Hayrettin happy with Town’s youngsters

Town first team coach Hakan Hayrettin was delighted with the performance of Hatters’ youthful side as they drew 0-0 at Staines Town in their FA Trophy first round clash yesterday, writes Mike Simmonds

On-loan West Ham defender Pelly Ruddock made his Town debut
On-loan West Ham defender Pelly Ruddock made his Town debut

Luton made 11 changes to the side that beat Southport 3-0, selecting a team with an average age of under 21.

On-loan duo Pelly Ruddock and Joe Davis formed a new partnership at centre half, while David Viana and Zane Banton were handed full debuts.

Youth team defender Tinasahe Chabata also made his first start as Hayrettin said: “It was a good performance from our boys considering they were put together at the last minute.

“Pelly and Jo have never played together before and did fantastically well as they were two strangers and a clean sheet away from home is always good.

“We put out a team we thought was capable of winning. We believe in the youth philosophy, we want to give everyone a chance, so it was very, very pleasing for us.

“To come to Staines, who are doing fantastically well in their league, a couple more wins and they’re in the play-offs, so we’re happy.”

Town also gave Charlie Smith his second first team appearance as Hayrettin praised all of the U18s involved.

He continued: “Charlie Smith came on, did fantastically well. Tinashe came in from the youth team, he’s a centre back by trade, but played right back.

“It’s not often you get young guys featuring in these kinds of games and Zane played 70 minutes against a solid team, he’ll learn from that.

“He’ll take away the good bits, look at the bad bits, come back and assess himself. If he starts on Tuesday, I’m sure he’ll improve certain things as he did very well.

“The pleasing things for us in this result was that these boys have come through it and haven’t let themselves down.

“It’s another string to their bow and when it comes to it, they’ll be looked at again.”

Hatters could well have won it, but for an inspired performance from Swans keeper Jack Turner, who made an incredible triple save from Matt Robinson, Mark Cullen and Viana, while also tipping Charlie Smith’s long-ranger over.

Hayrettin said: “If if wasn’t for the goalkeeper we would have won the game.

“They didn’t really have a shot, one or two from about 30 yards, but their goalkeeper did fantastically well.

“You’ve got to give Marcus (Gayle, Staines boss) and his club credit.”

The hosts had been reduced to 10 men midway through the first half when Jordaan Brown was dismissed for two handball offences.

Hatters couldn’t make their extra man advantage, but Hayrettin added: “We can’t say too much about that. Rules are rules and if he has deliberately handled the ball, we can’t even say that he did, he’s had to make a decision the referee and you’ve got to go along with that.

“When they’re being assessed, they have to make sure they’re going by the rules and doing the right thing.

“It’s harder with 10 men sometimes, they showed good discipline, but we showed good play to try and win the game.

“Many a time a team has played with 10 men and won, many a time they’ve played with them and lost.

“We went for it, but the difference was their goalkeeper.”

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