Date:Saturday March 20 2010
What a second half performance by the Hatters who came from a 1-0 deficit at half time to tear the home side to shreds. A hat-trick from Claude Gnakpa, and one each for Tom Craddock, Kevin Gallen and substitute Matthew Barnes-Homer saw the Hatters romp to a 6-1 victory, their fifth in a row.
n poor weather conditions, as the wind drove the rain into the players` faces, Luton had held their own with a confident Ebbsfleet side who clearly felt their 3-2 victory over the Hatters at Kenilworth Road was not a fluke.
t all went pear-shaped again for the Hatters, after a silly handball by the usually reliable Keith Keane. The free kick was floated dangerously on the wind and it was Janos Kovacs who got a touch on it, but unfortunately sent it past the late dive of Tyler to gift the hosts the lead.
t was hardly deserved and Luton had the ideal opportunity to level a minute later when Gnakpa, who was again relishing his attacking freedom and causing all sorts of problems for the `Fleet defenders, cut in and drove a powerful shot at Cronin`s goal and it all but grazed the post on the wrong side! Luton consolidated their effort and began to control the game but all too often failed with the final ball and another stressful and frustrating afternoon beckoned as we approached half time.
uton came out fighting, possibly with a rollicking still ringing in their ears, and what a start to the second half. On 49 minutes, Keane sent in a corner from the right, which was met full on by Gnakpa with a powerful header for 1-1. A minute later, Ed A-A sent in a long throw which was glanced on by Craddock for the inrushing Gallen to blast it home and in 5 second half minutes from the restart, Luton had turned the game around 2-1. Now perhaps they could relax and play some football.
ust before the hour, Craddock was set up by Gallen but hit a first time shot way into space over the bar when it should have been game over at 3-1. However, we didn`t have long to wait when, seven minutes later, the ever improving Howells was sent away down the left, crossed perfectly to Craddock, who this time buried it with a great strike.
ext, Craddock played a 1-2 with Gallen but the usually deadly Gallen shot too close to the keeper.
hen on 76 minutes, another speedy foray into the `Fleet half by Howells ended with the perfect cross and Gnakpa, of all people, was there again to head home for 4-1. Within a minute, it was 5 and a hat trick for the mercurial, if enigmatic, Frenchman.
he ball found its way to Craddock, who went down the right wing and crossed to Heslop, who hit a fine shot, but somehow it was scooped off the line. The clearance just evaded Gallen, but fell to Claude, who leathered it past Cronin for 5-1.
uton seemed to take their foot of the pedal a little without relinquishing their grip on the game and, as time was running out, Money sent on Blackett for Kovacs and Matt Barnes-Homer for Gallen, who received a rapturous send off from the crowd. As he arrived at the bench a chorus of Gallen, Gallen give us a wave was rewarded with his compliance, which earned him an even louder cheer, as the long suffering Hatters fans were making the most of this glorious awayday.
s two minutes were added, which somehow became three, Blackett tried to send Barnes-Homer away; Charles intercepted, but fatally dwelt on the ball to see B-H mug him and run through to add a sixth goal and put the seal on a fantastic performance.
t was not the first time I`ve seen the Hatters do that. I remember a home game against Oldham Athletic, which my mind was telling me was in the 80s, but when I looked it up it was the opening game of the 1978/9 season. Luton, managed by David Pleat had 7 debutants in the team. Wood scored for Oldham on 8 minutes and it was 0-1 at half time. Second half goals from; Bob Hatton 46, 89 mins, David Moss 47, 76 mins, Brian Stein 71, and Lil Fucillo 73 mins saw the Hatters home 6-1. What a team that was.
y the way, for those who have been giving them both a hard time recently, their goals today were Craddock`s 15th and Gallen`s 12th. Not bad for a couple of strkers mentioned in the same sentence as banjos and cow`s arses not that many weeks ago.
uton Town: Tyler, Asafu-Adjaye, Kovacs, Pilkington, Murray, Gnakpa, Keane, Heslop, Howells, Craddock, Gallen.
ubs: Gore, Blackett, Hall, Barnes-Homer, Newton.
Date:Saturday March 20 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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