Date:Wednesday August 25 2010
The Hatters lost their 100% record but came out of a difficult game with a point at Kenilworth Road last night. A penalty miss was to cost them a win against a decent County side that will probably be challenging for a play-off place come next May.
Luton finished with ten men after Keith Keane committed football suicide with some reckless challenges even after just receiving a yellow card. I thought he was brighter than that.
Having said that, results elsewhere went almost universally in our favour with a high proportion of draws in the League matches played and Wimbledon losing at Rushden. This leaves Luton a point clear and the only unbeaten team left in the division.
It was an interesting game, although I'm not sure Richard Money's eulogy on its all round quality was quite deserved, and considering some of the good football played by Newport, it was disappointing to see them employ time wasting tactics when they had it in them to go for a winner, after MBH missed the penalty which should have sealed the game.
Luton made 1 change from Saturday, with Kevin Gallen in at the expense of Crow, and the expected keeper shuffling did not happen as Tyler kept his place in goal.
Luton began well and played some attractive early football, Claude causing a few problems to the Exiles full back in the process.
MBH had a decent run curtailed by a well timed tackle while the County keeper Thompson saved well from Gallen and MBH.
Reid went down in the box for County, after a challenge by Zdenek the Giant, but it was never a foul and Tyler had to be alert from a Morgan shot, so the visitors were not short of attacking intent.
Barnes-Homer missed his kick after Drury set him up and from the breakaway Tyler was forced into a good save from Henry.
In the main Luton had controlled the match up to the point when against the run of play Newport took the lead.
A speculative effort from Reid, on 25 minutes, was half cleared by Keane, and Rose hit it back goalwards for Murray to block, but when it fell to Henry he hit the ball firmly and accurately past Tyler. Against the run of play maybe but a well executed goal, and the Town defence will be disappointed they didn't put it in row Z in the first place.
The scorer's celebrations were a bit theatrical, but five minutes later Kroca hit the equaliser from a corner, and then took the proverbial out of Henry by mimicking the County player's celebration.
Much to-ing and fro-ing took place up to half time with little incision from either party and in was 1-1 at the break.
Luton continued to play their passing game, but just couldn't find the end product, MBH was set up again by Gallen but he delayed pulling the trigger just long enough for the keeper to rush at him and get in a block, and then again Gallen flicked on for another chance but it wasn't Matthew's night.
Newport's spoiling tactics, (that is not a criticism because it was frustrating the Hatters and therefore working for them), were beginning to blunt Luton's passing game and double marking Drury was limiting the supply to the front men, so they had done their homework. What I will criticise is some of the blatant time wasting and the fact that referee Carl Berry did little to stop it.
In the 72nd minute after Howells and Crow had joined the game for Claude and Jake Howells, Rose who had had a pretty good game to that point, was totally done for pace by Crow and rashly made a challenge in the area, which was only going to result in a foul, and the referee had an easy task to award the penalty to Luton.
With 5 goals so far this season, MBH was the man for the job, but strangely he faltered in his run up and did not hit it as well as he did the two last week, and Thompson who must have been the visitors' Man of the Match, saved well.
Luton rallied from that disappointment and carried on attacking with Crow looking lively, and Drury went close with a curling shot but again Thompson was equal to it.
Tom Craddock came on for the last 15 minutes but in a throw back to early last season, the Hatters went a little too gung ho and nearly paid for it when Warren headed the wrong side of the post when he should have done better.
I don't know if it was born of frustration or not but Keith Keane became a little petulant late on and already yellow carded in the 67th minute, then made two successive challenges in injury time deserving of another. He was let off with a warning the first time, but with a similar tackle going in less than a minute later the referee was left with little choice but to send him off.
Newport had long since settled for trying to hold on for a draw, witnessed by the fact that Matthews dribbled the ball to the corner flag with over ten minutes of NORMAL time left, and despite 5 minutes added on, Luton could not find a way through for the winner.
Some of the more fickle Luton 'fans' showed their displeasure at the failure to win for the fourth time in a row, but despite not firing on all cylinders, we got a point, and every point is a valuable one.
Luton Town: Mark Tyler, Dan Gleeson, George Pilkington, Zdenek Kroca, Freddie Murray, Andy Drury, Keith Keane, Pavel Besta, Claude Gnakpa (Jake Howells 56), Kevin Gallen (Danny Crow 64), Matthew Barnes-Homer (Tom Craddock 79).
Substitutes not used:
Adam Newton, Kevin Pilkington.
Date:Wednesday August 25 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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