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REPORT: HATTERS YOUNGSTERS WIN YOUTH ALLIANCE CUP

20 April 2016

The Hatters have won the Football League Youth Alliance Cup after a thrilling 2-1 victory at Shrewsbury.

Freddie Hinds scored twice in the second half after a nervy opening 45 minutes, clinically taking his chances in front of more than 600 at Greenhous Meadow. 


Chris Gallagher scored a late penalty from a Kyran McGhan-George foul, setting up a nervous final 13 minutes.


But the Hatters held on valiantly to win the League Cup, making it a terrific season for the title-winning and cup quarter-finalists.

 

Paul Driver made two changes from the semi-final win over Swindon, drafting in captain Frankie Musonda and Josh Brown for McGhan-George and George Murray. 


It was an even contest in the first ten minutes, with both teams aiming to settle themselves in a nervy encounter knowing what prize was on the line. 


The Hatters almost took the lead though when Alex Atkinson took aim from distance, watching his shot strike the post before bouncing away to safety.

 

That proved the best chance of the first half for either side, although Akin Famewo had to be on his guard to keep out a Shrewsbury attack with a fine sliding tackle.


It was even more quiet for Town keeper Liam Gooch, touching the ball on just three occasions, but long-range strikes form Ethan Jones and then Jack Watts saw his palms stung as the half-time whistle blew.


The Hatters came out firing in the second half, with Tyreeq Bakinson fired just over before Driver’s side took the lead. Justin’s long ball caught out home captain Callum Grogan, heading into the path of Hinds to slot coolly past Charlie Bannister with just five minutes of the half played.


It could have been two just minutes later when Cameron McJannet’s strike was deflected over, although Jones once again tested Gooch after bursting down the left channel.


But the Hatters, and Hinds, did get their second with just 18 minutes to play. Excellent midfield work set Kavan Cotter away down the right, and while his ball left Hinds with work to do, the striker turned his man to tuck home from close range to double the advantage.


Yet the Hatters were forced into a nervy last 13 minutes when Gallagher converted a penalty. Higgs was fouled in the box by substitute McGhan-George, with Gallagher sending Gooch the wrong way.


But despite Shrewsbury pushing, the Hatters held on to secure a fantastic Youth Alliance League Cup win, sending the travelling fans into jubilation. 

 

Hatters: Gooch, Atkinson, Justin, Musonda (c), Famewo, McJannet, Brown (sub McGhan-George), Cotter, Hinds, Snelus, Bakinson


Subs not used: Bean, Parker ,Murray, Verney

 

Photos: with thanks to Ben Cuerden



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