Hat-trick for Stevenson and 90 minutes for SmithTown dev 5
Lafayette 48, Stevenson 61, 80, 83, Musonda 75
Bournemouth dev 0
Five second half goals, including a hat-trick from Jim Stevenson, helped the Hatters’ development squad to a comprehensive victory over AFC Bournemouth.
It was the Town’s first fixture in the Final Third Development League and the game also saw midfielder Jonathan Smith complete his first 90 minutes of action since breaking his leg on Boxing Day last year.
The Hatters also fielded three trialists - right-back Ewan McNeil, formerly with Rangers and Norwich, ex-Barnet left-back Jordan Brown, and former Fulham and Dagenham midfielder Matt Saunders.
After a goalless first half the game sprung into life three minutes into second period when Ross Lafayette rifled home from 10 yards after Alex Wall had kept in Matt Saunders’ right-wing cross.
Shortly after the hour mark it was 2-0 when Stevenson was first to Lafayette’s flick-on from a left-wing cross.
The Hatters were dominant and with 15 minutes left two became three when youth team centre-half Frankie Musonda glanced home a header into the top corner following Smith’s hooked pass back into the danger zone.
Chances continued to fall the Town’s way as they outplayed a young Cherries side, and Stevenson grabbed his second on 80 minutes when he did brilliantly to stoop to head home bravely inside the six-yard box.
Three minutes later Stevenson completed his hat-trick in fine style, thundering a low shot in off the post with a shot from the edge of the box to round-off an easy victory for Hakan Hayrettin’s men, who finished with 10 men on the field following Wall’s late red card for dissent.
Town: Justham; McNeil (sub Trotman 80), Brown, Tamplin (sub Musonda 19), Williams; Smith, Stevenson, Saunders; Walker, Lafayette (sub Ngwala 83) Wall. Subs not used: King, Galliford.