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U21S: HATTERS BEAT AFC WIMBLEDON AT ELY WAY

18 August 2016

Banton, Bakinson and Craig on the scoresheet for the Town U21 side

The Hatters had the first of what is expected to be regular Under 21s fixtures this season on Tuesday when they entertained AFC Wimbledon's U21 at the Ely Way training ground and an encouraging all round performance brought a 3-0 victory with goals from Zane Banton, Tyreeq Bakinson and Geo Craig.

Each side played one over aged player - Mark O'Brien in the Hatters case - otherwise Andy Awford named a side made up of younger pros and youth team members for the contest.

After an even first quarter of an hour, the Hatters started to create some good chances and Jack Snelus was twice denied in the fifteenth minute by good saves from the AFC keeper following excellent corners from Alex Atkinson and Arthur Read.

The opening goal came in the 20th minute when full back Harry Bean got forward well and his cross was bundled in from close range by Banton.

The Hatters continued to be positive and produced some excellent build up play and doubled the lead three minutes before the break when Bakinson picked out Banton wide and sprinted into the box to meet the strikers' cross and side foot the ball over the line from inside the six yard box.

As with the early stages of the first half, most of the second half was a much more even contest with few real chances for either side - a Kavan Cotter strike from 25 yards being the biggest test for the visiting keeper.

Geo Craig and Kitan Sorunke replaced Bakinson and Banton respectively at the hour mark and Ciaren Jones replaced Alex Atkinson for the final tweleve minutes as Awford made changes to personnel with match minutes in mind.

The closing stages saw a great chance for the visitors to pull one back but Liam Gooch saved well from a 20 yard strike to help him register another clean sheet.  Then, in the final minute, the Hatters scored a superb team goal after keeping the ball for a number of passes before Craig was released to slot the ball home to complete the scoring.

Andy Awford said: "I was very pleased with the way they team adapted themselves, and the result reflected the solid work they put in. It was a good all-round team performance with plenty of positives to take forward".

Full Time:  Luton Town U21s 3  AFC Wimbledon U21s 0

Luton Town Team: Gooch, Bean, McJannet, Bakinson (Sorunke 60), Musonda, O'Brien, Cotter, Atkinson (Jones 78), Banton (Craig 60), Snelus, Read.  Unused Subs: James, Mead, Verney, Gordon-Stearn




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