Luton Town’s U18s suffered their first Youth Alliance loss of the season as they went down to a 1-0 derby day defeat against Watford at Ely Way on Saturday morning.
Proud boss Paul Driver said: “Despite losing today, I was pleased with the boys and feel we could have got something from the game - we will certainly play a lot worse and win this season.
“We have got to pick ourselves up now and go again in the FA Youth Cup during the week and then at Orient in the first of the league cup games next Saturday.”
Driver named the same starting line-up as for the previous week’s game at the MK Dons with U16 Sam Alderson on the subs bench for the first time.
The first half started brightly with both sides putting some useful moves together, but it was the visitors who took the lead midway through.
A run and cut back from the right led to a 15-yard shot that Ben Barnes got both hands to, but was unable to keep out.
The Hatters pushed hard from the start of the second half for the equaliser and created a number of good chances throughout.
Charlie Smith had a number of long-range efforts saved by the visiting keeper and Arel Amu was unlucky to have an effort ruled out for offside.
Jemale McKenzie-Lowe saw his effort from inside the box deflected just wide and Amu broke clear in the final minutes but was denied by a superb last-ditch tackle by a Watford defender.
The resulting corner was met by McKenzie-Lowe but his headed effort went wide.
Hatters: Barnes, Crilley (Allman 67), Hawkes, Rees, Chabata, Tamplin, Amu, Smith (C), McKenzie-Lowe, Tayali (Amadi), Ngwala. Substitutes not used: King, Perry, Alderson.