Boston United U18s 0 Luton Town U18s 4: First-half salvo ends Pilgrims’ FA Youth Cup hopes

Louis Saebe.
Louis Saebe.

Boston United’s under 18s saw their FA Youth Cup dreams come to an end in savage style.

Luton Town showed their hosts no mercy as they netted four times without reply to book their place in the second round.

But Steve Welsh’ young charges can leave York Street with their heads held high after yet another successful campaign in the competition.

Not only because of the way that they, despite conceding four times before the break, fought until the death, but also because reaching the first round was no simple task in itself.

Victories over Holwell Sports, Lincoln City and Pegasus Juniors had to be fought for, even before Boston could take their place in the draw for the first round.

However, it is there where their run came to an abrupt halt, and a clash at Gateshead now awaits the victorious Luton.

The away side set their stall out early and the first chance of the game fell to Hatters striker Jemale McKenzie-Lowe, but his powerful strike flew wide of Sam Vince’s goal.

And it was from a further effort from the Luton forward that saw the away side edge in front.

After McKenzie-Lowe’s effort was blocked by Vince, Zane Banton scooped home the rebound from close range with 17 minutes gone.

Boston were making headway down the flanks, with the pace and trickery of Leon Squire and Bradley Easey causing some uncertainty in the home side’s back line.

However, some dangerous balls into the penalty area were hacked away by the visitors.

The Hatters doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute, McKenzie-Lowe netting the loose ball after Vince did well to deny Banton with his legs.

Vince was called upon to make another block with his legs after miscommunication in the Pilgrims’ back line saw Josh Spencer’s back pass allow Banton through on goal.

Arel Amu made it 3-0 on the half hour mark with a superb finish. With his back to goal he swivelled and hit a lob on the turn which left Vince for dead and found the net via the back post.

And the onslaught continued as Isaac Galliford grabbed number four with a low drive in the 36th minute.

Boston’s best chance of the first half was Aaron Eyett’s 25-yard free kick.

But although his effort beat the wall, it didn’t have enough dip and flew inches over Ben Barnes’ crossbar.

It was more of the same after the break, with Luton pushing forward well.

Vince comfortably collected Ian Rees’ effort and Galliford should have done better at the back post with an effort which found the side netting.

It may have taken Barnes 64 minutes before he was called upon to make his first save, but the Luton man would have definitely found it worth the wait.

Louis Saebe skipped beyond his marker and hit a strike from the edge of the penalty area which looked destined to bend into the net.

But Barnes pulled off a top one-handed stop to match the brilliance of Saebe’s effort.

The final quarter saw both sides take their foot off the gas, but Town should have made it five when McKenzie-Lowe was granted a shooting opportunity - somehow he hit the post.

Seconds later and Amu was also thwarted by the woodwork as Luton looked to add to their tally.

With two minutes to go, Boston were reduced to 10 men after Miles Lynch saw red for a crunching challenge.

And that was the final act of note as Luton held on to their four-goal advantage.

UNITED: Vince, Worthington (Hodgkiss 74), Price, Sowerby, Spencer, Pease, Eyett, Lynch, Saebe, Squire (Moran 70), Easey (Dovey 80); Subs (not used): Searson, Kormis.

Ref: T. Hancock.