Date:Monday March 20 2006
18th March 2006 3 pm
Former Hatters Terry Westley and Michael McIndoe made a fruitless return to the club on Saturday afternoon, as they saw their recent improvement in form come to a halt, against a strong performance by The Town.
Steve Howard's 14th goal of the season proved enough to land all three points when Howard unusually for him, clipped the ball into the net with his foot 18 minutes from time.
McIndoe, a former Hatters junior, wanted to show the Town what they had missed out on, by not keeping faith with him, but he looked out of his depth for most of his time on the field. His service to Lisbie, who had returned from injury, was inadequate and Derby rarely threatened. McIndoe's uncomfortable afternoon was ended on the hour when Westley substituted him.
Newell brought back Russ Perrett to bring some experience to the side and he did not let the manager down with an excellent display. Warren Feeney was handed a rare start for these days, and he too took his chance to shine, although he lacked a little sharpness in shooting. Rowan Vine can feel a little unlucky to have been on the bench but the rest may have done him good.
It certainly proved that way for Ahmet Brkovic. His rest from the squad last week must have concentrated his mind as he was all over the pitch putting in challenges, causing havoc in the Derby penalty area and making some astute passes.
The other good news was that Steve Robinson was back from the injury, which has sidelined him since his wonder goal against Liverpool. Luton's form has dipped dramatically since Robbo has been out and his calmness in setting attacks moving showed. He looked just a little off the pace, which is natural after a lay-off, just as Sol Davis did when he came back earlier than his fitness would have liked!
Luton began the better although there was little activity in the danger areas from either side, and it was 12 minutes in before the first real chance. It fell to the man-of-the-match Carlos Edwards when good interplay between Feeney and Howard set the leading scorer free to cross for Edwards to beat his man and fire just wide.
Brkovic hit a speculative drive from 30 yards out which had Derby keeper Lee Camp scampering across his goal, but it went just wide.
The match was taking the course of several others recently with Luton having plenty of the ball and creating openings but having no luck with the final ball or the shot at goal. In fact, Derby might have sneaked in at half time a goal ahead as Giles was allowed to run for far to long without a challenge and when he shot from distance causing Marlon Beresford a moment's worry but the Town stopper was equal to it.
Lee Camp was called back into action to block a Feeney effort 35 minutes in, as Luton upped the pressure. Immediately afterwards Feeney set up Foley with a great chance with a cushioned headed pas, but Foley failed to hit the target.
Firstly Brkovic and then Edwards had further opportunities to break the deadlock but Brkovic sliced the ball over the bar and Edwards saw his powerful shot parried by Camp but unfortunatel the rebound off the keep evaded the inrushing Brkovic and Feeney and Derby cleared.
Derby came out fighting and had one or two opportunities in the first five minutes. Moore looked sharp and got in a header which was not too far wide, before a second headed attempt from a corner kick also went close.
Derby's Vital Football site felt that Alan Wright was their man to watch, but Edwards gave him an afternoon to remember, as much of Luton's promising play came through Edwards.
At the other end, Kevin Lisbie was short of match fitness and sharpness and, with little service all afternoon, did not feature very prominently, although he did have a chance just before McIndoe's substitution when, from a throw in, he hit a volley, but it was never troubling the Luton keeper.
Luton tightened the screw towards the end and Brkovic wasted an excellent chance made for him by some good work by Feeney when he arrived just too quickly to the pass and lifted the ball harmlessly over the bar when he should have at least hit the target. When Feeney shot across the face of goal a minute later, it seemed like another in a long line of should have been matches, but on 72 minutes, a long throw from Edwards was headed on by Coyne and Howard slid the ball home to Camp's right with a calm shot.
Derby rallied and came at Luton strongly towards the end, but Luton held on for a deserved victory.
More worrying was the news that Mike Newell had denied having agreed a new contract and was annoyed that the club released the news prematurely.
Date:Monday March 20 2006
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)
What a Difference a Year Makes (Friday May 10 2013)
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