Muskwe finds the net as Luton U21s draw with Bournemouth U23s
Friendly: Luton Town U21s 1 Bournemouth U23s 1
Attacker Admiral Muskwe marked his comeback with a goal as Luton U21s drew 1-1 with Bournemouth U23s at Hitchin Town this afternoon.
The summer signing from Leicester City was one of five first teamers involved in a strong side for the clash, Allan Campbell getting his first minutes since his ligament damage suffered against Blackburn Rovers last month.
Trio Carlos Mendes Gomes, Gabe Osho and James Shea were all included too, Elliot Thorpe continuing his quest for match fitness after recently joining from Spurs.
Under the watchful eye of manager Nathan Jones, the visitors started brightly, Christian Saydee’s snapshot forcing Shea into a low save.
The Cherries had the better of things early on, Nathan Moriah-Welsh also testing Shea from 20 yards, the Luton stopper palming behind, with Saydee’s effort from the resilient corner flying wide.
Town had their best moment on 15 minutes, Josh Swan releasing Mendes Gomes on the left and his low cross was met by TQ Addy at the back post, who, at full pelt, could only divert off target.
On the half hour, Mendes Gomes took Osho’s long punt forward out of the sky and unleashed a left-footed attempt which went into the side-netting, before Thorpe nipped in to win the ball back from a free kick, played through by Muskwe.
The midfielder opted to unleash an outside of the boot attempt of his right foot, only to see it fly well wide.
Luton were finally starting to have some pressure, Muskwe cutting in to have a low side-footer parried by Cameron Plain, the keeper fortunate that he wasn’t beaten by a deflection from his own defender.
Cherries’ main threat Saydee was inches away from the opener on 37 minutes, his shot across Shea just missing the far post.
Town had the lead 60 seconds later as Mendes Gomes scooped a free kick into the area and when the ball dropped, Muskwe was there to bury his shot into the bottom corner to break the deadlock.
In the closing stages of the first half, Muskwe went on another burst, and when he was fouled, Thorpe curled the resulting free kick well over.
After the break, Muskwe had a fairly obvious penalty turned down after being body-checked in the area by Jack Seddon, U21s chief Adriam Forbes letting the official know his thoughts on the decision.
Luton were beginning to stretch their opponents more than the first period, Thorpe finding the advancing Mendes Gomes, whose effort took a deflection on its way through to Plain.
Addy was becoming more and more of a threat during the second period, sprinting forward to send a curler that Plain collected, before another direct run saw the attacker play in Muskwe, who forced a diving save from the visiting keeper.
With an hour gone, Town took off Campbell, Mendes Gomes, Muskwe and Osho for Casey Pettit, Callum Nicolson, Conor Lawless and U18s striker Josh Allen.
Luton almost doubled their advantage when Aidan Francis-Clarke’s splendid crossfield pass picked out Nicolson, whose low cross found its way through to Addy, his fierce drive destined for the net, but for a marvellous block by Ben Greenwood.
Right back Avan Jones got forward on the right flank, his low cross taking a touch of Allen on its way through to Plain.
Bournemouth should have levelled on 75 minutes, Aaron Roberts dummying his way clean through on goal, but with Shea to beat, dragged his attempt just wide.
Shea was beaten moments later though Saydee fed Greenwood who was repelled at point blank range by the Luton stopper, only for a Cherries trialist to tuck the rebound home.
Both sides looked for a winner in the closing stages, but the spoils were ultimately shared.
Hatters: James Shea, Avan Jones, Josh Swan, Aidan Francis-Clarke (C), Matt Moloney, Gabe Osho (Conor Lawless (62), Allan Campbell (Casey Pettit 62), Elliot Thorpe (Tyrelle Newton 72), Carlos Mendes Gomes (Callum Nicolson 62), Admiral Muskwe (JOsh Allen 62), TQ Addy.
Subs not used: Jacob Cowler, Adam Wedd..
Cherries: Cameron Plain, Brooklyn Genesini, Ben Greenwood, Jack Wadham, Jack Seddon, Brennan Camp, Aaron Roberts, Luke Nippard, Christian Savdee, Nathan Moriah-Welsh, Ryan Glover.