Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Monday January 1 2007
1 January 2007, 3pm
A New Year and a chance for Warren Feeney to continue his run of form up front - one goal in 2006 - without disturbing the statisticians too much. As is often the case nowadays New Year's Day started bright and clear after the wet, miserable and dirty Christmas weather, though b y 3pm had clouded somewhat.
For the Town the desire both to keep away from that drop zone and to avenge a 4-1 battering at Ninian Park assisted by a dodgy decision to send off Lewis Emanuel for handball.
After injuries galore in recent games, but with the welcome return of Sol Davis after his stroke, the odds were on the side that did so well at Birmingham, or at least the one that finished it, starting at KR against a Cardiff side which had threatened to run away with the Championship before heading to a run almost as bad as Luton's.
But with the New Year Newell decided to ring some changes, with the Town lining up:
Edwards Perrett Barnett Davis
Brkovic Langley Bell Morgan
So Chris Coyne absent after just one full game since his prolonged injury absence - an ominous sign I guess, and an entirely new back four.
The returning Sol Davis made captain for the day. Understandable if certain to lead to disappointment.
For Cardiff Chopra, McPhail, and Scimeca, but no Parry
A quiet start but on 10 minutes a glorious diagonal cross-ball from Brkovic to Feeney was just headed out by a stretching defence, and from the corner Vine tested City keeper Neil Alexander for the first time.
The Town were playing good football with Langley and Bell looking lively, but on 17 minutes Scimeca found space to set up McPhail for a shot, which Kiely scrabbled away, and seconds later a poor Barnett clearance presented another City opportunity, which Kiely gathered in.
For 10 minutes the momentum changed, with City dominant and Luton seemingly unable to respond. The ref had to intervene after Langley and Morgan exchanged handbags after they both stood and let a City attacker through.
Eventually the pressure turned as Vine and Bell created the necessary chance that just tilted the pressure. And on 31 minutes Morgan and Feeney played a delightful 1-2 to set Deano racing into the box, where he unleashed a left foot rocket which whistled just wide of the upright. Then on 35 Feeney set Vine away down the left and from his cross Feeney almost beat the keeper with a hook shot.
But within a minute the Cardiff fans were almost in ecstasy as a dipping shot fizzed over our bar.
Morgan was looking sharp and with attitude, and twice tore the City right flank open.
Just as we seemed to be building up a head of steam the pressure abated, as on 42 minutes Sol was lucky to stay on the pitch as the linesman flagged for a deliberate elbow whilst play was up in the Cardiff half. Pointless, and not the act of a captain.
On the stroke of half-time Deano hit a shot from 30 yards which Alexander was grateful went wide, as it was certainly travelling as it passed him.
So 0-0 at half time, and the disconcerting news that Southend, Leeds, Hull, Palace and QPR were all winning.
No changes at half-time,
After 4 minutes our first corner and after good work by Carlos it was Feeney's turn to warm Alexander's hands.
On 14 minutes Langley collapsed after a fierce tackle - yes that is Langley we are talking about - and eventually left the field on a stretcher with a head wound, Robinson his immediate replacement. So now two captains on the pitch, plus deano - goodo.
After 19 a great cross from Berky on the right was met with a bullet header in the six yard box by Barnett. Somehow - incredibly - Alexander stopped it at point-blank range, and Vine's follow-up shot was deflected over. From the corner Feeney's header was tipped out, and when the ball was returned Barnett outjumped Alexander, who was left well out of position as chaos ensued with legs flying as we desperately tried to hack the ball in.
For five minutes or more it was desperate stuff, as shots and crosses rained in on the
Cardiff area. Then on 26 the ever-industrious Bell, chasing tirelessly, gave away an innocuous free kick 30 yards out, as he leant a bit too firmly on a Cardiff midfielder. A bit harsh ref, surely, we thought. But worse was to follow as the ref reached for his book. "That`s his second, he`s off" said the chap in front, and incredibly so it was! I couldn`t even recall how he was booked in the first place, but there is no way Bell deserved to be sent off. But it happened.
From then on the game drifted - Cardiff became marginally more adventurous, but apart from a Chopra volley that flashed past the post from 25 yards it was difficult to credit that they had an extra man.
On 35 Boyd came on for Vine, and a minute later Holmes for Brkovic.
And the game petered out to a dull draw. C`est la vie.
Edwards 4 a pale shadow of his former self - sell him now
Perrett 7 Sponsor`s MoM, and really quite good
Barnett 7 another strong performance
Davis 4 casual and violent by turns - neither particularly helpful
Brkovic 5 not at his best but worked hard and a couple of great crosses
Langley 5 started strongly but too often observing rather than participating
Bell 8 yet again the best player on the pitch
Morgan 7 lively and committed but does he have any mates?
Vine 7 typical Vine, but no real chances
Feeney 7 a big-hearted performance
Date:Monday January 1 2007
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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|Fairhurst Joins the Imps
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|Luton to Entertain Aston Villa
» Luton : 17/05/2013 13:37:00
» Luton : 17/05/2013 13:36:00
|Early bird attracts 1,105
» Stockport : 16/05/2013 13:29:00
|I Wish It Was Us!
» Luton : 15/05/2013 16:53:00