Date:Monday February 26 2007
24 February 2007 3 pm
Luton came back from a goal down to level matters before Langley's red card gave Palace the edge.
Langley looked like a red card waiting to happen from his first challenge, which was late. His third foul looked a yellow card on its own or at least for persistent infringement, but referee Scott Mathieson was in a lenient mood. However, in the 53rd minute Langley talked his way into the book for dissent and no less than four minutes later made yet another late challenge right in front of the referee brought an inevitable second yellow card and the sequential red one.
Luton had begun well and Palace seemed content to let Luton play attacking football, but neither goal was seriously threatened for most of the first half. Morrison had fired a couple of speculative efforts just wide, which Luton should have taken heed of, because on the stroke of half time, he was allowed too much time and space to turn and fire home the opener.
Despite the loss of Heikkinen and Davis through suspension, the pairing of Keith Keane and the returning Leon Barnett, were coping in the centre and Emanuel did a good job for Davis.
For some reason Mike Newell felt that the right footed Bell playing on the left wing while the predominantly left footed Dean Morgan sat on the bench was a good idea, with Langley playing down the right.
I am surprised that he didn't se that Langley was timing his tackles poorly and was likely to get on the wrong side of the referee at some point, and therefore bring Morgan on down the left and revert bell to the right.
It was a decision he would live to regret when Langley received his marching orders.
Luton had their chances to equalise in the early part of the second half but some average finishing let them down.
Meanwhile Morrison spurned a chance to put the home side two up by drilling the ball wide when it looked easier to score.
Then on 55 minutes, it seemed like deja vu, when Emanuel arrowed a good cross into the danger area between keeper and defender, and, just as Tommy Spurr had obliged the Town on Tuesday evening, Hudson sliced the ball into his own net for the Town equaliser.
However, two minutes later, Luton found themselves one light in the personnel department, after Langley went to turn the showers on, and Palace became a little more adventurous as they tried to make the extra man count. The goal was not long in coming and on 68 minutes, Morrison scored his second with a good strike from inside a crowded area after a Soares free kick was knocked down by Cort.
Palace seemed content to sit on their lead but to their credit, Luton went for it and might have had some joy but for some tidy keeping by Gabor Kiraly, as the Hatters finished much the stronger of the two sides.
However, they could not find the breakthrough and the match ended in Luton's first defeat in four matches.
rystal Palace: Kiraly, Lawrence (Martin 60), Hudson, Cort, Scowcroft, Freedman, Morrison, Kennedy (Butterfield 9), Borrowdale, Soares, Fletcher
Subs not used: Ward, Speroni, Grabban
Luton: Beresford, Foley, Spring, Robinson, Runstrom, Emanuel, Langley, Keane, Barnett, Bell, Talbot (Morgan 73).
Subs not used: O'Leary, Boyd, Asafu-Adjaye, Brill
Sent-Off: Langley (second caution)
Referee: Mr S Mathieson
Date:Monday February 26 2007
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