Date:Saturday August 5 2006
5 August 2006 12-30 pm
Luton began the season on a high with a fairly comprehensive 2-0 defeat of Leicester.
Leon Barnett opened the scoring with a powerful header from a Lewis Emanuel corner from the right, and then went on to give an excellent performance to show why several Premiership clubs, including Portsmouth and Everton are keeping him under observation.
New signings Emanuel and Richard Langley were in the starting line up, but Adam Boyd who is short of match fitness began on the bench.
Emanuel looked an excellent acquisition and caused Stearman nightmares, going past him to intercept a poor back pass and then shooting across the Leicester keeper early on, only to see the ball graze the outside of the right hand post.
Shortly afterwards a silly free kick conceded 22 yards out, was beautifully struck by Gareth Williams but the scurrying Beresford got to the ball and superbly tipped it onto the crossbar at full stretch, before gathering the rebound.
In the second half, Luton dominated for periods, but Leicester began to assert themselves for the firt time in the match after about 70 minutes and Luton were pegged back.
Ironically, just as the Foxes must have been thinking that there was a point in the match for them, Substitute Adam Boyd clipped the ball off a defender's toe and found Feeney. Feeney shaped to pass to the onrushing Edwards, but then shimmied inside a defender then flicked the ball to Edwards. He feigned an shot to puut Stearman out of contention, turned inside and drove a right footed shot inside the right hand post with the outside of his boot. 2-0 - game over.
Langley showed skill and pace and a liking for a tackle but he is not in the Nicholls mould. To me he looks more skilful than Nicho but not as aggressive. I think he will do a good job for us and has a lot to offer once he learns to play the Luton way.
Adam Boyd showed some deft touches and great positional sense, but Newell was 100% correct to start him on the bench. He looks less match fit than the others, which is natural with the transfer coming at an awkward time, but he will score goals and make them, too. He is also the perfect age where the best is yet to come, whereas I believe we had aready seen the best of Steve Howard.
To be fair, no one had a bad game for Luton today; they all showed some flair, and the absence of Howard did what I had hoped it would do, and that is make them play to feet and to space rather than lump it forward as they were wont to do on occasions last season, and they looked the batter for it.
Luton manager Mike Newell said:
'Two goals, a clean sheet and three points - you can't ask for much more than that, but I thought we were unconvincing at times.
'We're always looking at what we had in the past, but you do have to take into consideration the heat to be fair to the players.
'You can't not be happy with three points on the board. There's always a bit of nerves going into the new season, particularly with how well we did last term and with people writing us off already.
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Date:Saturday August 5 2006
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Ex-Luton Manager Lands Top Job (Monday June 17 2013)
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