Hat-trick hero Matthews-Lewis praised for his reaction to being left out of Luton's Beds Senior Cup Final starting XI
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Luton’s U21 lead coach Adrian Forbes praised youngster Millar Matthews-Lewis’s reaction at not starting the Beds Senior Cup Final against Biggleswade FC on Tuesday night, by scoring an impressive second half hat-trick in the 6-2 victory.
The teenager, who has been one of many stars for the U18s this season on their way to the FA Youth Cup fifth round and winning the EFL Youth Alliance South East title, was on the bench for the clash at Kenilworth Road, with summer signing Aribim Pepple beginning the contest.
However, an injury to the former Calgary FC forward just before half time saw Matthews-Lewis introduced with Town already 2-0 to the good, as he was quickly on target early in the second half.
After the break, the attacker continued his scoring streak, with another close range finish, before then expertly lobbing home late on, as Luton ran out comfortable victors.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Forbes said: “From Millar’s point of view, he was disappointed he didn't start, which I was quite happy with as you want them to have that disappointment because you want them to to be wanting to play in games like this.
“But how he's conducted himself, how he's handled it, how he managed it was brilliant.
“He probably got on the pitch earlier than expected, but what a way to answer the question of not starting, why didn't I?
“He’s come on and scored a hat-trick and taken it really well.
"Equally to that, his work-rate, his attitude is brilliant, then I fortunately managed to get him off the pitch to get him a bit of standing ovation as he deserved that as well.”
Matthews-Lewis himself was thrilled to get a treble in front of a crowd of over 700 at such a venue too, as on featuring in such a big night for the club’s younger players against a senior opposition too, he said: “Doing it in a very nice stadium like the Kenny, I’ve scored here before, but to get a hat-trick is an amazing feeling, and to win a cup as well, doing it on a big stage, it's really good.
"It's completely different (from the U18s), the physicality.
"You’ve got to be quicker, got to be stronger and I back my ability to get that step ahead with the 21s.
"I think I've adapted well to it as well, I’ve just got a hat-trick, so I’ve done well.”
Although Matthew-Lewis was the star of the show, two sublime long-range finishes from Conor Lawless and Jake Burger got the ball rolling in the first half an hour, as the pair both picked out the top corner from distance.
Avan Jones also added a penalty in the second period, as Forbes continued: “I spoke to the boys before the game about the importance of how they’ve done the hard work in the previous rounds against Biggleswade (United) and against Bedford, but it’s not job done.
“I said, ‘you’re playing on your patch, the patch you want to be playing on hopefully for the first team here at some point, so go and showcase what you’re about’.
“I think we can safely say they’ve done that with a good performance and some fantastic goals.
“These boys do that every single day in training.
”They stay behind, they do extras, they work on their finishing, even when they should be doing something different at times, they're still working on their finishing.
“Conor’s strike and Jake’s strike just showcases the talent they have and when they do things right and they trust the processes we work on, they'll get themselves in those positions and then it's just down to the finishing.”