Banton at the double as Hatters U18s go through
Luton Town U18s booked their place in the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup with a convincing 5-1 victory over Corby U18s at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday night.
Paul Driver’s side got off to the perfect start when taking the lead inside the first minute when Ian Rees headed home Charlie Smith’s right-wing free-kick after just 47 seconds.
It was almost 2-0 a minute later but Daril Ngwala’s fierce shot was well saved by Corby keeper Dan Farrell.
Zane Banton, who recently signed his first professional deal, poked a shot goalwards that rolled just wide, and midway through the half fired off target once more.
Influential skipper Smith saw a long-range effort fly narrowly over the crossbar on 27 minutes before Steelmen stopper Farrell kept out a low shot from Jemale McKenzie-Lowe and then palmed Arel Amu’s shot over the bar.
Banton’s low show was kept out and Farrell denied Ngwala’s goal-bound header following Amu’s cross shortly before half-time.
In the second half, Town did double their lead seven minutes after the restart when Banton tucked home Ngwala’s right-wing cross.
McKenzie-Lowe and Banton were then guilty of missing good chances to extend the lead before Smith’s free-kick from the edge of the box was tipped over by Farrell at full stretch.
With 15 minutes, the third goal arrived as McKenzie-Lowe buried a first-time shot after Smith’s cut-back was half-cleared.
Banton then got his second goal five minutes from time when he seized on a poor back-pass and tucked home.
Corby netted a late consolation on 88 minutes when substitute Israel Gibbs lashed home past an exposed Ben Barnes from six yards.
Town had one more strike in them, as Corby’s Aeden Donnachie netted a freak own goal when attempting to clear Banton’s shot.
The Hatters will now face either Wellingborough or Leighton in the third qualifying round week commencing October 21 at Kenilworth Road.
Town: Barnes, Hawkes, Perry, Chabata, Tamplin, Rees, Smith (Amadi 79), Amu (Galliford 63), Nwgala, Banton, McKenzie-Lowe (sub Tayali 76).
Subs not used: Allman, King.
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