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YOUTH REPORT: HATTERS 3-1 CAMBRIDGE UNITED

22 August 2016

Read the match report on Paul Driver's young Hatters' excellent win

The Hatters’ youth team side recorded a third straight victory as they entertained local rivals Cambridge United at a blustery Ely Way on Saturday morning.

Three second half goals, two from substitute Arthur Read and one from James Verney, were more than enough for the young Luton side to see out the win, even after Cambridge scored a late equaliser. 

Manager Paul Driver made some changes from the team that had beaten the MK Dons in the previous game with Joe Mead replacing Jack James in defence, and Jake Peck and Tyreeq Bakinson coming in for Kavan Cotter and Arthur Read.

The Hatters kicked against the wind in the first half and their best moves in the early exchanges came down the left hand side with Cameron McJannet delivering some excellent crosses. 

It was from one of these in the 19th minute that a Bakinson volley was blocked by a Cambridge defender and deflected away for a corner.

Schoolboy Peck then had two good chances to open his account for the season. 

The first saw him make a late run into the box but he was unable to control the ball when well-placed from 15 yards out, and then he found space at the back post in the 23rd minute but put his shot wide.

Chances came at either end midway through the half with Jack Snelus having an effort blocked by the legs of the Cambridge keeper and Bakinson blasting a shot just over the bar. In between this, Cambridge had a goal disallowed for offside.

The game remained goalless, however, and the teams went into half time all square at 0-0.

With the Hatters unable to get a good hold of the game in the early exchanges of the second half, three substitutions were made with Read, Cotter and Connor Tomlinson replacing Sorunke, Peck and Neufville respectively after 52 minutes. Then James replaced Mead at right back on the hour mark.

Luton won the contest in a 12-minute spell with Read opening the scoring in the 67th minute with a tricky run and left footed strike from 25 yards into the corner of the net. He then doubled the lead and his tally for the day in the 75th minute with a neat finish from 15 yards.

As the Hatters upped the pressure, Jack James struck the post in the 76th minute and became the provider just a minute later with a precise cross that was thumped home from close range in the 78th minute by Verney with his first touch since replacing Geo Craig in attack.

In the closing stages, Cambridge pulled a goal back from close range but there were no further scares and the third consecutive victory was recorded for the Hatters. 

Driver felt that his side were not at the best on the day.

He told lutontown.co.uk: “On the balance of play over the whole 90 minutes, I think Cambridge were very unlucky to find themselves 3-0 down as they caused us a lot of problems both centrally and wide.

“We need to be much better defensively both as a team for the more important youth games, and as individuals when we step up to the Under 21s group and beyond.   

“We haven't kept a clean sheet in the three youth games and we need to work on that. Until the subs were made, we weren't good enough in possession either; we didn't play at our pace so didn't hurt them as much as we did Dagenham and MK in the first two games.

“But we mixed the side up again, rested a few lads who have had a lot of match minutes and gave the three Under-16 lads more exposure at this level. They will benefit from that, for sure.”

Town line-up: Gordon-Stern, Mead (James 60), McJannet, Sorunke (Cotter 52), Bean, Jones, Bakinson, Peck (Read 52), Snelus, Neufville (Tomlinson 52), Craig (Verney 76), 

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