Luton 3 Lincoln 2 The Entertainers Do Skrill Premier Proud

Luke Guttridge’s decision to leave Northampton Town and drop out of the football league paid a massive dividend for John Still’s Hatters against the impassioned attacking Imps during a Kenilworth Road edge-of-your-seats gung-ho thriller.  There were passages of play that would not be out of place in the other Premier, but let us not get too ahead of ourselves because this was a game that did the Skrill Premier proud and suggests both these sides seem destined to meet again in the play-offs.

For the benefit of Southport fans visiting STMI for the first time , first the Teams & schemes then a blow by blow followed by more stats than you can shake an Imp or Sandgrounder at, thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

 

Luton Town F.C. badge 3 v 2 Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

H/T 0-1

scorers  20′  Power, 46 Cullen, 51 Tomlinson, 77 Guttridge 80 Cullen

Attendance 6203   (5976 Hatters 227 Imps)

Ref Mr Bromley

Luton Town F.C. badge

1 Tyler

25 Henry (C)  5 McNulty 14 Parry 12 Griffiths

Lawless  28 Stevenson  4 Smith 11 Howells

                   21 Guttridge

13 Cullen

***

Substitutions

65 Gray on for Stevenson, 67 O’Donnell on for Griffiths. 88 Taiwo on for Cullen

The Bench 

16 Justham, 8 Taiwo, 17 O’Donnell, 22 Whalley,  27 Gray

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Simmo 4-2-3-1

Farman

Miller  Brown  Boyce Newton (Y-68)

Fofana  Nolan 

Foster   

Power                       Roe  

Tomlinson 

***

Substitutions

63 Jordan on for Rowe 82 Wright on for Foster

The Bench 

4 Jordan, 7 Fairhurst, 10 Wright, 15 Gray, 17 Dixon.

*****

To the game fellow football fans to the game……………

The Hatters put the ball straight out of play in a somewhat agricultural start against the breadbasket of Britain’s six foot soldiers.  A decent four man riposte by the Imps then sees Power give Fofana too much to do.  But there is pace, passion and football in the raw in every challenge at an expectant Kenilworth Road, as ever with a 6,000 plus crowd in.  Handful, Cullen, who will clearly need some watching today,  looks away until Boyce gets in early to clear. The Imps win the first of two corners, Newton’ neutrom bombs are primed as Boyce’s first effort is headed wide by Parry and then Rowe fires the second goalward, but Cullen bravely blocks. Newton gets beyond Captain Henry, in what will be a key contest, to cross for Tomlinson, who heads wide right.

Tyler’s kick finds Howell and he’s away and skilfully skipping  Miller before Farman claims the cross. A slip from Brown lets in Cullen but his scuffed effort is claimed by Farman.   The Imps are busy down the channels with Fofana, Nolan and Foster’s exchanges feeding Tomlinson, Miller and Newton.  All three get in decent deliveries but seasoned campaigner Tyler is claiming confidently.  A Luton free-kick is cleared by Newton to Smith who fizzes a rising drive to the right of the target.

The Imps win a free-kick with Brown, Boyce, Fofana and Rowe looking menacing but Tyler fists away under pressure.   Moments later Miller’s long throw is half cleared to Power who hits a glorious half-volley from the edge of the box. It flies through a crowd of players, unsighting Tyler to give the Imps a 20th minute lead. A deft dink over the top from Nolan finds Tomlinson, he out-muscles McNulty and shoots but Tyler is equal to it.

Luton come to life with a passage of passing football that Lincoln fail to clear, the ball falls to danger-man Guttridge who thunders past the post.  Nolan, the Imps play-maker also wants to be at the centre of everything and is playing his best game yet for the Imps.  A poor ball from Cullen ruins another promising 4-man move from the Hatters. It’s certainly an opening passing game with both sides keen to get forward and the Hatters struggling to contain the Imps height at set-pieces.

A curling effort from Guttridge is saved by Farman’s legs and he gratefully claims at the second attempt.  A great counter by the Imps sees Tomlinson play to Fofana, his shot is blocked by Griffiths but his emerging box-to-box skills are certainly becoming reminiscent of the late Richard Butcher (minus the shot!).   Another great move finds Rowe but his effort misses the target. Farman again claims a Howells. cross as the Hatters gifted wideboy continues to conjure a leveller.

Foster’s challenge finds Guttridge who is fouled by Nolan, who in turn, is lucky to escape a card for a two footed tackle.  Guttridge hits the wall, plays it back in, but Miller blocks and then Tomlinson slides in to hook the ball away.  Luton are in the ascendancy now but the Imps are winning the all-important individual battles and 50/50’s to hold on. Lawless finds Guttridge in the hole and his beautiful right foot curler is just past the post.  A lightning break sees Luton get numbers in the box and the ball in the net  but the offside flag robs them of an equaliser.

