Hayrettin satisfied as Hatters turn up the heat
First team coach Hakan Hayrettin felt Town reaped the rewards from a far better second half display against Staines Town in the FA Trophy on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.
Hatters had found their Skrill South opponents tough to break down in the first half, as they went in goalless at the break.
But goals from Andy Parry and Shaun Whalley in the second period were enough to send Luton throughs as Hayrettin said: “It was a good result, we kept a clean sheet, we’re in the next round.
“I think the boys performed well, particularly second half. In the first half, we didn’t play at the tempo Luton Town usually do.
“This is a first team fixture, we gave it the respect it deserved, treated it like a first team fixture.
“We adjusted a few things at half time and got the result. It was a much better second half from us, not that we played particularly badly in the first half, but we upped the tempo like Luton Town do.
“We squeezed all over the park, caused them more problems and won the game.
“Their goalkeeper first half made five great one on one saves, if it wasn’t for him we’d have been up.
“But we played at a tempo second half and we caused the goalkeeper problems and scored some goals, so we’re very pleased.”
Defender Andy Parry broke the deadlock with a fine volley from Charlie Smith’s free kick as he showed great technique to control the ball on his chest and then fire home.
Hayrettin continued: “The manager decided he wanted to play Parry. Maybe that’s because he decided he wanted to get some minutes under his belt for Saturday, which was probably a plus for us.
“Parry usually scores outside the box, he was there for a reason because of our set pieces.
“I thought it was great skill by him. He took it on the chest and volleyed after adjusting his feet.”
Smith, who impressed the longer the game wore on, had a huge hand in Town’s second goal too, with an inch perfect delivery that Shaun Whalley flicked into the net.
Hayrettin said: “It was a great ball by Charlie Smith for the second too.
“I think the ball made the goal rather than the player making the goal, although Shaun still had to get to it though.”
Striker Alex Wall also got an hour on his return to full fitness as Hayrettin said: “He didn’t get injured, which was a plus for us!
“He’s got great ability, great strength and caused the denderes a lot of problems. He played an hour, and think that was enough.”
Hatters are at home to fellow Skrill Premier side Wrexham in the next round a week on Saturday and Hayrettin thought the fringe players gave themselves every chance of being selected once more.
He added: “The youngsters may play a part in that. If I was a player who’s played in that game, I’d have a look round and think am I going to be playing in the next game?
“The manager has said he will go with a young team and it gives them an opportunity.
“Whatever team we’ll put out, we’ll think can go and win the game, be it an 18-year-old or a 38-year-old who puts on a Luton shirt.
“They’ll go out there and show the detemination and desire to win the game.”