Writer: The New Ricky Hill
Date:Saturday January 20 2007
20 January 2007, 3pm
After a midweek washout a chance for the Town to spring back on a bright Saturday. Not sure pre-match however, as Newell seemed to contradict his midweek statement that he had almost a full strength squad to choose from with an unexpected team:
Keane Coyne Barnett Davis
Bell Robinson Langley Emanuel
Not too bad from the half way line forward, but a very weak-looking defence with two dodgy full-backs (particularly after Newell had said that Kevin Foley was fit again in midweek), and general astonishment at Langley and Robinson ahead of Spring and Brkovic.
The pitch had clearly suffered from the wet, with the ball bobbling all over the pitch. On 6 minutes the pitch made its first impact, as Morgan beat two players but then lost control of the ball. A quick counter+attack past Barnett and Keane and the ball nestled inside Kiely's left post.
On 12 minutes Coyne was horribly outpaced by a cross field ball going nowhere, tried and failed with a blatant bodycheck, and was relieved to see Kiely sprawling but clutching a low shot from 20 yards.
After 20 Feeney limped off, replaced by Boyd.
Eventually, after 30 minutes, the Town started to get a grip, with Barnsley under the cosh as Morgan, Bell, Boyd and Emanuel starting to click. For ten minutes the pressure built without a clear chance, but on 38 a neat turn by Langley earned a freekick 23 yartds out. Emanuel tipped it a yard right and Bell hit an absolute screamer just over.
But the Tykes weathered the storm and the half petered out to a round of boos from some of the motivators among the crowd..
Great half time entertainment as one of the ground staff clung perilously to a ladder as he attempted in vain to repair a damaged drainpipe hanging over the Kenilworth Road goal - in truth it had looked more likely to score than Luton - but merely managed to break it free.
As to changes, what we wanted was for Emanuel to drop back in place of Sol, Brkovic to play on the left, and Spring in place of Langley. But what would we actually get? Almost certainly nothing based on Newell's track record.
But no - Brkovic for Davis. What a great chap that Newell is.
After 4 minutes Barnett limped off after the mother of all tackles, Perrett the replacement - so with 3 subs on, no chance for Spring today.
For some reason the game livened considerably, with the Town looking a different side
Langley, Bell and Brkovic all looked lively and dangerous, and Keane joined in well going forward.
On 24 Robbo picked up a rebound on the edge of the box, side-steped a chaLenge and hit a fierec drive low to the keepers right which was parried past the onrushing Luton attack.
Barnsley found it almost impossible to get out of their half, not that they tried much.
On 31 Brkovic was brought down on the edge of the box. Virtually the entire Town side lined up to take it, but Langley earned the loudest round of boos of the day after hitting it well over.
But the game drifted to the inevitable close. For many teams that would have been a valiant 0-1 loss, against the balance of play. But this is Luton we are talking about here, so you know we'll concede at the death. And we did. 0-2 at home to a very poor Barnsley. The table now suggests that we are not much better, and the Black Hole that is the bottom 3 looms very large indeed.
Boos at the end, chants of 'what a load of rubbish' etc. A bit OTT, as we weren't that bad but you couldn't help thinking that with Howie, Nico, Vine, it may have turned out differently. Unfortunately we are paying the price for November's dismal performances. Somewhere in the story of this season the matter of managerial selection decisions will feature.
Keane 7 to be fair I was very surprised, but he played very well
Davis 4 a nutter, thank heavens he didn't reappear after half time
Barnett 6 and out for a while with a knee injury apparently
Coyne 5 very composed on the ball, but slower than the proverbial carthorse, and will be found out soon
Bell 8 continues to shine, and the best player on the pitch by a country mile. When Morgan was announced sponsor's MoM there was loud booing all round, and chants of Bell's name
Robinson 6 out of his depth here, but battled hard
Langley 6 the opposite - has the class but not the appetite
Emanuel 6 battled hard
Feeney not on long enough to score, and knee ligaments suggest he may not figure again this season
Morgan 6 battled, flicked, and whinged
Boyd 5 struggled but no space to play
Brkovic 7 worked hard, but to no avail
Perrett 7 the pick of our centre halves today - thank Christ for that given Barnett's likely absence
Newell 5 started with the wrong side, and didn't get a chance to recover. At least he tried to change it at half time for once..
Date:Saturday January 20 2007
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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