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Andy Awford's youngsters go down in opening league game

7 August 2017

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While the first team got off to a flyer on Saturday, the Hatters’ youth team went down 2-0 to Dagenham & Redbridge in their opening game of the EFL Youth Alliance South-East Division campaign.

Academy & Development manager Andy Awford took a young team to Dagenham Road in Romford, and refused to be downbeat about the result.

He said: “Two set pieces – a corner and a long throw – were our downfall in a game that we felt we controlled in terms of possession.

“We lacked a bit of a cutting edge in the final third and although we missed a few chances, we should have and could have made more of the opportunities that we had.”

The U18s finished the game with four 15-year-olds on the pitch and Awford described the clash as “a steep learning curve for the boys”.

He added: “Not all Academy football is easy on the eye and pure football, as some would have us believe. You have to do the ugly things well and unfortunately we did not, and the players need to learn quickly from that point of view as we prepare for another away fixture at Leyton Orient on Saturday.

“We fielded a very young team against Dagenham and we will this season be pushing the U16 players on again, testing them to the hilt as they play in the U18s’ league fixtures.

“This approach is all about improving the individual and sometimes the team and the result will suffer as a result. This is something that we as a club strongly believe in, and will continue with as we look to push more players through our Academy system and up to the first team squad.”


HATTERS: Parker; A Jones, Mead, C Jones, Panter; Peck, Richardson, Read, Sorunke; Tomlinson, Shamola. Subs: Neufville, Byron, Vukoje, Stead

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