The Hatters Development Squad defeated Barton Rovers 4-2 at Sharpenhoe Road
Hatters Development Squad boss Andy Awford felt his side should have scored more in the 4-2 Bedfordshire FA Premier Cup final win over Barton Rovers last night, but was delighted by how the Town youngsters responded after throwing away a 2-0 lead.
Goals from Alex Atkinson and Isaac Vassell gave the Hatters a comfortable lead at half-time, but two Barton strikes in the first quarter of an hour of the second half brought things level.
As planned before the game, Awford withdrew first-teamers Vassell, Jake Gray – who had created both goals – and Newcastle loanee Alex Gilliead on the hour, immediately after the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central side had drawn level.
But youth team substitutes Arthur Read and Freddie Hinds turned the game on its head, with the former’s deflected strike putting the Hatters back in the lead and the latter netting a classy fourth late on to ensure the Hatters retained the silverware won on the same ground last season.
Awford said: “We should have been well out sight at half-time. We missed quite a few chances and it was a shame we didn’t have the end product.
“In the second half you have to give Barton a bit of credit. They have come at us and they scored from two set pieces, which is a great learning curve for the young players. You can have all your play, but if you don’t defend set pieces properly, you’ll come unstuck – and we did.
“We think we have got some very good young footballers at the club, which we saw at Gillingham. It didn’t surprise me that at the end a couple of them managed to score a couple of goals.”