Young Hatters edged out by Gillingham

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A youthful Luton Town development squad went down to a 1-0 defeat at Gillingham in the Final Third Development League this afternoon.

Hatters including 11 players from the U18s, as only Elliot Justham, Stephen O’Donnell, Andy Parry, Hake Howells and Ryan Hall have played for the first team.

The Gills went in front in a low key first 45 minutes in which the Hatters struggled to create a clear-cut opportunity.

However after the break, Luton searched for an equaliser as Ryan Hall, Freddie Hinds, Alex Atkinson and Jake Howells all came close while Cameron McJannet spurned the Hatters’ best chance.

Despite pressing for a late leveller it never came as the Gills ran out 1-0 winners but academy and development manager Andy Awford told the club’s official website: “In the first half we really didn’t play with any tempo and we were just playing within ourselves, it was very pedestrian.

“They took their chance and went in front. We had a chat at half-time and made some changes, and in the second half we were like a different team.

“We worked their goalkeeper a number of times but just couldn’t find what I thought would have been a deserved equaliser.

“I was pleased with the second half performance, though – this is another game which the young players can take a lot from.

“With the FA Youth Cup tie at Notts County next week it gives a number of the younger lads that little extra sharpness and minutes under their belts ahead of an important game.”

Town: Justham, O’Donnell, McJannet, Famewo, Musonda (McGhan-George 46), Justin (Bakinson 70), Parry, Howells, Hall, Hinds (Verney 60), Murray (Atkinson 46).

Sub not used: Gooch.