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YOUTH REPORT: SWINDON 1-4 HATTERS

12 September 2016

The young Hatters continued their fantastic form in the Youth Alliance Cup

"The Hatters Youth Team started the defence of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup successfully with a 4 - 1 win away against Swindon Town at Clarence Park in Chippenham on Saturday morning.
 
Kavan Cotter and Jack James returned to the starting line-up in the two changes made to the team that had beaten Northampton Town in the league the previous week, with Cotter taking over the captaincy from the injured Harry Bean.
 
The Hatters - looking to carry on their form in the competition after defeating Shrewsbury 2-1 in last season’s final - started the game well as Cotter sent an early chance just over the bar before an offside decision denied Freddie Hinds when clear through on goal.
 
Hinds made amends shortly after though, as he opened his account for the day after he beat the offside trap and fired into the bottom left corner of the goal from 10 yards to give his side the lead.
 
The Hatters good start was brought to an abrupt end, when some poor decisions in possession led to a period of pressure from Swindon who struck the bar from a free kick, before equalising on 15 minutes with a cross and finish from six yards out.

Paul Driver was forced into an early change when an injury to Jack Snelus meant the influential midfielder had to come off and was replaced by Kitan Sorunke just before the half hour mark.
 
The game was won within the first 15 minutes of the second half, as the Hatters scored three goals without reply and the hosts reduced to ten men within that period.
 
Firstly, George Murray won a head in midfield to set up Read who drove into the box, combined with Scott Belgrove before slotting the ball past the home keeper to regain the lead.
 
Then a Belgrove drive into the box saw him get upended by a central defender already on a yellow card and the referee had no choice but to award a penalty and show the Swindon player his second yellow.  Cotter slotted away the penalty to give the Hatters a two goal lead.
 
Read was again at the centre of things in the 61st minute as he took possession on the right flank and drove inside before scoring from 20 yards out to make the score 4-1.
 
Geo Craig and Toby Byron came on for Hinds and Belgrove as the game entered the last 15 minutes, but by then the game was already won.
 
Full Time:  Swindon Town Youth 1-4 Luton Town Youth
 
Luton Team: Gordon-Stearn, James, Panter, Murray, Jones, Mead, Cotter, Read, Snelus (Sorunke 28), Hinds (Craig 69), Belgrove (Byron 78).  Unused sub Parker (GK).
 
Paul Driver couldn’t hide his joy after the game, and who could blame him after such a fantastic win for the Youth Side.

He said: "We started OK but were sloppy once we took the lead and let them back into things which was disappointing but the second half performance was much better all round and that's the standard that we need to set and maintain throughout games.
 
“I thought the back line - especially Joe Mead - were better with the defensive duties today given that they are a young unit, with four first years and two U16s involved in there in front of a first year keeper.
 
“But the main thing today was to proceed in the cup which we won last season and try to get as far as we can again this season as it gives meaningful fixtures for the group later in the season - and we did that, so I am very pleased.”

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