Luton 0-2 Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 8th Aug 2017 21:49
David McGoldrick netted a goal in each half as Town defeated Luton 2-0 at Kenilworth Road to progress to the second round of the Carabao Cup. McGoldrick converted a Bersant Celina through ball in the 34th minute and sealed the win in injury time.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy handed a first senior start to Flynn Downes, a first-team debut to Tristan Nydam and a Town bow to on-loan Manchester City man Celina as he made seven changes to the team which beat Birmingham 1-0 on Saturday. New signing Martyn Waghorn is included on the bench.
McCarthy again lined his side in a 3-5-2 system with Dean Gerken in goal and Adam Webster, who was making his first start since January, skipper Luke Chambers and Jonas Knudsen the defensive trio, while Dominic Iorfa and Myles Kenlock were the wing-backs.
Cole Skuse was joined by 18-year-old Downes, who made his senior debut as a sub on Saturday, and Nydam, 17, in midfield with Celina playing off McGoldrick up front.
In addition to new striker Waghorn, 18-year-old centre-half or right-back Luke Woolfenden was among the subs for the first time, alongside fellow youngsters Pat Webber and Adam McDonnell.
One-time Town trialist Marek Stech is in goal for the home side, who made only three changes from the team which hammered Yeovil 8-2 on Saturday.
There was little to entertain the crowd in the first eight minutes, although the large Blues contingent behind the goal made plenty of noise.
The first moment of danger came from a poor Stech kick which was intercepted by Iorfa on the Tow right but the on-loan Wolves man’s low ball towards McGoldrick was cut out by a defender.
The Hatters’ first opportunity came in the 12th minute when Andrew Shinnie was found on the right of the box by Olly Lee - like his team-mate Elliot the son of ex-England international Rob - but Chambers got across to stab the ball behind. The Blues dealt with the resultant corner.
On 16 former Birmingham man Shinnie shot over with the home side looking the more dangerous side although with neither keeper having been forced to make a save.
McGoldrick remedied that two minutes later after exchanging passes with Iorfa on the edge of the box and looping a shot which Stech caught comfortably under his bar.
Moments later the Czech keeper was quickly off his line to reach the ball ahead of Celina five yards outside his area.
James Collins shot straight at Gerken in the 21st minute before Kenlock gave the ball away on the left. Downes did well to win it back but his clearance only reached a Luton player on the other flank and Webster was eventually forced to hack clear after a brief scramble in the Town box.
On 28, following a run by Celina midway inside the Luton half, McGoldrick shot over from 25 yards.
The Blues were starting to a look a more cohesive unit after a rather disjointed start - which was little surprise given the changes - and in the 34th minute they went in front.
After good work from Nydam, the increasingly involved Celina deftly turned away from his defender and cleverly played in McGoldrick, who cut the ball across Stech and into the corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
Luton had a chance to equalise almost immediately when Jack Stacey air-kicked Olly Lee’s ball in from the right.
The Hatters went even closer in the 39th minute when his brother Elliot Lee curled a shot only just past Gerken’s right post.
Town captain Chambers was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 42nd minute for tripping Shinnie as the Scot burst past him five yards outside the area. Gerken punched Alan Sheehan’s freekick to the edge of the box and the ball eventually bounced back through to the Blues keeper.
In the final minute of scheduled time Celina fed Kenlock to his left as Town broke and the left-back hit a well-struck low shot which flew not too far wide of Stech’s left post.
The Hatters should have equalised in first-half injury time. Jordan Cook hit a low shot through a crowd of players which Gerken saved down to his left but could only push away. The loose ball fell to Elliot Lee, who somehow blazed over with the goal gaping.
With the jeers from the Town support still ringing in Lee’s ears, referee Andy Haines ended what had been a fairly even half of few chances at either end.
McGoldrick took the Blues’ best opportunity at a time when Town were getting on top, while Elliot Lee failed to take Luton’s moments before the whistle.
Neither of Town’s young midfielders Downes and Nydam had looked overawed, both making feisty tackles and showing confidence on the ball.
Celina, playing his first game after his second bout of illness of the summer, had come more and more into the match as the half wore on, relishing his chance to run at defenders and show his very evident skills to his new fans.
Luke Woolfenden was handed his senior debut at the start of the second half in place of Webster, who had undergone treatment on a couple of occasions in the first half.
