Date:Wednesday August 9 2006
8 August 2006 7-45 pm
How would Luton like to be able to have attandance figures like that!
Lewis Emanuel scored his first goal for Luton Town as they gained a well fought win over Sheffield Wednesday.
With Wednesday having held Preston to a draw at Deepdale on Saturday, despite having a man sent off, it was always going to be a tough match, but Luton proved they are up to the task and not, as lazy footballer turned TV pundit, Steve Claridge suggested, merely there to make up the numbers.
As expected, Mike Newell fielded an unchanged line-up from the side that defeated Leicester, with Sol Davis overcoming a dead leg from that game and Chris Coyne returning to sufficient fitness to sit on the bench.
Luton shocked the home team by attacking incisively from the whistle and Carlos Edwards almost scored with the first move. He got clear down the right beat the keeper but somehow the ball was blocked and Feeney should have put away the rebound, but the panicking home defence managed to block it again.
Wednesday came back into the game, but playing only one striker at home did not seem to inspire the crowd, and they rarely looked like scoring, as McLean had the privilege of having one leg in Heikkinen`s pocket and the other in Barnett`s!
Lunt was looking useful and created a number of openings, but the Luton defence were solid and gave poor McLean nothing, apart from speculative efforts most of which Beresford was able to watch flying wide or high.
Feeney had a few chances, and the best of these was saved from point blank range by Owls` keeper Jones, who to be fair, knew little about it and was lucky not to be picking it out of the net. Luton were looking quick and tricky up front, but could not capitalise on their early superiority.
Wednesday managed a shot on target around the half hour mark, when McLean, who was forced to drop backwards looking for some possession, turned and fired a shot in from 25 yards or so, but Marlon saved it easily.
Edwards was looking involved and hungry and gave Hills a torrid time down the Luton right and, having lost him again, he latched onto a pass from Robinson but drove it over the bar, much to the annoyance of Vine who was unmarked centrally.
Wednesday almost took the lead just before half time when O`Brien was denied by a great save by Beresford, who dived to get a hand on the shot and reacted quickly to gather the loose ball.
With half time approaching, it was Luton who took the advantage. New signing Lewis Emanuel was fed the ball by Feeney and allowed to run forward by the retreating Wednesday defence. He struck a left foot shot from outside the area, which nestled sweetly in the net just inside the keeper`s left hand post for a 1-0 lead at the break.
Wednesday came out with renewed vigour and pinned the Town back for a few minutes, but it was Langley who went closest, heading over the bar when well placed.
Wednesday claimed a penalty when Lunt was grassed by Leon Barnett, but referee Tony Bates was unimpressed, as were the home fans with his decision! You`ve seen them given but it would have been harsh.
Edwards continued to give Hills nightmares, and, after skinning him for the umpteenth time, crossed for Feeney to draw a good save from Jones, who was much the busier of the keepers.
As Wednesday searched for the equaliser, Whelan drove from 20 yards and Beresford did well to tip the ball around the post, and, as the game was drawing to its conclusion, it was Luton who found themselves driven back, the legacy of having failed to take their chances and put the game to bed earlier.
As four minutes of time added was signalled, (where did they get that from?), Luton were in defensive mode and had to be, as Wednesday were striving for their first goal of the season. It is difficult to imagine where it is going to come from, unless it is from a penalty kick, and towards the end they, thought they had got one, when Coughlan went down too easily, under a challenge from Heikkinen, although it looked a better shout than the first one, but again Mr Bates waved away the appeals and Luton held on for another three points.
There's no need to start crowing yet but it is a solid start to the season. Barnett has come of age and Luton have a stronger squad, even without Howard and Nicholls. Ironic 'innit?
Date:Wednesday August 9 2006
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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