Superb Lambs showing destroys Hatters
28 August 2010
The visit of early table toppers Luton Town to The Lamb brought a large number of visiting supporters and also saw the debut of midfielder Ben Wilkinson, a midweek signing for Gary Mills' Lambs looking to build on the point at home to Cambridge United from Tuesday night.
Tamworth got the game underway kicking forwards the Castle End and both sides immediately battled for control in the centre of the park.
This continued well into the opening ten minutes with neither team able to put any worthwhile moves together past the third or fourth pass out of midfield.
Luton tried to find a way through via Barnes-Homer on 10 but The Lambs defence took control and a pass to Tait on the right wing was crossed to the far post. Perry rose highest and headed firmly into the far corner much to the obvious delight of the home faithful while stunning the visitors into a subdued silence. (1-0, 11 mins)
Tait almost got a second for Tamworth with a curling effort which Pilkington clawed away from the far post on 15 after good work by Wilkinson and Rodman on the right.
Barrow cleared off the boot of Gnapka shortly after as the ball was fired into the area by the Hatters and Wilkinson was penalised for a foul in the middle of the park. Nothing came from the resultant freekick, but Smith conceded another on the right wing on 18 which Drury saw put behind for a corner by Wylde past the far post.
Barrow had to leave the field to get attention to a nose bleed on 20 and on 22 Rodman cut into the box but saw his low square ball hoofed away and out of play.
A mix up between Drury and keeper Pilkington on 26 almost let Tait in on the loose ball but Luton recovered and cleared.
Then, at the other end Wilkinson raced in to block an attempted cross and when the ball ballooned towards the far post Gnapka headed hopelessly off target.
Barrow got in the way of Gnapka's turn and shot in the area to conceded a corner on the half hour and once again the same player headed miles wide of the mark from a central position.
Murray picked up a needless booking for a handball inside his own half on 31 but Smith's freekick bounced out of play for a goal kick.
Rodman crossed on the head of Bradley on 33 but it was just too high for him to direct it toward goal, however, when the ball came back from the left in Rodman was ideally placed to put a header on goal but it was hooked away at the far post for a corner which came to nothing.
Kroca was booked on 36 for hauling Perry to the floor by his shirt on the halfway line and on 40 Barnes-Homer seemed to be through on goal when Atkins was forced to come out of his area as the last line of defence, but when the Luton striker lifted the ball over the keeper it was too strong for his to catch and bounced of play for a goal kick.
On 42 Drury fell under a challenge from Wylde in the area, which was well shouted by the travelling fans looking for a penalty for their side from the terraces, but the referee was having none of it, not even needing to wave play on.
However a challenge by Tait on Murray was penalised with a freekick on the left of box on 44 and Wylde flicked the high ball behind for a corner on the right which Wilkinson and then Marshall cleared.
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the half with no further incident.
The Hatters kicked of the second half and on 47 Gnapka took Wylde out with a leading elbow inside the Lambs half but escaped with just a booking.
Scores were level shortly after though when Luton equalised on 38 through Craddock who found time to turn and fire into the far corner despite the close attention from the Lambs defence (1-1, 48 mins)
Atkins prevented a quick second from Luton when Barnes-Homes fired an angled shot at goal from the right of the box on 50 and from the corner Adam Murray received the ball in space on the left of the box but lifted his shot over the bar.
Bradley created space to get a shot away from the left of the area on 53 but dragged his shot a few feet wide of the mark.
A great ball for Thomas was cut out by Pilkington as it ran through down the centre of the park and when the clearance fell to Perry, he missed the open goal with an attempt from fully 40 yards.
Freddie Murray slipped as he shaped to shoot on 64 and the ball rolled harmlessly to Atkins and when Wilkinson saw his shot blocked, Perry's snap shot from 20 yards was a mile off target.
A foul on Bradley 25 yards out in a central position on 67 allowed The Lambs a free strike at goal and Rodman forced Pilkington into a finger tip save to push the ball over the bar for a corner.
A cross from Rodman was touched on by Bradley on 70 but cleared by the Luton defence in front of goal.
Some pressure from Luton ended with a take at full stretch by Atkins from a Craddock cross, and The Lambs broke immediately with the ball finding Thomas on the left who fired low into the far corner to give his side the lead once again (2-1, 78 mins) and cause a major eruption from the home terraces.
Perry was replaced by Sheridan with nine to go and on 86 a foul by Tait on the left wing gave the visitors a freekick but it went out of play, unhindered, for a goal kick as the home faithful started nervously to count down to the final whistle as four minutes added time was shown.
Thomas and Newton tussled outside the Lambs penalty area on 92 and a freekick was awarded to Luton but Drury's kick hit the wall and the cross from the rebound went out of play.
The Lambs did their best to play keep ball and made sure of the victory with a fine break out of the midfield and rasping drive into the top corner shortly before the final whistle blew (3-1, 94 mins)
Atkins, Tait, Marshall, Wylde, Smith (capt) , Perry (Sheridan 81), Rodman, Thomas, Bradley, Barrow, Wilkinson
Subs: Mitchell, MacKenzie, Lake-Gaskin, Lyttle
Luton Town Team:
Pilkington K, Gleeson, Murray F, Pilkington G, Barnes-Homer (Gallen 62), Craddock, Drury, Kroca, Murray A, Besta (Newton 83), Gnapka (Howells 61)
Subs: Tyler, Blackett
Man of the Match: Chosen by San Giovanni: Michael Wylde
Referee: Mr. S. J. Ross