Date:Tuesday February 16 2010
With Keith Keane suspended following a ridiculous sending off against Oxford, Claude Gnakpa came into the side to face Eastbourne, along with Matthew Barnes-Homer for Liam Hatch, the victim of a kick in the calf also against Oxford. Richard Money opted for the 4-5-1 formation that has served them so well away from home.
Luton began confidently and almost had the dream start when Barnes-Homer found Craddock who crossed for Hall to get in a good strike but Knowles in the home goal was equal to it.
A few minutes later, another good move saw Nicholls play a superb cross onto the head of Hall at the back post and he headed it to Craddock. Craddock headed goalwards and a fantastic reaction save from Knowles kept it out.
Luton were taking the game to their hosts but were leaving things a little open at the back in doing so and Eastbourne looked useful on the break. However, they were limited to speculative efforts from distance and Pilkington was getting in the way of anything aerial.
The goal that Luton had been threatening since the start was not long in coming. Hall picked up a pass 30 yards out and made room for himself and struck it sweetly and even the athletic Knowles couldn't keep that one out and it nestled in the bottom corner for a deserved lead.
Eastbourne might have equalised on 12 minutes, when a loose clearance from a corner fell to Pullan, but his shot was weak and Tyler spread himself to keep it out with his legs.
Hall nearly scored again soon afterwards, when a header from a far post Nicholls delivery from a corner was well saved by Knowles.
Taylor got a shot away after a quick break and it went just wide of the post although Tyler seemed to have it covered.
A quick clearance and attack by Luton then saw a clever first time pass into the box, where Gnakpa did all the hard work in controlling the ball superbly, but then missed the target.
Although only 1-0, Luton seemed to be in total control of proceedings and another shot from Gnakpa might have been better directed after good work by Nicholls and Jarvis.
Just as it seemed Luton would coast to the break, another counter attack by Eastbourne almost gave them the equaliser. Joe Benjamin, son of that enormous lump Trevor Benjamin, struck a brilliant cross to Taylor, who headed down for Enver-Marum to strike it, but Tyler made another save with his feet to keep it to 1-0.
I don't know what the Eastbourne manager said at half time but they emerged with attacking intent and Luton were almost caught cold. The first attack of the second half, inside a minute,led to Benjamin getting a toe to the ball at full stretch which could have gone anywhere, but fortunately went wide, this time with Tyler looking beaten.
The home side continued to dominate for about ten minutes, but the Hatters defence was equal to anything that transpired, and then a Craddock shot was beaten out by Knowles and from the rebound Hall struck another beauty, which would have beaten the keeper had it been struck remotely towards goal! Instead it worried the corner flag more than the post.
Luton had regained control of the match and the only downside was that there were plenty more goals for the asking and they should have had the game well and truly wrapped up by the hour mark, yet went into the last ten minutes still holding the slender 1-0 advantage.
There were chances for Barnes-Homer, Jarvis and Nicholls, but all were blocked or off target and another Nicholls effort teased Craddock, but was just out of his reach with the keeper in no man's land.
Another Nicholls ball to Craddock was crossed first time and Nwokeji got too far under the ball and headed well over.
It turned out not to matter, as the Hatters hung on for the three points. Another clean sheet was well received, but the lack of goals scored, compared to the teams around us at the top of the table, is worrying. The 4-5-1 formation certainly gives us defensive strength, but all too often the final ball is going into dangerous areas with no one to attack it with the lone striker.
uton Town: Mark Tyler; Adam Newton, Janos Kovacs, George Pilkington, Fred Murray; Claude Gnakpa (Jake Howells 90+2), Kevin Nicholls, Asa Hall, Rossi Jarvis, Tom Craddock; Matthew Barnes-Homer(Mark Nwokeji 80).
Substitutes not used: Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Shane Gore, Kevin Gallen.
Date:Tuesday February 16 2010
Hatters Sign Duo (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Hatters Sign Tigers Striker (Sunday May 19 2013)
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)
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