One of the most memorable results of Nathan Jones’ first few months in charge came in the second game of the 2016-17 season, when – after recording a 3-0 opening day League Two win at Plymouth – the Hatters knocked Championship giants Aston Villa out of the EFL Cup.
Five-times winners Villa had only recently been relegated from the Premier League and arrived at Kenilworth Road with former Champions League-winner with Chelsea, Roberto Di Matteo, having been appointed as their new manager that summer.
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With Dan Potts suspended following his first day red card in Devon, Jones picked 18-year-old James Justin for his first senior start in a then-unfamiliar left-back position as the Hatters played host to the Midlands club and the live Sky Sports cameras.
Justin was one of three changes to the side that played at Home Park, with recent signing from Crystal Palace, Jake Gray, handed his full debut and Olly Lee coming into midfield, with Scott Cuthbert and Jordan Cook dropping to the bench.
TOWN: Walton, O’Donnell, Mullins, Rea, Justin, Lee, Mpanzu, McGeehan, Gray, Hylton, Marriott. Subs: Smith, Cuthbert, Cook, Vassell, McQuoid, King (GK), Famewo.
VILLA: Bunn, Baker, Richards, Okore, Tshibola, Ayew, Green, Gardner, Amavi, Grealish, McCormack. Subs: Elphick, Bacuna, Steer, Gestede, Westwood, Hutton, Cissokho.