Date:Tuesday April 10 2007
9 April 2007 3 pm
How many games in one season can one team lose 3-2 after leading 2-1? The frustration continued at Loftus Road on Bank Holiday Monday, when, with most teams around us having lost, the three points would have given the Hatters a fighting chance of avoiding the drop. In yet another ten minutes of madness,the Town once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Having dominated play for most of the first half, Luton looked as though they were up for the task, and QPR rarely threatened.
A 4-4-2 formation gave Luton more threat in attack and the early signs were good when Matty Spring latched onto a Bell lay-off but saw his effort deflected away for a corner.
Firstly, Bell teed up Matthew Spring on the edge of the Rangers area on five minutes, but his low shot was deflected away for a corner.
Bell took the corner and found the head of Heikkinen but his header was off target.
Andrew looked lively and on ten minutes his glancing header brought a comfortable save out of Lee Camp.
Luton's flowing football was reminiscent of the first few games of the season and Drew Talbot must have killed a plethora of black cats, as he found the net on the half hour only to see the effort ruled out by a flag waving Assisitant referee, the third time he has suffered this fate in two games.
On 35 minutes, Luton were almost shocked when Lomas was given time to line up a shot, but fortunately he hooked it skywards.
Last time Luton played QPR, Stefan Bailey put Ahmet Brkovic out for several weeks with a disgraceful challenge. Bailey was not on the pitch this time, but Dean Brill managed to kick the poor Croatian in the head this time! Morgan replacing him and before he had time to get involved, totally against the run of play, Rangers went in front, through Dexter Blackstock.
It was deja vu from Saturday; five minutes before the break; defence switches off; ball in Luton's net!
A throw from the right was not defended leaving Nygaard a free header back across goal for Blackstock. His first shot was bravely blocked by Coyne, but it fell kindly for the QPR man to slot it in at the second time of asking.
Would they capitulate and let in another like on Saturday?
This time, no. They continued to press as they had all half and rewarded with an equaliser when good work by Spring, released Bell whose curling cross left Camp in two minds and as Coyne rose to it it continued into the far corner of the net. Whether Coyne got anything on it or not was a moot point but it was the first goal under Kevin Blackwell and I wouldn't have cared if the ref had scored it.
Rangers looked more of a threat as the second half began and Blackstock wasted a glorious chance to the cheers of the Luton fans.
But Luton continued to impress and on 52 minutes, Morgan, who had looked to be on form, teased and taunted the QPR defence down the left and then chipped in a cross which Nygaard inexplicably handled for a Luton penalty kick.
Luton fans watched with hearts in mouths after the last one was muffed, but Bell strode up and blasted it low into the net with Lee Camp heading in the wrong direction.
Could Luton hold on to a 2-1 lead for once?
The home side rallied and Moore drove a shot which Brill caught cleanly.
Again as on Saturday, a clear chance went begging when Emanuel found Andrew and he crossed to Talbot who got a toe to the ball ahead of the defender and if it had gone a yard either side of the keeper it would have been a goal, but deja vu again - straight into the keeper's arms.
It was another blow to the Town when substitute Morgan, who had cause problems for Rangers since he replaced Brkovic, had to be replaced himself after a knock and Langley came on.
His arrival seemed to spur the home side on and they began to show some of the fighting spirit which has seen them lift themselves out of the relegation zone in recent games.
Luton seemed to be coping very well defensively but Furlong came on to allow some extra aerial presence, and soon afterwards,TClive Penton made a poor decision to award the home side a penalty kick, when Furlong went down after a tussle with Heikkinen. The Rangers man was leaning all over Heikkinen and the easy decision was a free kick to the Town, but Penton allowed it to carry on and Furlong went down far too easily when Heiiks shrugged him off.
Luton were incensed and a long period passed before it quietened down enough to take the penalty but Blackstock made no mistake.
With ten minutes left, Town fans were rueing the missed chances and remembering the amount of times this season that having led Luton have conceded in the last ten minutes, and then conceded again to lose. Surely it wouldn't happen again?
As Qpr bombarded the Town defence with high balls (someone did their homework then?) it was no surprise when Furlong got his head on one and put it away for the winner.
Say what you like - Luton were the better team on the day and yet lost again. They have had no luck, but the confidence which was building after a good performance was fragile enough to be broken by the penalty decision, and they looked a bit like rabbits in the headlights for the final five minutes.
Despite others losing, this was, if not the last nail, almost the final nail in the coffin as far as Luton is concerned this year.
I expect them to beat Plymouth on Saturday, and they might even get a result at Southend whose home form is poor, but I cannot see them getting anything at Derby or at home to Sunderland, and it would need an amazing run of all four victories to give them even an outside chance of staying up.
Date:Tuesday April 10 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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