The Hatters turned the game on its head after going 2-0 down early on
The Hatters’ youth team pulled off the result of the season so far on Saturday morning as they came from two down to beat Southend United 3-2 at the Shrimpers’ Boots & Laces training ground.
Mistakes from Joe Mead and Ciaren Jones saw the hosts take a two-goal lead inside 13 minutes, but manager Paul Driver was delighted with how the pair did not let it affect them and kept their composure to produce solid performances before efforts from Freddie Hinds and Geo Craig, plus a penalty from Jack Snelus, produced what the manager described as a “good tonic” after last week’s defeat to Stevenage.
After conceding twice, the Hatters went close through Craig, when he almost got on the end of an Arthur Read cross.
Read continued to threaten with his set-pieces, but on a number of occasions his team-mates were unable to get on the end of his efforts.
Hinds pulled a goal back with ten minutes left of the first half after a smart through ball from Harry Bean, with the striker dispatching the ball into the bottom corner of the Southend goal.
It was the beginning of a fantastic comeback, as a seven-minute spell after half-time saw the Town take the lead for the first time in the game.
Just after the hour mark, Snelus picked out Craig on the left of the Shrimpers’ penalty box and he fired beyond the hosts’ keeper and into the net to bring the game level.
A few minutes later and Driver’s side had completed the comeback. Snelus was dragged down inside the Southend box, the referee gave the penalty. Snelus picked himself up and fired in from 12 yards to give the Hatters the lead.
Driver thought his side had been pegged back instantly, as the hosts appeared to have scored, but keeper Liam Gooch was deemed to have been impeded in the build-up.
Bean and Hinds had the chance to add to their side’s tally late on, but both sent their efforts wide.
Driver was incredibly satisfied with his side’s performance, as he thought they played some of their best football of the season.
He said: “I feel after the first 13 minutes, it was certainly the best we have played in possession this season.
“I was really pleased that rather than heads going down after the previous week’s defeat to Stevenage, the older players – Hinds, Snelus, Craig, Bean and Gooch – stayed strong and pulled the younger ones through it.
“The standards they set after going two goals down helped pull them through it and the 3-2 win was the least we deserved.
“It was a good comeback from the week before and a good tonic for the cup match against Stevenage this Saturday.”
Town XI: Gooch, Bean Jones, Mead, James Sorunke, Read, Shamalo (Belgrove), Snelus (Ellis), Hinds (Greco), Craig.
Subs: Belgrove, Ellis, Greco.