Stech stars as Luton hold Southend in goalless draw

Marek Stech kept a clean sheet for Town's development side at Southend
Marek Stech kept a clean sheet for Town's development side at Southend

Luton Town’s development team played out a goalless draw with Southend United in their Central League clash at the Shrimpers training ground this afternoon.

Town had a fledgling side out, although experienced goalkeeper Marek Stech was involved and he was called into action early on, preventing Norman Wabo giving Southend the lead, before repelling Charlie Kelman’s left-footed drive.

Connor Tomlinson was off target for Luton, as the game was then momentarily interrupted when a dog strayed on to the field of play.

Harry Phillips’ effort deflected wide for a corner, meaning the first half finished goalless.

Stech was to prove just as hard to beat in the second period, saving from Kelman after he ghosted past his defender and then tipping away Harry Bunn’s attempt.

As the game wore on, Luton started to pose more of a threat themselves, midfielder Drew Richardson going close, his snapshot producing an outstanding reaction stop from home stopper Ted Smith.

Renei Batlokwa blazed high and wide for Southend, with Miles Mitchell-Nelson heading over from Harry Phillips’ free kick.

Town almost won it in the final 10 minutes as Tomlinson rose highest to meet Jake Peck’s corner, but couldn’t direct his header on target.

Zak Pianim and Sam Knock both missed chances in the final minute as the spoils were shared.

Southend: Ted Smith, Rob Howard, Tom Clifford, Luke Hyam (Zak Pianim 62), Miles Mitchell-Nelson,Rob Kiernan (Sam Knock 62), Renei Batlokwa, Bunn (Eren Kinali 62), Charlie Kelman, Norman Wabo,Harry Phillips.

Subs not used: Josh Bexon, Amadou Ba.

Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack James, Avan Jones, Adam Wedd, Toby Byron, Jake Peck, Drew Richardson, Josh Boorn, Josh Neufville, Connor Tomlinson, Jonas Kalonda.

Subs: Tiernan Parker, Sam Beckwith, Lewis Swindells.