Second half

Both sides keep the faith and the second half begins with a double dose big bang theory.  The roof is raised as Guttridge cuts a cute cross to Cullen who heads an immediate equaliser.  The heckles are up and the adrenalin is pumping, full pelt full-back Griffiths, on the overlap, fires wide.  On 50 minutes a Miller throw causes havoc in the box, the ball bounces on the freshly watered turf and Tomlinson’s glancing header appears to be clawed back by Tyler but the goal is given for 2-1. 227 sons & daughters of Impdom are now doing the Dam-busters

A counter from Lincoln sees Nolan find Miller on the overlap and his shot is close to making it three.  The Imps have four forward on the counter again but Tyler brilliantly gathers Power’s teasing ball.  A terrific telescopic challenge by Foster after a probing corner, sees him run forward but his ball eludes Miller who is also keen to get forward for the cause.  Its end to end ding-dong stuff and doing the division proud as a Foster and Power move feeds Nolan, but his instinctive drive is just the wrong side of the right-hand post.

Jordan replaces Rowe to tighten things as Luton begin to get more of the space and possession to threaten an equaliser.  An inviting cross from Smith sees Brown clear under pressure from Cullen at one end before a glorious dipping 25 yard half-volley from Nolan just whistles over the hosts bar.

Andrey Gray comes on to deafening applause and moments later O’Donnell comes on for Griffiths as Still tinkers to tilt the scales.  Newton attempts less than divine intervention too, getting a yellow for delaying a throw with Luton now throwing the hat stands and kitchen sink at an equaliser.  Howells corner to the back post is cleared by Boyce for a throw. Howell then roasts Miller but Brown heads clear as the pressure mounts.  A long range effort from Cullen whistles wide to ‘oohs and arghs’.

Guttridge is at the centre of everything good for the Hatters and his endeavour gets its just reward with a low, driven, 25-yard free-kick that goes under Farman for the equaliser.  A great ball from  Lawless outwits, as Boyce is indecisive, so Cullen shoots and Farman redeems himself with a reaction save at the expense of a corner.  Howells delivers, heroic Gray wins the header at the far post, the defence freezes and Cullen  culls to make it 3-2.  Its almost four as Farman comes out smartly to put his laces through it to find row Z.

In a last throw of the dice Simmo sends on Wright for Foster and he goes straight up top next to Tomlinson. The Imps are certainly game for an equaliser as a flicked header from Wright finds Boyce but his effort is wide.  Power’s ball finds the head of Jordan but his effort flies past the right-hand post. LStill sensibly takes off Cullen for Taiwo on 88, in an attempt to close out the game for the three points.  The Imps keep pressing, Boyce heads over Powers corner and then Wright on the run shoots wide when a pass to Tomlinson might have been better.  A clever ball from Tomlinson to Wright sees matador McNulty in again to deny the Imps.

Nolan then goes tumbling  but a penalty would have been somewhat harsh, even if the Imps did deserve at least a point out of a fabulous advert for the Skrill Premiership. Tyler then parries a cross from Miller and  with Luton calming things down with some keep-ball you just know the opportunity is lost. To the Bulls it is on Tuesday with the 6th placed Imps unbowed and still proudly punching above their weight.

*****

Stats

Note:

shots on includes  goals and saves includes crosses claimed

*****

(thanks WIKI)

Luton Town F.C. badge  v Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

49% Ball 51%

11 Shots on 8

6 Misses 7

8 Saves 8

4 Corners 6

4 Offside 3

7 Fouls 7

0 Yellows 1

0 Reds 0

 

P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 Cambridge United 10 7 3 0 17 5 +12 24
2 Nuneaton Town 10 7 2 1 17 9 +8 23
3 Alfreton Town 10 6 1 3 18 14 +4 19
4 Kidderminster Harriers 10 6 0 4 16 14 +2 18
5 Salisbury City 10 5 2 3 13 10 +3 17
6 Lincoln City 10 5 2 3 11 8 +3 17
7 FC Halifax Town 10 5 2 3 18 16 +2 17
8 Barnet 10 4 4 2 18 13 +5 16
9 Luton Town 10 4 4 2 11 6 +5 16
10 Forest Green Rovers 10 4 3 3 21 14 +7 15
11 Welling United 10 4 3 3 18 14 +4 15
12 Braintree Town 10 4 3 3 9 8 +1 15
13 Grimsby Town 10 4 3 3 9 10 -1 15
14 Southport 10 4 1 5 10 14 -4 13
15 Hereford United 10 3 3 4 12 13 -1 12
16 Wrexham 10 3 2 5 13 16 -3 11
17 Gateshead 10 3 1 6 11 17 -6 10
18 Dartford 10 3 1 6 8 14 -6 10
19 Tamworth 10 2 3 5 9 15 -6 9
20 Woking 10 2 2 6 13 18 -5 8
21 Chester 10 2 2 6 7 16 -9 8
22 Aldershot Town (-10) 10 5 2 3 14 8 +6 7
23 Macclesfield Town 10 1 3 6 9 14 -5 6
24 Hyde 10 0 2 8 8 24 -16 2
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Posted on September 21, 2013, in A View From The Stacey West by Neil Gentleman-Hobbs & Match Reports, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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