Hatters hit three past Lambs
18 February 2012
The Lambs made the trip to a rain soaked Kenilworth Road, home of the Hatters, looking to build on their last two league run outs which had brought four from a possible six points on the road against promotion chasing opposition including a near ‘upset' at a bitterly cold Fleetwood. Although it would be tough ask against Gary Brabin's side who went into the game in third place and were unbeaten since Bonfire Night, a run of 14 league games without defeat.
For Lambs boss Marcus Law Sam Oji was unavailable due to suspension, and so he made two changes to the side that had run out on the North West a fortnight previously with Green returning to the starting eleven and Courtney dropping to the bench as Tait slotted back in as right back.
In the away white kit and red socks against the orange and blue of the home side, Tamworth got the match underway kicking away from the small band of travelling fans.
Sheets of rain were driving across the field making it very difficult for players to see what was going on with Luton looking the more comfortable on the ball in the opening exchanges.
5: The Lambs move forward and a foul on Marna on the right wign allows Reece to head down the touch line but his path is halted by Howells. The same two players are then involved and corner is won but Tyler punches clear and Green prevents the home side advancing over the half way line with a timely challenge and all that can be heard in the packed ground are the songs and chants of the Lambs fans.
9: Patterson cut into the box and pulled the ball back for McDonald to strike at goal on the angle, but his shot took a deflection and a corner was won. Nothing came from the flag kick though and Luton pushed forwards.
11: Boucard feeds Osano through the right channel and it takes Tamworth four attempts to clear their lines, but eventually the ball makes its way back to the half way line.
13: Referee Merchant blows his whistle for McKoy's challenge on Boucaud midway into the Lambs half down the left wing and all but Patterson track back to clear the danger.
15: Osano tries his luck from long range at it's looking easy for the Lambs defence but it flicks of fthe heels of Fleetwood who recovers quicker than Hedge is able to get to the ball and he finishes from a tight angle on the right of the box to give the home side the lead (0-1, 15 mins)
20: Luton win a corner through the play of Howells and substitute Watkins but Boucaud is unable to keep his shoot down and curls it high and wide from the left of the box.
21: Reece tries a shot from a central position 20 yards out but it goes way off target to the right of Tyler's goal.
23: From a similar position to Reece's effort 20 yards out Marna hit a low driven effort that rose slowly towards the target but Taylor put his head in the way and deflected the ball out for a corner on the right which came to nothing.
29: A period of Lambs pressure ended when Tait's ball into the box was taken by Tyler and a couple of minutes later Reece caused a moment's worry for the home faithful with a searching cross.
32: Luton countered quickly but Fleetwood's final ball in from the left of the box was left by everyone and Hedge restarted with a goal kick.
33: A tackle by Green on the half way line on Fleetwood left Green's kit more brown that white but did mean that Tait could advance and he won a corner. Isaac tried his luck when the ball fell to him from the flag kick but he was off target, as was Boucaud at the other end 90 seconds later when a corner fell invitingly for him to try his luck, too.
36: The closeness of the hoardings on the far side of the ground gets the better of Barrow but he is fine to continue after a touch from the magic sponge, although visibly still showing signs of discomfort.
41: Hedge makes a save, still standing, with his right foot to deny Fleetwood his second as the forward breaks through and gets the better of the Lambs defence but is unable o get enough on his right footed diagonal strike to beat the keeper's improvised stop and he drops to the ground to prevent the same player rushing in for the follow up.
43: A flowing move down the Luton right saw Boucaud won a corner on the right from Francis' clearance and the Lambs defender rose highest to head the danger away.
45: Patterson makes a good run into the corner of the box and forces Tyler to clear his lines as one minute added time is shown by the fourth official.
As the second half gets underway, the power trips around the ground meaning floodlights go out and laptops complained!
The Lambs counter some early pressure and then make some of their own, winning a corner, but Luton clear and Barrow is booked for a late challenge on Howells on the half way line.
54: A Luton corner from the left side is headed goalward by Fleetwod but Green and Tait conspire to clear it away off the line
56: Barrow tries his luck from the left channel with a low left footed drive, but Patterson is unable to get a touch as it goes past the last defender and Tyler gathers.
57: Watkins threads the ball through to Boucaud but the offside flag denies his a clean striking chance on the angle from the left of the box.
58: Howells puts the ball into the area from the right wing and it takes a glance off Francis forcing hedge to save at his near post. Marna tries to force a fumble at the other end as tyler and he go for the same ball but Luton push forward again and win another corner which Green heads away.
60: St. Aimie returns to match action, coming on for Reece, as Luton camp out at the Hedge's end of the ground and Boucaud forces the keeper to punch his curling shot clear.
63: Luton extend their lead via Kovacs who heads home at the far post from Kissocks left wing ball (0-2, 63 mins)
64: Isaac tries a shot from 18 yards but fails to trouble Tyler and rolls wide of the right hand upright.
70: Tamworth work the ball across the box but Tait is unable to get the ball into the box unlike Boucaud at the other end who forces Francis to clear it away from inside the side yard area.
73: Luton win another corner, this one on the left, and Kovacs almost doubles his tally but Hedge parries it away and McKoy heads it behind.
74: Thomas comes on for McDonald as The Lambs fans do the conga around the away end much to the delight of the home faithful and with blue skies and sunshine the evening feels like a summer one, other than the temperature!
77: Christie joins the proceedings for Marna and is immediately in the action, heading a Luton corner away from the goal line.
79:Howeverm Kovacs made no mistake from close range when the ball was played back in from the right by Howells (0-3, 79 mins)
83: Power is restored around the ground to cheers from all sides and Luton continue to look for another goal but fire off target with Watkins going closest from a near post header on 88.
With a minute left on the stopwatch the stadium watch above the away stand says 87:30 so it will be interesting to see how many people are watching it... as three minutes added time are shown.
90+: Green is booked for a late challenge on Watkins in the centre circle and the final whistle blows.
Hedge, Tait, Francis, Marna (Christie 77), Reece (St. Aimie 60), McDonald (Thomas 74), Patterson, Green, Isaac, Barrow, McKoy
Subs: Courtney, Gudger
Yellow Cards: McKoy 13, Barrow 52
Luton Town Team:
Tyler, Taylor, Pilkington, Lawless, Fleetwood, O'Connor (Willmott 90), Howells, Boucaud, Osano (Watkins 16), Kissock (McAllister 65), Kovacs
Subs: Crow, Pilkington
Referee: Mr. R. Merchant