Youngsters secure crucial win...
Boro’s U18s brushed aside rivals Luton Town with a 2-1 win in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night.
Goals from Ben Wilmot and Andronicos Georgiou secured a safe passage to the Second Round as the youngsters impressed in front of a 392 strong crowd at Kenilworth Road.
Stevenage started the game on top and had two early chances to go ahead inside the opening five minutes. Joe Leslie firing narrowly wide from the edge of the box before Marcus Gouldbourne saw his one-on-one chance saved by the Luton goalkeeper.
If those missed chances meant for any early nerves, those were soon dissipated as Ben Wilmot put his team in-front. The standout centre-back steering in a close range chance following a Stevenage corner.
Georgiou had the chance to make it 2-0 not long after but his right footed shot fell just the wrong side of the post and despite a largely dominant first half, Boro keeper Harness was needed to make a number of crucial saves throughout.
Perhaps the most vital of those coming just before half-time as he palmed away a Belgrove header to keep it at 1-0 going into the break.
Boro’s youngsters started the second half just like the first and promptly doubled their lead inside the first five minutes. A trademark goal from Andronicos Georgiou as he picked the ball up from just outside the box before unleashing a fierce strike into the bottom corner.
Paul Field came on for Marcus Gouldbourne moments later and Georgiou came close to putting on the finishing touches as his strike flew over the bar from 20 yards out.
Luton threatened rarely throughout the second half and Jorden Gibson’s team played out the remainder of the game with an assured control about themselves.
Harry Draper nearly got himself on the scoresheet after closing down Parker in goal, his block falling just the wrong side of the post before Leslie came inches away after Georgiou picked out him with a deft cross at the back-post.
Draper made way for Liam Smyth with just over ten minutes to go and just as it seemed the win was secure, Michael Shamalo blasted in a late goal for the home side in added time.
Thankfully Boro were able to see out the game and hold onto the win as a Second Round tie at Bromley now awaits.