Young Hatters side impress despite Wimbledon reverse
A Town youth team consisting entirely of under-15 and under-16 players went down 3-1 to a full-strength AFC Wimbledon team at Lea Manor on Saturday morning.
With attention focused on next week’s FA Youth Cup quarter-final at Blackburn Rovers, the Hatters began with four under-15s and seven under-16s in the starting XI.
Wimbledon led 1-0 at the break before adding two goals in the second half to race into a three-goal lead.
Striker Scott Belgrove pulled a goal back to reduce the deficit for the Town, but the Hatters were able to also use three under-15 substitutes to enhance their experience of youth team football.
Boss Paul Driver told lutontown.co.uk: “We were pleased with the way they performed against a much more experienced Wimbledon side.
“Ultimately the difference was in both penalty boxes. We created plenty of chances but couldn’t convert them while Wimbledon could.
“It was very positive, however, and to have five under-15s on the pitch at the end is hugely satisfying.
“Game time for these young players will be of huge benefit to their development. There’s always a worry if you chuck too many young players in they could get a real hiding and their confidence might take a knock.
“But it’s a very worthwhile experience for all of the boys involved and something we as a Club hope to reap the rewards from in the future.”
Town squad: Parker, James, Mead, Jones, Panter, Peck, Sorunke, Read, Shamola, Belgrove, Neufville, Tomlinson, Burge, Moseray.