A battling second-half performance at The Hive was not enough for Barnet’s Under-18s who exited the FA Youth Cup with a 3-1 defeat to Luton Town in the first round.
Forward Ephron Mason-Clark missed a 21st-minute penalty but Barnet went ahead in the 27th minute when Greg Adinna headed home. However, Luton levelled eight minutes later through George Murray.
Murray doubled up in the 67th minute before Freddie Hinds bagged a third at the death to kill off the Bees’ threat.
With Dean Selvey away on a coaching course, Academy manager Henry Newman took the side and named a young side for the tie. By contrast, Luton included four players to have played for Nathan Jones’ first team.
The opening exchanges were very even with neither side able to assert themselves and get on top at The Hive.
Luton’s had the game’s first chance when a Kavan Cotter free-kick was punched away by Bees keeper Charlie Busby. The ball flew out to Hinds but his reaction header whistle narrowly over the bar.
Barnet’s first chance arrived in the 12th minute when skipper Joe Payne met a corner from the right with a firm header but could only steer his effort into the palms of Town keeper Lewis Todd.
The Hatters responded a minute later, Jack Snelus letting fly with a crisp drive from the edge of the penalty area which Busby had covered.
In the 21st minute the Bees were handed the perfect opportunity to go in front when Mason-Clark was felled inside the area by Tyreeq Bakinson. The forward, who is currently on loan at Met Police, took the spot kick himself but slotted wide.
The miss mattered little though and, six minutes later, Newman’s side went in front.
A pin-point cross from the right found Adinna who, with the ball behind him, did well to re-position himself and nod home the opener.
Barnet’s advantage didn’t last long, however, and Luton equalised in the 35th minute when Murray – who had minutes earlier been denied by the crossbar – tucked home from close range following a good stop from Busby.
Luton had the last chance before half time but striker Hinds found Bees stopper Busby in his way went he went through 1v1.
Newman made one change at the break, replacing Billy Bishop-Hodgkins with Albanian Under-17 international Roy Syla.
And it was Syla who had Barnet’s first real chance of the second period, letting fly from 20 yard but only finding the palms of Luton keeper Todd.
Busby was then called upon to keep the scores level, pushing out Arthur Read’s effort from the edge of the penalty area.
Luton were putting the Bees under a sustained period of pressure and it told in the 68th minute when Murray put the Hatters in front for the first time.
Jack James’ cross from the left was controlled perfectly by Murray who then crashed a half-volley past the helpless Busby.
Busby was equal to the next effort, though, pushing away Hinds’ stinging near-post volley after an inch-perfect pass from Murray to release him.
The Bees remained a threat on the counter, never more so than when a cut back from the left found Mason-Clark in space. But the attacker took a touch instead of shooting first time and saw his effort blocked.
A minute from time Luton bagged a third, the dangerous Hinds controlling a cross, spinning his marker and firing home to seal the Hatters’ place in the draw for round two.
Barnet: Busby; Gyasi, Pascal, Payne (c), Hernandez (Brown 70); Connell, Coker, Bishop-Hodgkins (Syla HT), Cheema; Adinna (Adineran), Mason-Clark.
Subs: R. McKenzie-Lyle (GK), Valion.