Hatters finally break Leighton Town’s resistance to progress in FA Youth Cup

Luton Town U18s v Leighton Buzzard U18s. Photos by Liam Smith wk 43.Luton Town U18s v Leighton Buzzard U18s. Photos by Liam Smith wk 43.
Luton Town U18s v Leighton Buzzard U18s. Photos by Liam Smith wk 43.
FA Youth Cup: Luton Town U18s 3 Leighton Town U18s 0

Burgeoning Luton Town U18s won through to the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup as they overcame plucky Leighton Town 3-0 at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night.

Zane Banton scored twice in the second half alongside a fine strike from Jemale McKenzie-Lowe as terrific Town finally broke Leighton’s resistance to progress.

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Paul Driver’s side will now face a trip to either Pegasus Juniors or Boston United in the first round, with the tie due to take place on Wednesday evening.

The Town boss said: “I’m just pleased to have got through the third of the qualifying rounds against a determined and well organised side in Leighton Town, who put up a brave fight on the night as we fully expected they would.”

Visiting goalkeeper Tom Cauldron kept the Hatters out with a string of fine saves in the first half, and it wasn’t until 56 minutes that Banton, who recently signed a professional deal with the Hatters, put the hosts ahead when he rifled home from six yards after Leighton had initially blocked shots from Charlie Smith and Arel Amu.

Banton netted again six minutes later when he burst on to Isaac Galliford’s deft flick and cut inside to blast into the roof of the net.

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Cauldron continued to thwart the Hatters but, with 11 minutes left, McKenzie-Lowe, who had been frustrated all evening by the visiting goalkeeper, got on the scoresheet when he drilled home from just inside the penalty area following Banton’s pass.

Hatters: Barnes, Hawkes, Perry, Rees, Tamplin, Chabata, Banton, Smith (Allman 83), Amu, McKenzie-Lowe (Tayali 87), Galliford (Ngwala 69). Substitutes not used: Amadi, King.

Attendance: 148.

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