Neilson takes positives as Luton lose to Blues

Hatters assistant manager Alan Neilson felt opponents Arlesey played the conditions better than his side as Luton were knocked out the Beds Senior Cup on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

On an awful pitch, Town forced extra time with James Dance’s late strike, before Luton’s Football in the Community officer James Hatch scored seconds after the restart to send the hosts through.

Neilson said: “It was hard to play football on it. They had played a game there Saturday and knew what it would be like and adapted to it better than us.”

The most important feature of the night was a lengthy run out for winger Dance who got through 105 minutes, while Adam Watkins, Greg Taylor, Dan Walker and Alex Lacey gained valuable match fitness.

Neilson continued: “It was a heavy pitch as well, Dancey played a lot of the game which is good and touch wood we’ve got no injuries from the game too.

“It was a great chance for people to get fit and a good opportunity for the gaffer to see them and give him a few headaches when we’ve got a fully fit squad.”

Town also gave some of their youngsters experience of the men’s game with Jake Woolley, Jemale McKenzie-Lowe and Ben Barnes all playing.

Neilson said: “It’s good for them to play in games like that and learn from them.

“Jemale did well when he came on and the more time the boys get playing with first team players can only be good.”

Striker Alasan Ann also made his comeback from injury, playing 70 minutes in what is a big season for the forward, as his contract runs out at the end of the campaign.

Neilson added: “It’s his first year as a pro player. We sent him out on loan to Kettering and he got an ankle injury straight away.

“He’s come back and trained for four weeks and got a good 70 minutes now.

“There will be more reserve games in the new year, so he can play in those and then push on from there.”

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