Date:Wednesday February 10 2010
An excellent performance by the Hatters against League leaders Oxford United looked to have gone the way of a few good home performances and ended in defeat, but a late rally in injury time saw them turn defeat into victory in two dramatic minutes.
In the absence of the substituted skipper, Kevin Nicholls, Keith Keane sent over two corners which led to goals, the first in the 4th minute of injury time turned in at the far post by George Pilkington, before another was delivered into the danger zone and eluded everyone and ended up in the net.
It was an emotional turnaround which left the Town players feeling that it was a pivotal moment in the season.
Luton had had the best of the game, starting with an onslaught of the visitors' goal but a mixture of misfortune, wastefulness, good defending and excellent goalkeeping saw the the match goalless at half time. Oxford had their moments in the first half but Luton were probably worth a goal lead although they never got it.
In the second half Oxford appeared to have settled for defending the point they came with and clearly felt they had the wherewithal in defence to cope with anything the Hatters could muster, and they played it very well tactically. Almost perfectly in fact when an inspired substitution brought on Matt Green and on a rare foray into the Town half he scored with almost his first touch!
Replacing Deering in the 72nd minute he was drawn into action on 74 minutes when Potter went down the right and crossed the ball to Clist who headed the ball straight into the path of Green who hit it first time and saw it defected cruelly past Tyler for an unlikely lead.
If they had been defensive before that they were in siege mentality afterwards obviously believing they could defend it.
Luton threw everything but the kitchen sink at them and could not get that moment of fortune to equalise as defenders threw themselves in front of shots, made lst ditch tackles and when the Hatters did get ashot off it went wide or was dealt with by the keeper.
The referee added 6 minutes of time at the end and it looked for all the world a repeat of Rushden, Stevenage and Kettering where the Hatters had outplayed their visitors for most of the game and got caught cold for a losing goal. However, we were not expecting such drama at that point.
Over four minutes of the 6 added had passed when Luton got a corner from the left. Keane chipped it across and it was half cleared to Pilkington just outside the six yard area who probably just tried to head it back into the danger zone but it beat everyone and went in for the equaliser. A well earned point? Not so!
Another corner from the left by Keane with less than 20 seconds remaining, was delivered into the goalmouth. The keeper had inexplicably gon e to the front post as the ball curled over everyone to cross the line in the far top corner for a welcome if unexpected lead 2-1.
Keane admitted later that it was the luckiest goal he'd ever scored but how many more important? Unfortunately,with only enough time remaining for Oxford to kick off before referee Madley blew the final whistle, he felt the need to give Keane a second yellow card for over zealous celebration of the goal, and sent him off.
As a referee myself, I found it hard to see why it was ne4cessary because from my vantage point, I don't think he took off his shirt, and the celebration was no more or less demostrative than that of Oxford when they scored. What did the ref think he was going to do in such emotional circumstances? The Law is quite specific that taking off the shirt is a mandatory caution, and if he did that then I don't have an argument, but if he didn't a little understanding would not have gone amiss!
A great all round team performance worthy of a victory looked to have been crually denied them but they kept to their task and got their just desserts in the end. A fantastic result and the circumstances of it could well be just the catalyst required to spur them on to greater things. The 3 points push them up to 5th place - a play-off spot - and with games in hand on some of the teams around them.
Luton are now 11 points behind Stevenage at the top with two games in hand on them; 8 points behind Oxford on same number played and 7 behind York with one game in hand.
Our next two 'cup finals' are York City away and Stevenage away. Those become the pivotal games provided we can continue to remain in contention and keep winning our games in hand.
Date:Wednesday February 10 2010
Luton to Entertain Aston Villa (Friday May 17 2013)
Tyler`s Staying (Friday May 17 2013)
I Wish It Was Us! (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Favourites (Again)! (Monday May 13 2013)
Keeper Ranks Bolstered (Monday May 13 2013)
Nielson Finds New Club (Monday May 13 2013)
Welcome to the Mad World! (Monday May 13 2013)
I Felt Physically Sick! (Monday May 13 2013)
What a Difference a Year Makes (Friday May 10 2013)
Something to Look Forward To? (Wednesday May 8 2013)
|Fairhurst Joins the Imps
» Lincoln : 17/05/2013 18:23:00
|Luton to Entertain Aston Villa
» Luton : 17/05/2013 13:37:00
» Luton : 17/05/2013 13:36:00
|Early bird attracts 1,105
» Stockport : 16/05/2013 13:29:00
|I Wish It Was Us!
» Luton : 15/05/2013 16:53:00
» Lincoln : 15/05/2013 14:55:00
|ST Early Bird Ends today
» Stockport : 15/05/2013 13:45:00