and Barnet were a really spirited, organised team.

“We’re just glad to get the win, as it’s a cup competition, so no-one will remember how they played well, it’s the result, so very pleasing.”

The second round tie will kick-off at 7pm, with tickets only available for the main stand.

Prices are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.