Luton Under 18s 1 Argyle 1 (Luton won 4-3 on penalties)
18th February 2017
ARGYLE's hopes of reaching their first ever EFL Youth Alliance Cup final were dashed on Tuesday when they lost their semi-final away to the Hatters.
The game, which was played at Shefford & Campton's ground, ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and went straight to penalties which Argyle unfortunately lost 4-3.
Argyle's top scorer Alex Fletcher missed the Greens' first spot-kick before Dan Rooney, Alex Battle and Callum Rose all scored. Luton had also missed one of their penalties before Cameron Sangster failed with Argyle's fifth leaving the Hatters to successfully convert their final kick to win 4-3 claiming a place in the final. They will now play Carl Fletcher's AFC Bournemouth side, who had won their semi-final 2-1 away at Leyton Orient.
Luton started the tie well, shading the first half exchanges, after Argyle had been forced to reorganise on 20 minutes after Connor McAuley had suffered a head injury. The Hatters took a 26th minute lead but the Argyle youngsters responded well to their half time instructions by taking the game to their hosts.
The young Pilgrims were level on 50 minutes when Dan Rooney was felled in the area giving Alex Battle the opportunity to coolly convert the resultant penalty.
Argyle were now in the ascendancy, creating numerous chance to take the lead but Fletcher, Josh Richards and Rooney were all denied by the Hatters goalkeeper leaving the game to go straight to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
"It was a disappointment to go out of a cup on penalties again in what was a close game," said Academy Manager Kevin Hodges. "I thought Luton had the better of the first half but we still had our chances and were still in the game. We upped the pace of the game after the break and controlled it but could only make the breakthrough once."
Argyle: Michael Cooper, Aaron Taylor, Jordan Bentley, Callum Rose, Ryan Law, Josh Richards, Dan Rooney, Connor McAuley (Billy Craske 20), Alex Fletcher, Alex Battle, Cameron Sangster.