Football League Youth Alliance: Milton Keynes Dons Youth 0 Luton Town Youth 1
A late Charlie Smith goal helped Luton Town’s U18s claim their fourth-straight Football League Youth Alliance win with a 1-0 victory at Milton Keynes DOns on Saturday.
Luke Trottman and Isaac Galliford were missing through injury and Zane Banton dropped to the bench having travelled with the first team squad to Wrexham the previous evening as starts were handed to Tuki Tayali, Benji Crilley and Lee Hawkes.
Delighted boss Paul Driver said: “The best thing about today was the clean sheet the boys achieved.
“MK are the best passing, attacking side we have played over the past few seasons and in Galloway and Rasulo have two of the best players we will come up against.
“They pull you about all over the place and have been scoring for fun this season so we worked hard all week on our individual and collective defending and it’s great that we’ve looked to have improved on this element of our game from this work.
“Zane didn’t get back ‘til really late from Wrexham and played for the Development Squad in midweek so I wanted to rest him from playing a whole game again and Tuki did well in his first start replacing him and Charlie’s forward run and finish in the 85th minute was a great way to end the game.”
Dons had the majority of possession in the first half, but both sides had chances to open the scoring with both keeeprs producing excellent saves.
Jemale McKenzie-Lowe had an effort destined for the top corner from the edge of the box tipped over and Ben Barnes produced a similar save to deny the hosts.
The Dons produced some excellent passing moves as the impressive Galloway drove through the heart of the Hatters defence but the Dons weren’t able to finish as the efforts were scrambled to safety.
Tuki Tayali put the ball wide from close range from an Arel Amu cross and had another chanced early in the second half, but an extra touch in the box gave the defender the chance to block his effort.
The Hatters continued to look most dangerous on the break with Ngwala and Amu causing problems out wide.
Amu cut inside and fired wide, before Banton replaced Tayali on 62 minutes and just couldn’t get on the of McKenzie-Lowe’s run and cross.
The Dons hit the post from close range as Town scrambled the ball clear and some good blocks by Luton’s defenders denied the hosts on a few occasions.
However, the Hatters snatched victory on the break when Smith arrived late to find the corner with five minutes to go.
Hatters: Barnes, Crilley, Hawkes, Rees, Chabata, Tamplin, Amu, Smith (C), Tayali (Banton 62), McKenzie-Lowe, Ngwala. Substitutes not used: King, Perry, Allman, Amade.