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Match Reports

YOUTH REPORT: Notts County 1-3 Luton Town

15 December 2015

Notts County's youth team bowed out of the FA Youth Cup as they were beaten 3-1 by Luton Town in the third round clash at Meadow Lane.

The young Magpies had beaten Northampton Town and Rochdale to set up the tie with the Hatters, but found themselves 2-0 down after 20 minutes.

Freddie Hinds got the first, racing in behind the defence to beat Joe Searson-Smithard and Jack Snelus fired in the second from 12 yards.

It looked as though it was going to be a comfortable night for Luton, but Montel Gibson beat Frankie Musonda to a long ball and was hauled down, earning Notts a penalty and a red card for the defender.

Gibson halved the deficit from the spot but George Murray put the Hatters back in command with a header from a corner early in the second period to end County's cup exploits.

The visitors arrived at Meadow Lane unbeaten in 29 games - a run stretching back to last season - and they were the first to threaten as Kavan Cotter nipped down the right wing and pulled the back to Hinds, who saw his effort tipped around the post by Searson-Smithard in the Notts goal.

More smart play on the Luton right led to an opportunity for Cameron McJannet, but the defender skewed wide from the edge of the penalty area before Alex Atkinson dragged a long-range shot off-target.

Jordan Aghatise, who had scored for the reserve side a week ago, planted his header straight at the visiting goalkeeper from Jack McMillan's corner.

The visitors went straight up the other end and opened the scoring as the pacy Hinds beat the offside trap and clipped the ball over the advancing Searson-Smithard.

Tamar Clayton-Naute tried to find an equaliser as the midfielder picked up the ball on the half-way line and embarked on a mazy 40-yard run but curled wide.

Paul Drive's side doubled their lead as Snelus played a quick one-two with Hinds and found the bottom corner with imperious accuracy to leave Notts with a mountain to climb.

They started to clamber up said mountain when a long ball over the top set Gibson scampering free and he got the better of Musonda before being dragged to the floor. It left referee Matthew Smith no option but to point to the spot and brandish a red card to the visiting captain.

Gibson stepped up to take the penalty himself and buried it into the bottom left corner, just beyond the reach of goalkeeper Liam Gooch.

Despite being a man light, Luton almost restored their two-goal lead when Hinds rounded the goalkeeper but found County captain Luther Wildin on hand to block his effort and hack clear.

Gibson's give-and-go with Alex Howes almost gave him a sight of goal but was denied by a superb sliding challenge by stand-in central defender Kyran McGhan-George.

Snelus smashed a shot into the midriff of the goalkeeper as the first half came to a close with Notts a goal behind but a man up.

Luton began the second half on the attack with Murray's shot deflecting off Jordon Richards and wide.

From the corner, they retrieved their two-goal lead as Murray's header clipped the underside of the bar and was adjudged to have crossed the line by the assistant.

The goalscorer threatened to bag a second moments later, dancing through the midfield but he slammed straight at the goalkeeper.

An inswinging corner caused danger for the visitors as Richards headed down to Gibson but the striker was crowded out on the six-yard box.

At the other end, McJannet got the better of substitute Nathan Cobain and crossed into the area where Richards slid in to deny Hinds with the ball falling behind Murray who couldn't gather it and the chance went begging.

Still the Hatters piled forward; Kenan Layton's clearance from a low cross rebounded off Snelus but looped up for a comfortable catch for Searson-Smithard.

Snelus almost scored with a powerful strike from 25 yards but found the Notts goalkeeper in superb form to tip the dipping effort over the bar.

The Magpies tried valiantly to get themselves back into the contest in the latter stages - Gibson rifled wide from a tight angle - but the two-goal deficit proved insurmountable as Luton progressed to round four.

Notts: Searson-Smithard; Wildin, Richards, Aghatise, Layton; Clayton-Naute, Brownhill (McCartney, 59), McMillan (Dunn, 45), Blaney; Howes (Cobain, 59); Gibson.
Subs not used: Parkes, Dunn, Gibbons.

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