Henry and Blackett complete 90 minutes in St Neots defeat

Friendly

St Neots 4 Luton Town 2

TOWN duo Charlie Henry and Shane Blackett completed a welcome 90 minutes as a Luton Town XI were beaten 4-2 in an entertaining friendly at St Neots on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

George Pilkington also played a large chunk of the match as did Dean Beckwith, while John Paul Kissock completed the full game along with striker Collin Samuel.

Hatters picked a strong side with youngster Lewis Kidd in goal, behind a back four of Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Beckwith, Pilkington and Blackett.

Kissock partnered Paul Carden in midfield, with Ryan Dasilva and Christian Tavernier also included, behind striker Samuel, while St Neots had on-loan Town youngster Ash Deeney in their side.

Pilkington showed he had lost none of his instincts, stepping in to head clear early on, but the first real chance arrived with 12 minutes on the clock as Kidd made a great save from Chris Hope’s powerful header, while Dan Jacobs’ follow up cross flashed across the face of goal.

As expected, Town then started to dominate proceedings, particularly down the left hand flank as Kissock’s lovely outside of the foot pass sent Blackett scampering clear, but his cross was missed by Samuel.

Another fine move saw Henry take up a great position on the left and find Kissock, only for the midfielder to sidefoot wide.

The former Newport man looked very busy on the left all throughout the first half and some tricky footwork found him a yard of space before his searching cross was headed at the goalkeeper by Asafu-Adjaye.

Town were tested defensively at times too as Beckwith got back to block a fierce Jacobs shot behind for a corner.

Kissock was then fouled in a dangerous position, but Henry curled the resulting free kick well over the bar.

The visitors had a huge let off as they were sliced open down the right and when the ball came across it should have been turned in but Deeney fluffed his lines at the far post.

Saints then enjoyed a spell of pressure as Lewis Webb broke away and forced Kidd to turn the ball aside at his near post.

Asafu-Adjaye suffered a slight knock and was replaced at the break by youngster Josh Terry, but the hosts flew out of the blocks.

They took the lead within moments of the restart as substitute Lewis Hilliard took aim from 20 yards and his low shot squirmed under the hands of Kidd and into the net.

Town tried to fight back as Kissock’s free kick was palmed away by Michael Duggan, while Dasilva couldn’t connect with another chance at the far post.

Kidd made amends with a fine save low down soon afterwards, but the second period belonged to Saints as they looked a different outfit from the one that had taken to the field before the interval.

Kissock drove forward with purpose and fizzed a shot that Duggan parried away, while Pilkington then thumped a header over from Kissock’s corner.

Saints’ second arrived on 69 minutes when Pearson Mwanyongo showcased some neat footwork in the box and crashed a glorious drive into the top corner.

Samuel thundered a drive over, while Kidd showed strong hands to turn aside another fiercely struck effort, before he was beaten once more as Rodney Sno burst clear and finished well.

Hatters finally had a goal on 81 minutes as Samuel was dragged down inside the box and Henry stepped up to confidently find the corner from the spot.

By this time, Pilkington and Beckwith had been removed for James Ferguson and Ian Rees, while Arel Amu replaced Dasilva.

It started to rain goals as Kidd was nutmegged at his near post for Saints’ fourth, before Amu was put clear and produced an assured finish to beat Duggan.

Terry headed off the line as St Neots looked for a fifth, but the result was never the most important factor about the evening, as Town’s injured list is finally beginning to clear.

Hatters: Lewis Kidd, Ed Asafu-Adjaye (Josh Terry 46), George Pilkington (James Ferguson 70), Dean Beckwith (Ian Rees 78), Shane Blackett, Charlie Henry, Paul Carden, John Paul Kissock, Ryan Dasilva (Arel Amu 70), Christian Tavernier, Collin Samuel.

Attendance: 278.