Date:Saturday September 15 2007
14 September 2007 7-45 pm
Luton allowed themselves to be mugged yet again in a match which they should have won, conceding two late goals to concede the points.
The wheels have certainly fallen off the HAtters' season as the old defensive frailties have not only resurfaced but become ingrained, and if they are not careful, we could be in for another season of 'nearlys' and 'could haves' and another relegation battle.
Luton began the game in fine style with Dean Morgan terrorising the home defence and when Paul Furlong headed home in the 5th minute it looked as though a victory was in the offing.
Hatters manager Kevin Blackwell went for the 4-5-1 formation and it looked to have been a good choice once they had taken the lead.
Dean Morgan replaced Darren Currie and Dave Edwards returned to the side after International duties, while Paul Furlong was the lone striker.
The HAtters could have been in front even earlier when Bell fired over the bar from a long free kick, and from the goal kick Shuker fired into the side netting.
Matthew Spring found Paul Furlong with a delightful cross but with the home keeper beaten the ball cnnoned off the crossbar, but with their next foray into attack, Luton deservedly took the lead.
A corner by Bell was perfectly placed to the far post and Furlong headed it firmly past Coyne in the Tranmere goal.
The Town were dominating proceedings with the midfield looking sharp and dangerous in the Tranmere half.
Morgan was tormenting his marker down the left and a pinpoint cross found Bell who cushioned a header to the onrushing Edwards whose shot just slid over the bar when he should have netted.
Tranmere were awful and needed to take stock and settle down, and they began to do just that and come more into the game in the 15 minutes before half time.
A McClaren free kick was allowed to reach Sherriff when Forde was caught in no man's land and fortunately Goodall cleared off the line, and Taylor missed a golden opportunity to equalise with a mishit shot which went wide.
The half ended with Luton glad to hear the half time whistle and have the opportunity to regroup.
Tranmere strated the second half as they had finished the first while Luton seemed to be nervous and lacking the belief they had shown for the first half hour of the match.
Steve Davis set off on a run down the left, cut inside and drove the ball goalwards. It looked a goal all the way but Forde made a spectacular save tipping the ball just over the bar.
Luton responded well and Bell got in a shot across the face of goal which Coyne saved uncomfortably.
Davies went close again for the home side when a mishit cross clipped the bar with Forde again looking absent.
If Tranmere had anyone with a decent finsish they might have buried the Hatters in a spell of pressure when several chances went begging, the worst of which was when Chris Greenacre received a perfect ball from the right which left him with a virtually open goal four yards out and somehow he contrived to miss the target when it was easier to score. Perhaps it was to be Luton's night?
Unfortunately not, in fact quite the reverse.
In the 83rd minute, a hoof into the town box, which should have been a regulation head away by the central defenders was played by Coyne straight to substitute Curran who crashed the ball home for an equaliser.
Luton were beginning to rue the possible loss of two points which they had fought so hard to maintain, but it got worse two minutes later.
Blackwell brought on Fojut, presumably to shore up a panicking defence,when anothet hoofball from Davies'found Kay, unmarshalled at the back post, and he headed into the top corner to give the home side an unlikely lead.
Luton threw everything into attack but Tranmere showed the Hatters how to shut up shop when you're leading towards the end of a game and yet another three points were down the toilet, and yet another defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory.
Luton have continually shown periods of gelling into a good footballing side peppered with loss of concentration and an apparent loss of confidence when under pressure.
With the squad Kevin Blackwell has put together, any 11 from about 25 ought to be able to win matches at this level, and 6 points from 6 matches really is not good enough.
I had expected the new look team to take a while to gain an understanding of each other but it is very hard to watch points surrendered time and again when they are there for the taking.
Meanwhile Leeds United won their 6th in a row to be just three points behind the Town after starting with their 15 point deficit.
Perhaps some team is due for a thrashing when the Town finally get it together for the whole 90 minutes?
Let's hope so because, with fans still boycotting matches because of the behind the scenes wranglings, the playing staff are doing very little to make them feel they are missing anything at the moment.
Date:Saturday September 15 2007
Ex-Luton Manager Lands Top Job (Monday June 17 2013)
Just Plain Bored! (Sunday June 16 2013)
Just a Reminder (Sunday June 16 2013)
Four Thousand! (Thursday June 13 2013)
Spiller`s Future? (Wednesday June 12 2013)
Disappointed or Expected? (Tuesday June 11 2013)
Martin Signs New Deal (Tuesday June 11 2013)
Harford Axed By MK Dons (Monday June 10 2013)
Patience is the Order of the Day! (Thursday June 6 2013)
Here`s to You Mr Robinson…… (Thursday June 6 2013)
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» Luton : 16/06/2013 12:56:00