Stevenage net injury-time winner as young Hatters lose out

Luton Town v Cambridge United. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 03.Luton Town v Cambridge United. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 03.
Luton Town v Cambridge United. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 03.
Puma Youth Alliance South East Division: Luton Town U18s 1 (1) Stevenage U18s 2 (0)

Youthful Luton surrendered a 1-0 lead on Saturday as a late header from a corner earned Stevenage all three points in their Puma Youth Alliance South East Division clash on Saturday.

Despite the result it was a good performance from the Hatters who played their first home game since late November at Venue360 in Luton.

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Boss Paul Driver said: “Apart from the result, I was pretty pleased with the performance today.

“We have switched up our formation as we are now a much younger group with most of the older boys either on loan, with the first team or injured.

“I thought Harry Tamplin and Luke Trotman were excellent and I am seeing improvement all the time in Lee Hawkes and, especially, Osamu Allman.

“We held the shape well, played the conditions in the right way and created more chances than we have for a number of games.

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“Unfortunately, we didn’t take them and this puts you under pressure when it shouldn’t and we paid the price in the end.

“It’s always disappointing to concede from set plays as happened with the winner.”

Town once again named a very young team with only Ian Rees and Tinashe Chabata the only second year scholars involved.

Hatters started the better and should have taken a second minute lead when striker Tuki Tayali dispossessed a defender, but the keeper saved one-on-one with his legs.

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Rees drove forward saw his 20-yard effort tipped over the bar on 16 minutes before being forced off with a calf injury as he was replaced by Gabriel Oakley on 23 minutes.

Tayali had two more excellent chances to open the scoring as he headed just wide and then shot post the post after a good run.

Town did finally take the lead three minutes before half time when Trotman broke into the box and the Stevenage keeper was unable to keep his shot out.

Boro hit back early in the second half when they broke quickly from a Hatters corner and their striker burst through the middle to finish clinically past Craig King.

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There were few more chances for either side, with the Hatters’ best efforts coming through Trotman runs into the box which were scrambled away.

One clearance fell to Daril Ngwala and his goalbound effort deflected wide off the legs of a defender with four minutes to go.

And Stevenage grabbed victory in the third minutes of stoppage time when a late corner was headed home.

Hatters: King, Justin (Crilley 69), Perry, Chabata, Hawkes, Tamplin, Rees (C, Oakley 23), Trotman, Ngwala, Tayali, Allman. Substitutes not used: Amadi.

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