Preston North End ruined Luton Town’s seven consecutive winning record by beating them 3-2 and advanced to the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup.
As the hosts have already won their league and have the majority of their games, their current performance has been good enough to prove that they have been in form. Luton have beaten QPR 3-1 in the fourth round and were aiming to make their unbeaten record eight, continuing since last December. On the other hand, as they have barely beaten Gillingham with Kian Best’s late winner in the previous round, the visitors were currently struggling for form coming into this game as they have won only once in the last four games in 2023.
After the game kicked off, the home side started dominating the majority of possession and creating several chances, so the deadlock did not last long as Oli Lynch, who capitalised on the opportunities provided by Tommy Davis’s fumble, grabbed an opener easily from the very close range on 17 minutes.
While the home side kept attacking, Preston created few chances in the opening 25 minutes of the game but were able to equalise against the run of play in the 26th minute. A high and slow volley from Kitt Nelson induced Sam Bentley’s fumble, and Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile, who has been the subject of interest from Man United and Liverpool and scored five in one game in a previous round against Rotherham, equalised with the header from the extreme close distance.
After Preston’s equaliser, the away side grew into the game. After the strike from Millar Matthews-Lewis’s right foot denied by the left post, Finlay Cross-Adair gave his side the lead by tapping the ball into the net from close range again on 45 minutes after a corner which nearly went straight in.
However, Luton bounced back immediately on the stroke of half time as Archie Heron’s precise cross from the right side found Matthew-Lewis whose header snuck past the goalkeeper, meaning the teams went in at half-time square.
In the second half, Preston took the lead once again on 61 minutes, with a precise strike from Kian Best’s left foot. Best was totally unmarked on the outside of the area and there was enough space for him to fire Preston for the second time in the match.
Luton Town looked to force an equaliser by making substitutions, using Jamie Odegah and Jack Lorentzen-Jones. However, Preston stood firm to deny the home side’s efforts, ensuring that the Lilywhites booked their place in the quarter finals of the Youth Cup.
Preston will now face Southampton in the quarter finals after they beat fellow Premier League opposition Fulham 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Both sides have games on Saturday as Preston will visit Oldham and Luton Town travel to Stevenage.