Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Saturday December 23 2006
23 December 2006, 3pm
A cold and damp December day at Kenilworth Road, 2 degrees and not a breath of wind.
Redemption the theme of the day:
1) The Salvation Army for the crowd after 2006 years of failing to get it.
2) Mike Newell giving the XI responsible for the draw with Southend another chance.
3) Micky Adams after a 5-0 thrashing at West Brom.
The Town side:
Foley Barnett Heikkinen Emanuel
Edwards Bell Robinson Brkovic
So Marlon Beresford, Chris Coyne, Richard Langley, Adam Boyd, Warren Feeney on the bench, no place for a fast-recovering Sol Davis, but expect that to change over the festive period.
For Coventry, Stern John, Colin Cameron, Leon McKenzie, Dele Adebola sounded a strong attacking force.
After 3 minutes the first chance, Vine running onto a Brkovic through ball down the left and firing a low shot which the keeper fumbled, cueing chants of 'Dodgy Keeper'.
For 20 minutes the game was rather quiet, industry on both sides but not a lot of product, but then it changed. City had two corners in as many minutes, and created several other good chances. A definite sense that a goal was coming, and likely to be at the wrong end.
From a break out on 26 minutes Deano won a corner, and from the aftermath entered a 50:50 challenge with the keeper which caused a loud crunch. The keeper came out worse, but was able to continue after treatment and a bandaged knee, to chants of 'It's a Miracle'.
From the restart a panic in the Town area and a great double save from Kiely when a goal seemed certain.
On 43 minutes Emanuel broke down the left, and initially disappointed by turning back to find Bell 30 yards out. Bell saw Edwards central and unmarked outside the box, and after the inevitable side-step Carlos fired. His shot was deflected into the path of Vine, unmarked left side. As the keeper rushed him Vine shot low and in.
Offside! Not sure but not happy.
Almost immediately City were awarded a free kick in a very dangerous position, and somehow Kiely produced a truly world-class save to tip over a curler high to his right.
So into injury time, and Brkovic hassled and chased before stealing the ball 30 yards out. He turned and stole past two defenders into the box. Just as he looked certain to fall under a third challenge he fired across the keeper and into the far corner. 1-0 at half-time, and to be honest against the run of play.
As always no changes in the interval, but a distinct improvement as the Town started to run the show at last.
First Vine, back to goal on the byline, somehow flicked the ball past an attending defender and shot hard, forcing a corner.
One, two, three, four corners in as many minutes, from the last of which Brkovic fired a stinging shot low and left, again tipped round. But to no avail.
After 14 minutes the ref made yet another in a whole string of poor decisions, most of which went City`s way, this time penalizing Barnett 25 yards out. A good free kick saw the Town defence struggling in the air, and a falling Brkovic managed to head it in his own net - 1-1, and again the goal against the run of play.
Minutes later Barnett was booked in a most bizarre incident, as he and Adebola tussled near the touchline, Adebola turned and ran straight into Leon, and the two of them wrapped arms around each other and fell together, like Matt and Lilia, to the floor.
Fresh from admitting he is not a tactician, Newell made an interesting tactical change, skipper Chris Coyne replacing a lack-lustre Robinson after 17 minutes. Coyne slotted into at centre half, with the gangly Barnett playing his third role in two weeks, this time in central midfield. And a very good job he made of it too, and I for one would be tempted to leave him there!
Just three minutes later came proof that Newell is a genius, as Vine fired in at the second attempt a Carlos cross, after Morgan had prodded and probed his way across the entire back four.
Two minutes later, and for a change it was the Town who received a free-kick in a dangerous position, 22 yards out and dead central. Of course being Luton we have no particular talent at this sort of thing, and we speculated who would take it as a posse gathered near the ball.
Of course the answer was obvious, Mr Attitude himself. Up strode Deano, and a veritable bullet absolutely flew past the keeper, on his side, and into the net. Watch this one on The Championship tomorrow!
Mickey Adams responded with a triple substitution, but it appeared at the time that he was removing all of the City threat in Adebola, John and Cameron, and so it proved. Newell added Feeney and Langley for Morgan and Brkovic, both of whom left the field to deserved ovations, and that was that - three extremely valuable points
Kiely 8 - Sponsors MoM, difficult to disagree with. Newell has extended his loan another month
Foley 6 - poor first haf but much better second
Barnett 7 - much better in midfield than at the back, strangely
Heikkinen 5 - never really comfortable today
Emanuel 7 - storming game
Edwards 5 - off his best yet again. Not the Carlos of yore.
Robinson 5 - almost anonymous
Bell 8 - another great game as he created and beat his man at will
Brkovic 8 - two great goals, and worked as hard as always
Vine 7 - like an Australian cricketer - plays to win and in yer face
Morgan 7 - terrible first half, great second
So signs of a renaissance - 7 out of 9 at home, but some tough games to come …still redemption for me at least.
Date:Saturday December 23 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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