Youthful Town XI beat AFC to reach Beds Senior Cup final four
A youthful Luton Town XI reached the semi-final of the Bedfordshire Senior Cup with a 2-0 win at AFC Dunstable on Tuesday night.
Goalkeeper Marek Stech had a rare run-out, while midfielder Jake Peck played his first 45 minutes after suffering a broken leg in April, as Dan Walder’s side was mostly made up of youth teamers.
Stech saved from Kyle Ajayi’s early header, before Tra Lucas couldn’t get on the end of Josh Neufville’s cross.
The breakthrough came just before the interval as Lucas slipped the ball through to Josh Boorn, who calmly slotted into the bottom right corner.
Town had their second of the evening 10 minutes after the restart as Corey Panter’s cross from the left was deflected in off an AFC defender.
Boorn then had a handful of chances to increase the advantage, first seeing his driving effort palmed over, before curling a strike just off target from Neufville’s delivery.
However, they were kept out by the battling hosts as speaking afterwards, professional development phase lead coach Walder said: “I am very pleased with the boys, I thought the pros conducted themselves very professionally.
“They were excellent and that gave the young players the platform to play the way they did.
“It was a good example of how to approach these games and do things properly.
“Second half we got a little bit sloppy in possession, but throughout the whole game we were the better team and we deserved to win.
“A key part of our plan was to say to them, we have to compete physically and earn the right to play football – the boys did that really well.
“We were really conscious we didn’t want to turn the game into a fight, so we had to get the ball down and play when we could.
“But when we were defending, we really had to do that with some gusto and with some aggression and I thought we did.
“The semi-final is a great opportunity.
“These sorts of games are vital from an academy perspective because to blood these kids through, to give them a taste of what it’s like to play under lights and in front of a bit of a crowd with something riding on it, against men who are in more physical shape than them and they have to find coping mechanisms to deal with them.
“I think that’s invaluable, so the more games like this we can win and play, the better development for the boys to hopefully get through to the first team eventually.”
Town: Stech, A Jones, Musonda, Moloney, Panter, Beckwith (Stevens 83), Peck (Pettit 46), Boorn, Neufville, Nicolson, Lucas (Newton 63).
Subs not used: Parker, Halsey.