Hatters battle back at Gateshead to progress in FA Youth Cup

FA Youth Cup Round Two: Gateshead U18 1 Luton Town U18 2

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 19th November 2013, 9:00 am
AFC Dunstable v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 47.
AFC Dunstable v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 47.

Luton Town U18s came from behind to triumph 2-1 at Gateshead U18s in the second round of FA Youth Cup last night as Charlie Smith’s goal and Jemale McKenzie-Lowe’s winner four minutes from time earned them a third round tie at Championship Huddersfield Town in three weeks time.

Boss Paul Driver was delighted with Town’s deserved victory, saying: “It took us a little time to get going but that was to be expected following a six-hour trip.

“But we had prepared well. On the way up we grateful to Sheffield Wednesday who allowed us to utilise their facilities for a training session.

“We had more of the ball in the first 45 minutes and there was nothing Ben (Barnes) could do with their goal, but we responded well and Charlie scored a great free-kick to bring us level.

“It was an important goal and it came at a great time.

“We took that into the second half and had a number of decent chances before Jemale came up with the winner.

“There’s no denying it was a helluva long trip, but boys were excellent.”

Town dominated the first half without creating any clear-cut chances, but fell behind on 28 minutes when Gateshead’s David Carson cut inside and fired a low shot past Barnes.

The visitors went close to equalising, but Tinashe Chabata’s lob dropped wide of the post after the Gateshead keeper flapped at a corner.

However, the Hatters were level on the stroke of half-time when Arel Amu was fouled 25 yards from goal and Smith curled home a stunning free-kick.

Buoyed by the goal Town continued to dominate the second half as the Heed keeper made a fantastic save from Banton’s shot on the turn, Smith’s free-kick hit a post, while McKenzie-Lowe and Banton were denied again.

But with extra-time looming, slack marking by the Tynesiders allowed McKenzie-Lowe to turn home a cross before inadvertently blocking Daril Nwgala’s late goal-bound shot.

On the Terriers tie, Driver added: “Huddersfield will be a big test but the players have now experienced two away long away games and we’ll go there with nothing to fear.

“While it’s great to get through the focus for the boys now is two important league games against Peterborough and Gillingham.

“After any cup win you always have to put it to one side because we need to get wins in the league. That’s something we’ll be drilling into the lads later this week.”

Town’s Youth Alliance game against Stevenage at the weekend was postoned.

Hatters: Barnes, Trotman, Hawkes, Chabata, Tamplin, Rees, Smith, Amu, Galliford (sub Nwgala 60), Banton, McKenzie-Lowe. Substitutes not used: King, Perry, Tayali, Allman.