Hatters U18s clinch Youth Alliance title

Luton Town's title-winning U18s squad
Luton Town's title-winning U18s squad

Luton Town U18s won the Youth Alliance South East title after a 2-0 win at Stevenage on Tuesday afternoon.

With nearest rivals Southend losing to Barnet at the weekend, the Hatters got the three points they needed to become champions thanks to goals from James Verney and Cameron McJannet.

Striker Verney fired Town in front on 10 minutes before McJannet made victory safe with 20 minutes to go when he lashed home from a narrow angle after his corner was half-cleared.

The victory, their 16th in 19 league matches this season, also ensured the Town’s passage into the Merit Division which begins in mid-February.

The Hatters and next five clubs from the South East will form a division with the top five clubs from the South West section.

A proud U18s boss Paul Driver told the club’s official website: “It is a wonderful and deserved achievement from a fine group of players.

“The effort and hard work the boys have put in has been absolutely tremendous. To reach 50 points after 19 games is a terrific achievement – not to mention the number of clean sheets, the goals scored and the goal difference.

“They are a dream group to work for, too. They always take on board what we tell them but I can’t stress how hard they work.

“On and off the pitch their work ethic is second to none but is it important to remember that only five of the group are second year scholars.”

With three league matches in the Alliance to play before the Merit League begins, attention turns to the FA Youth Cup, a League Cup semi-final and the players’ continual involvement in the Town development squad.

Driver added: “We will keep the boys together for the Merit League but will judge each game on a week-by-week and match-by-match basis.

“There will be a change of emphasis because the boys will be involved in tougher matches and in the development squad on a more regular basis.”

Hatters: Gooch, Justin, McJannet, Musonda, Famewo, McGhan-George (Murray 27), Bakinson, Atkinson, Snelus, Verney (Peck 81), Hinds (Bean 78).

Sub not used: Gordon-Stern.