A mate of mine who goes to all away games couldn't go so he offered up his tickets and I grabbed them. I'd not been to Luton Town before and wanted to tick it off knowing we may get promoted this year.
With the kids being on holiday I opted to take my eldest. I knocked off work at lunch time and thought with it being a nice day we could see if we could squeeze in an outdoor swim somewhere on the way. Did some googling and found Hitchin out door pool so set off early to get a swim in. A 1930's outdoor lido reminscent of the one on Wetherby Road at Roundhay Park. A 1930'2 building built on the side of a park. Not surprisingly it was chocker block.
I'm a bit of a swimming pool nerd and like to get a swim in where ever I go. This one the pool was very similar in hue to the green diving pool at the Olympics and had the cleanliness of a silty river. Not that impressed with the water quality. But on the other hand it was a belting day and a dip in some water after a long hot drive was spot on. Seemed to be mainly mum's and kids so the milf count was exceptionally high.
Refreshed and emboldened from our silty dip we pushed on the 20 minutes from Hitchin to Luton. Nice easy drive and arrived in good time about an hour and a bit before kick off. Parked up off the A6 as I wanted to go back up the A1. Short 10 minute walk to Leagrave Road where the away entrance was. Luton is everything people say it is. A heavily asian area and the shops reflected that, was a nice summer vibe about the place, the asian fruit and veg stalls selling loads of exotic stuff. Massive Bread fruits and elaborate veg. Also had loads of corn on the cob vendors selling freshly barbecued corn. We opted for Karachi Grill which was cheap with white formica tables and attached seating. A la Rajput. I went for Masalla Fish and the lad had chips.
It was alright, the bloke couldnt tell me what Fish it was which was worrying. "just fish innit"
Was nice eating that watching the world go by, the locals were intrigued by all these white people milling about up and down the road, I guess they're pretty used to it by now.
The ground itself is small and hemmed in by housing on three sides and Kenilworth Road on the other. The entrance to the away end is through a gap in the terraced housing a bit like Filbert Street. Through a narrow passage way and up some metal fire escape stairs into the stand.
Past the open air khazi. Thought we'd get in early before the ale kart brigade arrive and flood it.
I love these old grounds, a hotpotch of stands all thrown together when some money became available. Luton has to be one of the most memorable examples of this with it's exec boxes all down one side with massive net above to catch the balls.
Fans were in rare voice and luckily we didnt have any knobheads sat near us constantly swearing random abuse at anything that moved because him and his mate had been on the chang and watched Green Street. Enjoyed the atmosphere.
Leeds had a completely changed team from Saturday, the bloke on the end of our row was really concerned but to be honest they looked brilliant in the first half.
Coyle Bamba Jansson Denton
Dallas Grimes Murphy Hernandez
I was really impressed with the way we started, we were first to every loose ball and the passing and movement was above anything Luton could muster. Notable players that caught the eye were Roofe, Denton, Dallas and Jansson (he's fucking massive and really cool under pressure). He was involved with loads of good play. As we played away from the fans and where we were we got to see how they played out form the back. Was pretty impressive from left back particularly. Denton is comfortable on the ball and linked up great with Hernandez Jansson and Dallas.
Dallas and Hernandez were constantly changing and moving with Murphy and Grimes occupying the central areas. Made it difficult for Luton to pick them up. The closing down by the front two was excellent with one or the other always coming back to help close down Luton's wide possession.
Luton had clearly got a game plan to put pressure on Denton because he was young. This just played into our hands as he proved to be a quality player with touch composure and great timing. Made some great decisions blocking and tackling but more so with the ball going forward. He linked up with Grimes, Hernandez, Dallas, Muprhy and Roofe. Was always available when Jansson had the ball. His goal was class, lovely inter play between Grimes and Roofe who laid the ball off to Denton who seemed to power place it into the right hand side of the net. We were right behind it when he hit it and it was only going in when he hit it.
Roofe had a great effort just after where Dallas played into his chest and Roofe skilfully managed to control and volley in a deft movement to hit the post.
We looked in control although some sleepy defending from Bamba let Luton in one on one which better teams would have scored. He went round Silvestre and managed to sky it with power rather than placing it. School boy error, opting for power leaning back.
Second half we clearly had a game plan to stay compact and try and let Luton break us down. It was nervy but the defence held up well and Silvestre made some crucial saves, specifically one form a free kick from Cameron Megeechan. Looked for all the world it was going in but a full stretch Silvestre pushed it wide. Seemed to be loads of corners to them but I guess that's what you'll get trying to play on the break. We couldn't get out of our half for large stretches of the game.
On the whole a very encouraging performance. Main thing being we now have a team where there is real competition for places. Doukara is the 4th in line striker. With able cover in every position. Another clean sheet as well will only breed confidence. If we can put a run together of not getting beat we might be able to build something. The problem with us in the past ahs been lack of belief form the players and the ability to play under pressure from the fans. Especially at home. If we get a point out of forest and bring that to the next few games it will be massive for morale.
Silvestre - 8 (didnt put a foot wrong and played with composure and professionalism)
Coyle - 8 good solid player who looked average because the left back was so good
Bamba - 7 was class in the first half but seemed to fade in 2nd opting to use his shin and knees more than his feet to clear..
Jansson - 8 cool under pressure, gets his foot in and is the size of a wadrobe. he can play a bit.
Denton - 9 coped well under targeted pressure form LT, linked up well and had the confidence to get forward into the midfield and smash a great goal.
Dallas - 8 Superb movement across the front 4 and off the front two. Had a few shots with one coming close but for a deflection.
Grimes - 7 looked quiet but linked up well for the goal, maybe I was watching him so much
Murphy - 7 I like Murphy, he has a good movement and passed well. Likes a tackle, probably looked a little off the pace.
Hernandez - 8.5 a quality player who looks to get on the ball. closed down well and linked up with full backs and attack. Sometimes goes for the ball that isnt on but his ball retention was better last night then in the Brum game. Fans had some song for him, couldn't hear the words other than Pablo Nandez.
Roofe - 8.5 a quality explosive player who will get goals. He has intelligent movement and competes all over the pitch. for a smaller bloke he makes it difficult for the defence. Was unlucky not to score.
Doukara - 7 he worked really hard and was unlucky not to score, set up Roofe for a great chance in the latter stages. Was really impressed by his link up play with Dallas, he played Dallas and Roofe in more than few times. But sadly he at times just didnt hold the ball up when he should have.
All in all good performance and good for confidence to be in the hat. Would like a weak team away in the next round to try and keep up the momentum and confidence.
Last edited by placidcasual (Wed 24 Aug 2016 8:04 am)