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Luton Report - Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 24/08/2003

TOWN won several corners, but only one brought the remotest hint of interest. Barnard struck it beyond the far post from the left towards Crane, who had peeled away in an extravagant arc.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Luton (a)

Kenilworth Road

Luton Town 1 Grimsby Town 2
23 Aug 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

Howard tried to punch the ball away, but failed, and Crane trapped the falling bomblet and rolled it back to Hamilton (remember him?). Disco Des swiped a low shot towards goal, where Ford tried to spin and shoot. The ball was blocked away after a scramble. In the context of this match, that was high excitement with oodles of Latin-like skill thrown in.

Crane was booked, this time for tackling from behind and then moaning. Barnard suckered McSheffrey into a late tackle when punting up the touchline. There was a long delay as Barnard received treatment and McSheffrey was booked. Minds began to drift. Every three minutes a plane appeared over the top of the stand opposite the Town fans, regular as clockwork. Do Luton fans count aeroplanes to go to sleep? Let’s hope Simon Ford hasn’t noticed. Ford? Ford, why are they barracking Simon Ford? For a reason not readily apparent to the travelling Townites, the Luton supporters heckled Ford relentlessly. It just served to keep him awake. Apart from a few minor moments of fear down the Town right, Luton didn’t get inside the penalty area. Crowe and Cas were marginally better defensively, as Cas came back to help a few times. Not many, but a few, and Crowe snuffed out many a potential danger through his pace, rather than his perception. Crowe was up against Courtney Pitt, a loose limbed sprinter, not the loose fingered saxophonist. Pitt did get free once, after Town attacked and left gaping holes down the centre and right. Pitt hared away, alone, with Crowe and Ford in pursuit, but dragged a weak shot a yard wide from about 20 yards out. The Luton fans "oohed", but the Town fans "ahhed", for it was just not worrying. Whoops, here we go again, Crowe miss-controlled the ball on the half way line, allowing it to squirm off his thigh. McSheffrey sprinted clear, pursued by the three little bears in Town’s defence. He tried to cut inside Crane and simply ran the ball into the path of Crowe, who cleared adequately.

Ten Heuvel had rarely touched the ball, looking a forlorn figure, uncomfortable in his shoes. About 10 minutes before halftime he did touch it, hurrah! Down the right-hand side he controlled the ball with his back to goal, turned infield and passed to Anderson, about 25 yards out and just to the left of goal. ANDERSON cut back inside, feinted twice, dropped his shoulder, made a little bit of space and thwacked a tremendous low shot across the ‘keeper into the bottom right hand corner. Wahey, one touch, one goal. Now that’s the way to wake the fans up. Luton immediately pressed from the kick off, rolling the ball into the penalty area from their right. A dummy, a roll, a bundle of bodies 6 yards out. Ford felled, Crowe clambering, Cas coolly stepped across and walked the ball away from near the foot of the right hand post. Another long delay as Ford received treatment for a blow to the head and kick on the calf. His left eyebrow smeared in Vaseline, like a boxer he rose, staggering, as the Luton fans bayed at this "blatant" time wasting. His head was still attached, so why the delay?

Apart from another break away (when Ford was fouled and McSheffrey was offside) which ended with a frankly rubbish shot from the edge of the area, that was it as far as even possibilities of Luton shooting on target. They huffed and they puffed, but they didn’t get beyond the front gate. And it was only on the latch too. Ah, now Town - two more moments to savour. Campbell, about 35 yards out on the centre left, suddenly spun around in midfield and zoomed a dipping, wobbling whacker.

Craneyellow card
Ten Heuvelyellow card


Groves81 mins
Mansaram89 mins
Rowan57 mins


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The ball sailed over Beckwith, just cleared the crossbar and kissed off the stanchion at the top of the netting. In the four minutes of added time Luton tried to exert some pressure, but the ball went to Neilson, a conveniently forgotten ex-short term Mariner from the dregs of the Lawrence era. Neilson reminded us why he was laughed out of Cleethorpes, for on the half way line he controlled the ball, fell over and Cas sprinted off down the touchline. Cas got to the edge of the area, went outside the last defender and smashed a rising shot against the crossbar, the ball sailing off into the crowd and dislodging several cravats.

That was the first half that was. Really a collection of clashings and hashings, with three Town shots thrown in for good luck. As has been apparent all season, the Town defence was a rocking and a rolling, three men in a boat with Barnard riding an old bicycle on the canal side bellowing instructions through an experienced international megaphone. Hamilton hardly touched the ball, or a Luton player. His best, no his only, moment to savour in the first half was when he did an extravagant dummy in the middle of the pitch, letting the ball roll up to Ten Heuvel. So his only contribution was to not touch the ball. But Luton didn’t look particularly frightening, just couple of weak shots and nothing for Davison to do. They ran around a lot though. Three balls were kicked over the stands, a satisfyingly high ratio for just 45 minutes of football.

But this was Town, so would we be relying on the kindness of strangers for victory?

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"Is he wearing his nephew’s shirt?".
"I was once kicked by Paul Futcher, and it bloomin’ well hurt".
"That Anderson does nothing. Apart from score.".
"Bass guitar? Is he a plucker or a slapper".
"I wanted two oranges but they’d only sell me eight for a pound."

The report continues in the Second Half.

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