Soon after the restart Knudsen headed a corner from the left into the arms of Stech before the home side threatened to equalise.
First, Kenlock shepherded a low cross from the left away from Scott Cuthbert at the far post, then Gerken narrowed his angle as Cook broke into the area on the right and forced him to shoot into the sidenetting.
The Hatters had started the second half the stronger and on 52 Shinnie headed a Stacey cross well wide.
But the Blues began to get on top and might have added to their lead in the 58th minute when Downes won the ball midway inside the Town half and brought it forward to the edge of the box before feeding Kenlock to his left.
The wing-back’s low ball almost deflected onto the midfielder’s head as he broke into the area, before McGoldrick’s cutback from the right deflected into Stech’s arms.
At the other end Collins saw a shot deflect wide before Gerken saved from Cuthbert at his far post.
On 63 the Blues switched Nydam, who can be pleased with his debut display, for new striker Waghorn, who started playing off the front pairing of McGoldrick and Celina.
Yesterday’s signing from Rangers made an immediate impact, almost threading through McGoldrick, then hammering a shot from the edge of the box which crashed against a defender.
McGoldrick should have made it 2-0 on 68 but his touch let him down as he took down a Kenlock cross from the left which had beaten a defender. Moments later Waghorn, who had given the Blues renewed impetus since his introduction curled a shot not too far wide.
Downes wasn’t too far away from his first senior goal in the 70th minute, picking the ball up midway inside the Town half before driving forward and hitting a low shot a couple of yards wide.
Two minutes later, McDonnell replaced Skuse in Blues midfield, to make his first senior appearance since the final day of 2015/16. Soon after, Luton swapped Elliot Lee for Luke Gambin.
McGoldrick wasn’t far away from his second of the match in the 78th minute when Waghorn sent him away down the left. The Irish international twisted and turned as he waited for support, then hit a shot which Stech did well to flip over the bar.
On 81 Waghorn was booked for a foul on Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu after McDonnell had given the ball away to the Luton midfielder. Three minutes later Downes joined him in the book for tripping Gambin.
As the game moved into its final five minutes Luton sent an increasing number of crosses into the Blues’ box all of which were comfortably dealt with by the Town backline, while Downes, Celina and McGoldrick continued to present a threat on the break.
In four minutes of injury time the Blues sealed their win when McGoldrick cut in from the right, opted not to cut across to Waghorn and picked his spot low to Stech’s right and into the corner of the net.
Town rare progress into round two was thoroughly deserved with the home side never really doing enough to deserve an equaliser in the second half having missed their big chance just before the break.
There were excellent performances throughout the Town side with McGoldrick grabbing the headlines for his two goals and Celina and the again excellent Downes among the other standout performers as the Blues completed an impressive and heartening first four days of the season.
The Carabao Cup second round draw will be shown live on Sky Sports at 10pm on Thursday evening with the ties taking place during the week commencing Monday 21st August.
Luton: Stech, Cuthbert (c), Stacey, O Lee, Cook (Mullins 86), Shinnie, Rea, Mpanza, Collins, E Lee (Gambin 74), Sheehan. Unused: Senior, McQuoid, Bakinson, Shea, Musonda.
Town: Gerken, Webster (Woolfenden 46), Chambers (c), Knudsen, Iorfa, Kenlock, Skuse (McDonnell 72), Downes, Nydam (Waghorn 63), Celina, McGoldrick. Unused: Bialkowski, Webber, Rowe, Sears. Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne and Wear). Att: 4,610 (Town: 796).
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 249 bloggers
Be Careful What You Wish For... Which Was? by parkinshair
With the Paul Hurst era beginning in earnest in just a couple of weeks, so begins a new dawn, a new day, a new start, as the song goes. A change was needed.
Show ME, How You Do That Trick by Mullet
“It’s worth remembering the Championship is a really different prospect today, compared to when I invested 10 years ago.”
New Man, New Hope by SpiritOfJohn
As an occasional poet of the third rate variety, I have been scratching around for a few weeks trying to think of a rhyme or song to fit our new manager. Paul Hurst is hardly a name to get the creative juices overflowing, which is due to its no-nonsense shortage of syllables rather than his achievements in the beautiful game.
End of Season Grades by BlueBloke
Football might be one of life’s trivial pursuits in which it’s never quite possible to gain enough distance; I still wince, for instance, at the two Bobby Zamora goals that killed our promotion dream in the 2005 play-offs.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]