Lambs fall by the odd goal in three
03 October 2009
The Lambs third away trip in a row brought them to Kenilworth Road, a far cry from the 'usual' Blue Square Premier surroundings, with an expected crowd of around 6,000 due to fill the ground.
Gary Mills made two changes to the side that had drawn at Eastbourne last weekend with Nick Wright and Alex Rodman returning to the starting eleven.
On the Hatters bench, Alan Neilson took charge following the departure of Mick Harford after midweek a defeat by Stevenage.
Luton started proceedings kicking towards The Lambs fans behind the goal and immediately kicked the ball long and out on the right. From the throw a chance fell for Ben Wright who hooked his shot at Alcock from the edge of the area and a minute later the same played knocked the ball down for Hatch to hit a shot which flew wide of the mark.
Wright fed Jarvis in the right of the box on 5 and he got a shot away under pressure from Russell which Alcock dropped to stop before it was hacked away.
Play then switched to the other end and Wright won a corner on the left but play was stopped when Briscoe was adjudged to have pushed at the back of the area.
Wright and Rodman tried to make in roads on 9 but the Hatters defence held strong and with the wind whipping the ball around when it went above the height of the small stand it was causing a few problems when lofted passes when attempted.
Tait then won a freekick on the right on 13 which Shaw hit right footed into the box, but Smith's header went into Tyler's arms.
Luton, however, broke through a strong run by Newton down the right, who found Wright on the left of the area and his shot deflected over the bar for a corner on the right but nothing came of the flag kick.
On 19 the home side made light work of breaking through the Lambs defence with Hall knocking home the opening goal of the game from 8 yards after Tamworth had been unable to stop Hatch playing the ball into the middle of the box from the right allowing his team mate an unmarked finish(1-0, 19 mins).
The Lambs restarted the game strongly with Rodman looking for an opening but finding his shot blocked and Tom Shaw hit a freekick into the box on 24 but it proved to be Tamworth's undoing, as Hatch and Wright broke with the latter curling the ball into the far corner at the second attempt (0-2, 24 mins).
Tamworth won a corner from the restart which whizzed across the box, and from another flag kick on the same time, Russell hit a shot straight at Tyler from 25 yards.
A ball into Hatch from Hall on 33 saw the referee wave play on when the Luton striker took a tumble under pressure and Hall received the ball from the right a minute later but was unable to get a shot on target from the edge of the area.
A combination of Briscoe and Blackwell gave Luton a corner on 35 which was cleared but made it's way back to the home keeper and on 37 Nicholls received the ball 25 yards out and decided to have a shot but his low effort was wide of the mark.
Pritchard needed treatment following a clash in the middle of the Luton half on 39 and when play continued, Wright tried to get a shot at goal following a jinking run into the right of the area but found his way hampered by Luton defenders.
Russell spotted an opening shortly after but lifted his shot over the bar from distance on 42 and The Lambs won a corner on the left which fell to Wright but he missed his shot as the ball dropped. Tamworth worked the ball back in and Sheridan was unlucky not to get a purchase on a through ball but did win another flag kick on the opposite side on 43 which Smith headed back to Rodman at the near post but he couldn't keep his shot down and fired over the woodwork.
After a good run from Wright, Shaw hit a speculative effort at goal from 30 yards as the first half drew to a close but, again, missed the target.
in the one minute pf time added on at the end of the first half Hatch fell in the area after going to a high ball from a freekick, under pressure from Smith but nothing was given and the whistle blew.
Tamworth kicked off the second half towards the Lambs fans but the first action of the half was at the other end when Hatch made a telling run into the area only to be denied by Briscoe as he shot for goal twice.
Pilkington picked up a booking for bringing down Wright as he tried to burst over the half way line on 53 but Tait's freekick went straight into the arms of Tyler.
Tamworth came their closest so far on 55 when Russell's ball into the area looking for Pritchard was snatched by the keeper off his toes.
Wright made a run into the area from right on 58 but couldn't keep his feet under pressure and a freekick was then won on the right which Tait floated onto the head of the latter. His flick fell nicely for Rodman who made no mistake from a yard out to give the travelling fans something to cheer about and set up a tense last half hour (1-2, 59 mins).
Sheridan then won a freekick on the left of the box and Rodman won a corner with his deflected shot which Smith headed down for Rodman to strike but Tyler was perfectly positioned to collect.
Luton made their first change on 63 and in the next move substitute Gnapka headed his first touch of the ball wide from a left wing cross.
Another Hatters change came three minutes later and again Luton pushed forward with Wright whipping the ball across the face of goal from the right wing.
A Luton freekick just inside the Lambs half on 71 fell to Craddock who, on the turn, lifted the ball over the goal from 6 yards out and then when Wright lost the ball by the right corner flag, Gnapka sprinted from the half way line and fed Craddock on the right of the area but he could only find Alcock with Smith on his heels.
Shaw was tripped for a Lambs freekick in a similar position to that which bore the earlier goal on 77, only this time Shaw placed it onto the head of Pritchard who rose unmarked at the back of the box but powered his effort wide of the mark.
Neilson made his third change with 10 to go and Blackwood conceded a freekick on the right by the corner flag on 84 for a foul on Gnapka which Alcock batted clear allowing The Lambs, eventually, to push forward as the minutes ticked down.
Lyttle replaced Sheridan pushing Briscoe up front, flanked by Wright and Rodman, as Tamworth took on a new formation and it almost paid off as The Lambs surged into the box, but were unable to get a clear shot away.
After escaping a handball shout when Russell put a shot into the midriff of Jarvis, Luton broke and Craddock squandered a good chance under pressure from Smith. The home side won a corner though and Alcock was called upon first to push Nicholls dead ball away and then catch the return cross.
Three minutes added time were shown and both sides worked hard to try and get something as the seconds ticked away with Pritchard flicking a header high over the bar from Blackwood's left wing cross which proved to be the last chance of the game.
Alcock, Tait, Blackwood, Smith (capt), Wright, Rodman, Pritchard, Sheridan (Lyttle 86), Shaw, Briscoe, Russell
Subs: Wylde, Lake-Gaskin, Andrew, Koranteng
Luton Town Team:
Tyler, Asafu-Adjaye (Gnakpa 63), White, Pilkington, Newton, Nicholls, Hatch (Craddock 66), Hall, Jarvis, Murray, Wright B (Charles 80)
Subs: Blackett, Howells
Referee: Mr. M. Bull