Hatters youth team victorious again
The Town Under-18s came from a goal down to surge four points clear at the top of the Youth Alliance with a fine 2-1 away win in their top-of-the-table clash at Southend United.
Trailing to the second-placed Shrimpers, the Hatters youngsters stretched their unbeaten record this season to 12 matches thanks to goals from Kavan Cotter and Freddie Hinds –the latter’s winner coming two minutes from time.
The victory capped a fine week for the youth team with 10 of the side also involved in the development squad’s 1-0 win over Southend on Tuesday.
And Paul Driver’s side began on the front foot in the first half with their best chance coming when Tyreeq Bakinson headed over.
However, after dominating the first half, it was against the run of play that the Hatters fell behind on the hour when Dan Walker tapped the Shrimpers in front. There was a hint of offside but the goal was allowed to stand.
To their credit the Town didn’t allow that goal to affect their confidence, and with 20 minutes left Driver’s side were level when Hinds’ left-wing cross was met by Cotter who side-footed home from close range.
Level, the Hatters went in search of victory and their endeavours were rewarded on 88 minutes when Cotter’s cross to the back-post was rifled home by a rasping left-foot finish from Hinds.
Southend threw the kitchen sink at the Town in the closing stages but the Hatters held firm to record their 11th win in 12 unbeaten matches this season to tighten their grip on top spot in the South East section.
A delighted Driver told lutontown.co.uk: “This was a proper game between two of arguably the strongest sides in the section, so to come away with a win, especially after falling behind, is fantastic.
“We had six first-year scholars in the side so we are a young group and they are still learning.
“It’s important they don’t rest on their laurels, but in this past week with a number of them involved in the development squad I couldn’t be happier with their efforts.
“I couldn’t ask for any more.”
Yesterday the Town were drawn at home to Colchester United in the first round of the FA Youth Cup. The game will be played at Kenilworth Road at a date to be confirmed.
Town v Gooch; Justin, McJannet, Musonda, Famewo; McGhan-George, Bakinson, Cotter, Atkinson; Verney (sub Verney 71), Hinds (sub Snelus 89). Subs not used: Jones, Bean, Belgrove.
*Did you know? The Town Under-18s are now unbeaten in 20 games stretching back to the final eight games of last season (W17, D3).