Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Saturday September 23 2006
Another glorious day at KR and a daunting prospect - on paper at least - of a West Brom side including Kevin Phillips, Jason Koumas, Nathan Ellington and Zoltan Gera. Despite a toll of injuries the Town team still looked strong:
Foley Barnett Heikkinen Emanuel
Edwards Robinson Langley Morgan
Curtis was out signing autographs beforehand, and got a good reception.
A quick start from both teams got the crowd fired up, and Luton had the better of the early play, Vine and Edwards looking particularly sharp.
On 11 minutes Vine skinned the right back and crossed for Morgan to blast just over. A minute later a Carlos shot from 40 yards had the Baggies keeper temporarily in need of new knickers, but flew just over.
On 13 minutes Vine was tripped as he flew past the centre half (a booking of course) and from the free kick three unmarked Luton players contrived to get in each others way when a headed goal was a gift.
On 18 minutes a quick break from Carlos and his cross was left by Parkin for Vine, who cut inside past one defender and had his shot deflected over by a desperate lunge.
5 minutes later Foley ran at the defence and inside, and his shot was also deflected over a static keeper, but wide for a corner.
The corners were threatening too, both Emanuel and Morgan swinging them in wickedly, and more often than not Barnett reaching them.
The pressure had to tell and on 26 minutes it did, Vine flicked the ball past two defenders on a run across the box, before firing hard and low with his left foot into the bottom corner. Yet another great solo goal from a striker absolutely on fire.
Minutes later he was at it again, Foley dancing past two defenders before passing to Vine, whose volley on the turn was fumbled out for a corner.
But on 35 an equaliser out of nothing on a rare Albion foray forward, yet another long distance shot Beresford should have saved. 1:1.
Less than a minute later Parkin was scythed down a yard to the left of the box and just 6 yards from the byeline.
The Baggies fans were loudly celebrating.the equaliser, 'You're not singing any more'. Mid-chorus Deano struck the free kick, low and hard round the two-man wall towards the near post, where Vine stuck out a foot and deflected it in!
And so the chorus suddenly increased in volume, but this time it was the Baggies who had suddenly gone quiet.
Just before half time Carlos hit a screamer inches over from 25 yards.
Langley briefly threatened with a run through the middle, thought about shooting from 30 yards, and suddenly found that the chance to do had evaporated before he could make a decision - which seems to sum up his game, whether it be tackle, pass or shoot he is thinking about.
So 2-1 at half-time.
The second half started slowly but after 7 minutes Vine picked up a loose ball 20 yards out and struck the bar. Then two more great runs within two minutes from Vine, as the game started to look like a one-man show.
Albion were dangerous however, and a cross from the left found Phillips alone in the box. His flick seemed destined to beat Marlon as he came out to narrow the angle, but somehow he reached low and back and palmed it teasingly past the post.
The atmosphere was electric, especially when Carlos weaved past two defenders into the box and was hacked down by a third, but the ref waved away the penalty claims.
And then the Baggies struck again, Ellington reaching a low cross from the left, somehow failing to score, but finding Gera who didn't fail. 2-2 and surely more to come with 25 minutes left.
Langley looked like a little-boy lost as the ball pinged around him, but Morgan showed how it should be done, twice leaving the Albion right-back for dead at pace before firing low cross-shots across goal.
Foley pressed forward constantly, although the outlet to Edwards was often double-teamed. Vine though continued to look sharp and, after skinning the left back, raced towards goal, and fed Carlos who dribbled a miserable shot goalwards from 10 yards.
As the game drifted to a close Brkovic and Feeney came on for Parkin and Langley, to very loud cheers of relief at both Langley's disappearance and Vine's retention.
But it made no difference. Exhaustion seemed to have set in, and apart from a scare in injury time as the ref disallowed a Baggies goal from a corner for climbing, the game dwindled to a draw which Albion must have been well-pleased with, but which was another 2 lost points for the Hatters.
Marlon 6 - would have been 5 but for that miraculous save from Phillips
Foley 7 - a great game coming forward
Barnett 7 - yet more confirmation that we have found another Curtis
Heikkinen 7 - class as usual
Emanuel 6 - seems much more comfortable at left back than left wing
Edwards 7 - a threat and full of energy, but double-teaming limited his effectiveness.
Langley 4 - hardly noticeable and his place must be in jeopardy
Robinson 6 - worked hard but little result
Morgan 7 - a very good game, both threatening and hard-working
Parkin 5 - starts well but runs out of energy by half time
Vine 9 - MoM by a country mile. Worth a fortune on this showing
Date:Saturday September 23 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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