Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Tuesday October 17 2006
14 October 2006
A great day for a game of footie - slightly damp, a light breeze. Changes to the Town team, with Langley replaced by O'Leary, and Sol Davis returning at left back.
So the Hatters lined up as follows:
Foley Barnett Heikkinen Davis
Edwards O'Leary Robinson Emanuel
For the Blues a strong side including the Little Chef himself, D J Campbell, Cameron Jerome and Neil Danns. A test to come for Leon it appeared.
Unusually the Town were asked to kick towards the Kenny, and we responded with the Boothroyd tactic of a hoof, but to no avail as parkin set the tone for the day by failing to win a header.
Vine was first to show for Luton, earning a free kick after outpacing the defence, twisting as usual. But the first real threat came from Danns bursting past Sol at pace, his low cross somehow turned out by Heikkinen.
Minutes later an almost identical cross, this time from McSheffery on the left had to be hacked out by Davis. No doubt about the pace on the flanks, and a definite counter-attacking strategy, with Steve Bruce urging them back as soon as they lost the ball.
On 12 minutes McSheffery fell in the box as Sol saw the ball out, and cries for a penalty were met with the chant 'Luton reject'.
Within a minute though revenge was sweet as the Chef's early through ball was slotted home by DJ Campbell. 0-1
The Blues looked comfortable, the Town struggling against the military-like ranks of four, Sol in particular giving the ball away aimlessly on more than
one occasion, and the Chef playing first-time chips for his sprinters to race onto.
On 25 however Vine decided enough was enough. After Emanuel was clearly pulled down in the box, he drilled home the spot kick past Maik Taylor.
Then barely a minute later he sped down the right flank to earn a corner, rushed into the 6 yard box and scrambled home his second!
Two minutes before the break Jerome burst through the middle and, as Heikkinen ran with him, curled his shot to Marlon's left. Ageing he may be, but Marlon wasn't about to pass up on a photo opportunity, and leapt
beautifully to pluck it effortlessly from the air. Very nice it will look in the retirement scrapbook too.
So 2-1 at half-time, our happiness enlivened by the news that Watford were 2-0 down at Arsenal, and that the Town would be attacking the Oak Road for a change second half. A fear among us however that we might need two more goals to win against the electric pace of Jerome and Danns.
So how would the teams react?
City made the better start, N'Gotty being given a free header from 6 yards which he directed straight at Beresford. Then Sol failed with a dummy on the edge of our box to create temporary panic.
O'Leary was adding some vital steel in the middle for the Town, a welcome relief after the general absence of Langley in recent games.
Vine created mayhem down the left, teasing Jaidi before effortlessly jiving past him into the box and pulling pack into Sol's path, only to see Sol fall over it just 10 yards out.
On 11 minutes Newell made a change, Dean Morgan replacing Lewis Emanuel. No obvious reason why, and Deano must have thought it was Christmas, being given 35 minutes for a change.
Whatever the reason, it seemed to help as the Town started to run the show. But then on 65 minutes a header clear from Markkus was spectacularly volleyed by Neil Danns over his shoulder and in off the far post as everyone watched without moving.
Forsell came on for Cameron, Newell responded with Bell for O'Leary, who departed to a deserved ovation.
As the game opened up Vine displayed seemingly superhuman running power as he surged down the left, across the face of the box, then down the right, then chasing back after the Chef.
Just as it seemed City had taken control the Town edged ahead again. With 10 minutes to go Vine and Sol combined down the left, Sol curled a beauty high into the box which N'Gotty could only head a few yards left. Carlos nodded it back and Bell coolly slotted home from 10 yards.
But the fun wasn't over - Bruce brought on Larsson, and seconds later he volleyed over a stunned Beresford who could only watch for a second time as the shot hit thye far post, only to bounce out this time to Stephen Kelly, who somehow skied over an open goal from 8 yards.
As time started to run out the game became the Dean Morgan show. In an electric spell of ten minutes he sent shivers down the spines of the Blues whenever he got the ball, dancing past them at will.
He earned himself a free kick on 25 yards, and when his vicious shot was blocked by the wall he collected the rebound and somehow danced through the entire four man wall into the box before shooting at close quarters at Taylor. The big keeper had no idea where the ball was but somehow it hit him and spun over.
The fourth official signaled four minutes of injury time - God knows from where, but there was no hint of panic as first Carlos down the right, then Morgan down the left, took turns to tease the Blues defence. Before we knew where we were the ref had whistled for a fully-deserved 3-2 win for the Town.
Beresford 7 - a great game
Foley 7 - as usual came forward at will and combined well with Carlos. Also kept the Chef quiet.
Davis 4 - a mare and a constant worry - he tries to be too casual and clever, and it backfires too often
Edwards 6 - looked a bit tired
O'Leary 7 - worked tirelessly but a bit scared coming forward
Robinson 7 - dotto, and the official MoM
Emanuel 6 - looked sound until substituted
Parkin 4 - very poor - slow and not at all threatening. The crowd were on his back, and rightly so.
Vine 8 - yet another star performance, and enjoy them while you can - if we don't go up he will on his own I suspect
Morgan 7 - great performance, sparkling and hard-working
Bell 7 - looked very classy and full of running when he came on, and took his goal well. He should be given a proper chance in the team.
Overall a great result against the best team we will see at the Kenny this season.
Date:Tuesday October 17 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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