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Club News

YOUNGSTERS FIGHT BACK TO EARN DRAW

3 February 2013

The Hatters Under-18s, desperate for some competitive football, switched their Youth Alliance game against Leyton Orient their opponents' venue on Saturday and they fought back in the second half to force a very creditable 2-2 game draw with goals from Zane Banton and Charlie Smith.
 
With Jerome Jibodu injured and Tinashe Chabata ony just back to the group after a bout of chicken pox, Brett Longden partnered Zac Jules in central defence with Kyle Davison taking Jibodu's left-back slot.
 
A lively start saw both sides doing well going forward but it was Orient who took the lead in the 12th minute with a strike from 10 yards past Josh Carpenter in the Hatters goal.  Previously, a smart reflex save from the Orient keeper as Leeroy Maguraushe burst into the box had denied the Hatters an early lead.
 
The Hatters continued to look dangerous going foward and their best chance came when Smith fed Maguraushe wide and his teasing cross eluded everyone including Arel Amu's late run at the far post.
 
However, Orient doubled their lead as the half entered it's final 15 minutes with a good strike from outside the box.
 
Maguraushe had an excellent chance to halve the arrears just before half time as he burst into the box but he dragged his shot wide of the post.
 
With the aid of the wind, the Hatters were the stronger side in the second period and almost pulled a goal back in the 61st minute from Jemale McKenzie-Lowe but the striker blasted his effort just wide.  Almost immediately, they did get back into the game when  Banton ran clear of the Orient defence to finish neatly into the corner of the net.
 
Luke Trottman and Chabata replaced McKenzie-Lowe and Davison respectively as the game entered it's last quarter and the equaliser followed in the 79th minute when Smith burst into the box to poke the ball home at the end of a flowing move.
 
The Hatters continued to push for the winner and Amu had a close range heading opportunity but his effort looped into the keeper's hands and the game finished all square.

Manager Paul Driver told lutontown.co.uk: "Firstly, we'd like to thank Orient for agreeing to swapping the fixture and for getting the game on as we were desperate to get some competitive football after all the bad weather.  I was really pleased with the game.  We didn't deserve to be two goals down at half-time and we were superb in the second half as we worked our socks off to get something from the game. Given the length of the break, our fitness levels were excellent.” 
 
Team: Carpenter, Burtenshaw, Davison (sub Chabata 72), Rees, Jules, Longden, Amu, Smith, McKenzie-Lowe (sub Trottman 69), Banton, Maguraushe.  Subs not used: Barnes, Hawkes.

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