Date:Saturday December 16 2006
15 December 2006 7-45 pm
In a nervous game, which neither team wanted to lose, they mainly managed to cancel each other out, and long before the end it had 0-0 'written all over it'. However, but for Southend's hot property Freddy Eastwood missing the game's only golden chance in the dying seconds, Southend might have nicked all three points.
Had they done so it would have been a travesty, as on the 90 minutes a draw was the fairest result, although Luton showed the brighter football.
Despite plenty of honest endeavour by the Town, going forward, the crowd were not impressed and exprssed their displeasure at the final whistle.
I will write Luton's half term report in a seperate article, although many of my observations were illustrated clearly in this match.
David Bell showed how much he has developed as a player in recent months and got shots on target twice in the early part of the game, but Flahavan was in good form between the sticks for the away team.
Then around the quarter of an hour mark, Vine broke down the left, cut inside Sodje, but just as he was about to pull the trigger, the ball got away from him and he was forced to stretch to shoot and that removed any power the shot may have had, should he have retained full control, and Flahavan gathered.
Carlos Edwards managed to get away a firm shot which warmed the hands of Flahavan, and then Carlos might ahve done better to shoot first time when he received the ball on the edge of the penalty area but he was shephered away wide on the right and his eventual shot was cleared from an acute angle.
Southend were not very interested in attack until the game hhad settled down and it was almost half an hour before a real shot 'in anger', when Maher's snap shot was saved by Kiely but his parry was cleared by the town defence. Maher shot again soon after but failed to trouble the Town loan keeper.
The much vaunted Eastwood spent much of the first half in Heikkinen's pocket but he received the ball deeper and turned Heikkinen and Barnett and unleashed a powerful shot, which Kiely saved with difficulty when Freddy might have looked to his left instead of shooting, where Gower was free.
Just before the break, Vine controlled a clever pass from Morgan just inside the box with his back to goal. He made himself half a yard before Spencer Prior could challenge and attempted to curl the ball inside the right hand post on the turn. Unfortunately, the ball did not bend and went harmlessly wide as Flahavan breathed a sigh of relief.
Early in the second half, Brkovic found Vine, but he failed to test the stranded keeper from the left, shooting into the side netting.
Soon afterwards, Eastwood, who was restricted to dropping deeper and deeper to try to get possession, received a pass from Gower then ran forward and unleashed a ferocious drive from twenty five yards, which dipped after it had passed Kiely, but bounced off the top of the bar. Had it dipped early enough to have gone in, it looked as though Kiely might have had it covered.
With both sides failing to keep possession from more than a few passes, chances were as rare as rocking horse manure, and as Mike Newell became progressively more frustrated, he completely lost the plot.
Having taken off the tiring Morgan and put on Feeney, which was a reasonable move, with Feeney showing 100% effort and not a little skill on the ball, Newell then brought on Chris Coyne for Vine, and pushed Barnett into attack.
Admittedly, Barnett got one decent header on target, causing Flahavan to make a good save to tip it over the bar, but Adam Boyd must have been wondering what he had to do to get on the pitch. Four strikers on the teamsheet, and Mike Newell chose to finish the game with only one on the field despite the fact that this was a winnable game and we were only drawing. Barnett did his bes, but he looked what he was, a fish out of water. He is a useful presence from dead ball situations, coming up for corners and free kicks, but in open play he hasn't a clue what positions to take up.
The situation was tailor-made for Boyd to come on, score the winner and get a massive confidence boost. Instead, he was allowed to lose even more confidence by seeing the boss prefer a central defender as a striker over putting Boyd on.
The game was drifting to the seemingly inevitable goalless draw as injury time drew to a close, when Eastwood beat the offside trap, when Foley failed to move up, and haplessly put his arm up to appeal for offside. Meanwhile, the onside Eastwood did everything right, striding into the box down the right, drew the exposed Kiely, flicked the ball past him to open up a shot into the empty net to poach the points. Inexplicably, he managed to strike the base of the right hand post and Luton scrambled the ball to safety.
There was a Luton appeal for a penalty kick when Vine shot goalwards as Sodje made a desperate challenge. Sodje fell awkwardly and and the shot struck his arms as he fell. I've seen 'em given, but as a referee, I would not have awarded a penalty kick as there was reasonable doubt as to Sodje's intention to handle, and I believe it was a case of accidental contact as he fell.
Date:Saturday December 16 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)
|Player Profiles: Dan Gray
» Lincoln : 20/05/2013 19:14:00
|Player Profiles: Paul Farman
» Lincoln : 20/05/2013 17:20:00
|County's Number One ?
» Stockport : 20/05/2013 16:31:00
|Would you sign Exodus Geohaghon?
» Lincoln : 19/05/2013 16:25:00
|Hatters Sign Tigers Striker
» Luton : 19/05/2013 12:39:00
|Stuart Fleetwood seen in Lincoln?
» Lincoln : 19/05/2013 11:53:00
|Fairhurst Joins the Imps
» Lincoln : 17/05/2013 18:23:00