UPDATED: All-change for Luton as Lacey and McNulty are ruled out of Staines Town test

Braintree Town v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.Braintree Town v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.
Braintree Town v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.
Much-changed Luton are set to rely heavily on youth when they go to Staines Town in the first round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.

Youth teamers Zane Banton, Charlie Smith and Ian Rees could all potentially start, while the likes of Arel Amu and Tinashe Chibata among others are likely to figure on the bench.

They will be backed up by a variety of development team and fringe first-teamers for the match at the mid-table Skrill South side.

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The likes of winger David Viana, Matt Robinson and Mark Cullen are all also in the reckoning, while new loan signings Joe Davis (Port Vale) and Pelly Ruddock (West Ham) are also in the frame.

Still said: “There will be a couple that have done well. I think Zane will probably start. Charlie Smith will probably have some involvement either starting or on the bench, Ian Rees will probably be around it and one or two of the other younger ones on the bench.

“But those three, certainly a couple of them will start I think, but if I look at the likes of Matt Robinson, if I look at Jim Stevenson, if I look at Mark Cullen, those sort of players, David Viana, they have to really, really push on. And they’ve done well in development games and it’s a case of seeing what they do in a first team environment.

“We’ll have players that we feel have a lot of ability and have played in the first team and been in and around it. A lot of these players eventually have to go from having played first team games to becoming what might classed as regular first team players, so we will see what they are capable of. It is that transition and that’s obviously what we’ve got to look at.”

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On the injury front, young defender Alex Lacey, who was injured in Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat of Southport, will miss out with a knock, while experienced centre-half Steve McNulty is also definitely out with a minor problem.

Versatile youngster Andy Parry hasn’t trained today (Thursday) but Still is hopeful he’ll be available, while recovering striker Alex Wall is back in training and is likely to be named on the bench against the Swans.

Still said: “He’s (Lacey) weak. He’s had a knock and he’s got to get over it. It’s not life-threatening, he’s going to live fortunately. He took quite a nasty knock off of Mr Brodie and he is having treatment.

“I know that won’t be involved on Saturday, but he may not have been involved anyway, but it’s something he should be able to overcome I think pretty quickly.

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“Andy Parry is another one that received a bit of a knock and hasn’t trained today, but he should train tomorrow, so I think he should be OK.

“And the scorer of that wonderful first goal (McNulty) has got a bit of a sore knee, probably from where he didn’t kick the ball properly with the goal. And he hasn’t trained today, but he wouldn’t have played anyway, so not too bad.

“Jon Shaw we’re hoping will resume training with us on Monday, Alex Wall is back in training, no problems. He’ll be in the squad on Saturday, but he’s probably not ready for 90 minutes, but he’ll be in the squad on Saturday.”

Experienced centre-half Anthony Charles is still struggling though, as Still said: “He’s responding to treatment but not training.”

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All the changes mean that the Hatters will be able to rest some of their senior players going into the busy festive period, as Still added: “I think we have a few that have had a lot of games, a lot of travelling and so we can give some people a rest which will be nice before we get into the run up to Christmas when the games come thick and fast.”

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