Hatters’ injury woes ease as stars come through St Neots

HATTERS long-term injury list is finally showing signs of easing up after Tuesday night’s 4-2 friendly defeat to St Neots Town, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 6th October 2011, 11:00 am

Charlie Henry completed his first 90 minutes in a Hatters shirt, while Shane Blackett came through the match unscathed too.

Club captain George Pilkington continued his recuperation, playing 70 minutes, as did Dean Beckwith, while Collin Samuel got some much needed game time, along with John Paul Kissock.

Hatters assistant manager Alan Neilson said: “It was a game to get the lads playing time. Ninety minutes for Shane, 90 minutes for Charlie, 65 for Pilks, Dean Beckwith got 75 minutes after suspension, it was a good workout.

“They will have a rest day or recovery day now, go to the gym and do their stretching then train Thursday. It’s just getting more training into them, more game time.

“It’s good in the physio room now. The players are coming off the board and coming back on to our board, so it’s really good for the club.”

Henry’s return was a real plus point as he looked a constant menace on the left flank, and converted a penalty in the second half, confidently showing the first team squad how it should be done after Samuel was brought down.

Neilson said: “Charlie looked sharp. He can get sharper though. Second half I think he faded a little bit but that will come back in a little bit more in time.

“Myself and Dimi (Kharine) were sitting on the bench saying we hope we score one (penalty).

“The keeper guessed the right way but it was a great finish, right in the corner.”

Even though it was just a friendly arranged to give the squad much-needed match practice, Neilson couldn’t hide his frustration about shipping four second half goals to their Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central hosts.

He continued: “Of course we’re disappointed to lose the game and we’ve spoken about the goals as we’re not happy conceding any goals at any times.

“The first one we’ve spoke to Lewis (Kidd) and thought he could have done better.

“The second, yes we could have got tighter, but it was a great finish, top corner.

“The third and fourth we could have done better too.”

One slight worry for the evening was defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye’s failure to reappear for the second half and Neilson confirmed he was nursing a slight injury.

He added: “Ed had a little knock on his ankle and came off at half time as a precaution.

“Ryan Dasilva had a little groin strain too. He was stretching quite a lot. Hopefully we’ll come in Thursday and everything will be fine.”

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