Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports


20 February 2017

Sponsored by

The Hatters took a point in their first match in the Merit League

The Hatters youth team won a hard-earned point at Swindon Town on Saturday as they began life in the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League.

Swindon were the dominant side in the first half seeing a lot of possession, but they weren’t able to create many chances.

They did however take the lead in the 36th minute, when a free-kick beat Liam Gooch in the Town net, as the ball went in off the underside of the bar.

Michael Shamalo had two half chances for the Hatters before the half-time whistle went, but he couldn’t trouble the keeper with his efforts.

Paul Driver’s side vastly improved after the break, as both Arthur Read and Kavan Cotter hit the bar, the latter crashing his effort off the woodwork with a strike from a free-kick.

The Hatters eventually equalised with 15 minutes of normal time remaining, with Connor Tomlinson’s shot from inside the Robins’ box flicked on by Callum Stead onto the post, which fell into the back of the net, courtesy of a deflection off a Swindon Town defender.

The hosts nearly took all three points, as Read had to clear the ball off the line, before a Swindon player headed over late on.

Speaking to, youth team boss Driver said: “It was an interesting game. It took us 45 minutes to sort out and understand the physicality and formation of the opposition, as we didn’t really get much possession in the first half.

“I am really, really pleased with the second half reaction, as we got back into the game, created a number of really good chances, I am really pleased overall.

“I think if Swindon keep that team in the Merit League then I think that’ll prove to be a very good for us away from home.”

Town squad:

Gooch, Sorunke (Cotter 25), James, Bean, Jones, Mead, Bakinson, Read, Peck (Snelus 70), Shamalo (Stead 70), Tomlinson

Unused subs: Ellis, Byron

Don't forget, the Hatters development squad are in action tomorrow at Barnet! The match at The Hive will kick-off at 1pm.

Advertisement block