FA Youth Cup 4th Round
Team: Cant, Siqueira, Leahy, Brown, McDonald, McCann, Sackey, Lawrence, Kolli, Talla, Petrie
Subs: Zapieraczynski, Bagan, Luzinda, Christmas, Tuck
Attendance: 1,005 (including 154 R’s fans)
Sammy collected Alan Barnes and I from Park Royal, and despite getting caught in some heavy traffic ten miles or so from the motorway turn-off, we managed to park-up close to the ground in good time.
With less than a minute on the clock, Samuel Sackey set-up Teddy Lawrence in the box and the R’s No.8 bundled the ball into the back of the net. I was told later that the goal was timed at just 45 seconds!
At the other end, on three minutes, the home side fired an effort just over the crossbar.
The Hatters equalised in the 7th minute following a deep corner. Jacob Vickers knocked the ball onto Jake Burger at the near-post who then had the easy task of scoring with a close-range header.
Luton were now in the ascendency and they took the lead five minutes later when Oli Lynch tapped the ball home from very close-range.
In the 14th minute, Harry Cant did well to make a close-range block and then successfully grab the ball.
The home side went close two minutes later when a shot whizzed just past the far-post.
However, the R’s almost regained the lead in the 26th minute when Rayan Kolli’s close-range effort was deflected by Sam Bentley onto the crossbar.
Dale Wootton booked Jayden Luker for a naughty challenge on Guilherme Siqueira. Lorent Talla’s subsequent free kick from 35-yards, was blazed well over the bar.
Charlie McDonald was booked in the 41st minute for a deliberate handball after he had lost possession.
Two added minutes were indicated, and the final action of the half saw Harry Cant making a superb one-handed save from Millar Matthews-Lewis to deny the home side. Half-time: 1-2.
Three minutes after the re-start, and following a ball in from the left, Rayan Kolli’s audacious overhead kick finished just wide of the target.
After Shannon Brown was booked for a foul on Zack Nelson, Alfie Tuck replaced him on 55 minutes.
A minute or so later, Lorent Talla advanced into the box where he set-up Kieran Petrie, but the R’s No.11 shot just wide.
On 65 minutes, Micah Hyde introduced Jabari Christmas at the expense of Samuel Sackey, and shortly after, the R’s substitute bent his shot just wide of the upright.
A rare breakaway for the home side on 68 minutes resulted in Harry Cant making an excellent stop with the aid of his boot.
On 70 minute, Sam Bentley made a comfortable save from Lorent Talla’s curling effort from around 20-yards.
Then, the Luton keeper was forced down low to keep out Jabari Christmas’s shot from a similar distance.
Despite Rangers’ domination, they hadn’t managed to put away a number of good goalscoring opportunities and it was the home side who extended their lead on 72 minutes.
Oli Lynch knocked the ball onto Millar Matthews-Lewis, well positioned on the edge of the box. The Hatters No.11 then set-up Zack Nelson who proceeded to place the ball, low, into the corner of the net.
The away side still continued to create chances in the closing stages. The Luton keeper saved from Rayan Kolli and Jake Leahy’s effort just evaded the target. The Rangers full-back was then replaced by Sam Bagan on 82 minutes.
After the R’s final substitute had headed wide of the upright, six added minutes was displayed.
Rangers continued to battle on, but at the final whistle, in freezing conditions, it was the Hatters who were through to the next round to face either Gillingham or Preston North End.
Homeward bound and coming off the M1, we hit a kerb, and just missed a bollard, causing a puncture. However, we managed to limp back to Park Royal, but Sammy told me the next morning that the tyre was actually shredded!