Banton at the double as Town defeat Stevenage

Matt Robinson in action for Luton in their development clash against StevenageMatt Robinson in action for Luton in their development clash against Stevenage
Matt Robinson in action for Luton in their development clash against Stevenage
Two strikes from hot prospect Zane Banton saw Luton Town turn a 1-0 deficit around and defeat League One Stevenage 3-1 in their development clash on Tuesday afternoon, writes Mike Simmonds.

Luton had a number of fringe first-teamers in their side as Matt Robinson, Jim Stevenson and JJ O’Donnell all started, while Alex Wall continued his comeback from illness, playing for over an hour.

There were also a host of trialists involved in a match played over three 30 minute thirds in front of onlooking Town manager John Still.

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Wall and Jake Woolley had the best chances for Town early on as Woolley beat the offside flag only to drag wide, when really should scored.

He was next to threaten too, curling straight at Boro keeper Steve Arnold, while Wall then burst clear, only to sky his attempt wastefully over.

Woolley volleyed off target and Wall bobbled a drive at the keeper, as Hatters more than held their own in the opening third.

It was Stevenage who took the lead though during the second period with a crisp finish from inside the box after a long ball wasn’t dealt with by Town’s makeshift backline.

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Luton keeper Elliot Justham then produced a fine save from a close range header and reacted well to block the rebound, before at the other end, Woolley’s volley from O’Donnell’s cross was saved.

Banton then came off the bench at the start of the third segment and with his second touch, instinctively fired into the top corner from 20 yards out.

It was 2-1 to Luton with a goal of real quality shortly afterwards as Banton’s flighted pass out wide was taken by Woolley.

He combined with Wall before producing an inch-perfect cross that was expertly headed home by Stevenson.

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O’Donnell almost was on target, arrowing a half volley inches over, while Wall was denied by an excellent Arnold save,

Banton gave further signs of his undoubted promise though as he started and finished the move for the third goal, converting Woolley’s delivery from close range.

He almost had a hat-trick too, with another fierce shot tipped over the bar by Arnold as Luton ran out confident winners.

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