Luton Town 2-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Tuesday, 13th Aug 2019 20:52
Lloyd Jones and Elliot Lee, from the penalty spot, have given Luton Town a 2-0 half-time lead over the Blues at Kenilworth Road.
Boss Paul Lambert made 10 changes handing keeper Will Norris and youngsters Bailey Clements and Armando Dobra debuts.
Skipper Luke Chambers, who started at the centre of the defence alongside James Wilson, was the only player kept in the team from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Sunderland.
Clements, one of four academy graduates in the starting line-up with two more on the bench, was at left-back and Josh Emmanuel at right-back.
Emyr Huws made his first competitive start since December 2018 season in central midfield alongside Andre Dozzell.
Dobra was on the left and Edwards, back after his groin injury, on the right with Alan Judge behind lone striker Jordan Roberts.
Jon Nolan was among the subs following his calf injury, while ex-Hatters loanee Flynn Downes was also on the bench.
Luton, who changed their entire XI, included former Blues loan man James Bree from the start at centre-half, while one-time trialist Marek Stech was a sub.
With former boss Mick McCarthy watching from the directors’ box in his new role as Republic of Ireland manager, Luton’s on-loan Chelsea midfielder Izzy Brown hit the game’s opening shot at keeper Norris in the opening minute.
The much-changed Blues took time to settle and on five Hatters captain Andrew Shinnie was played in behind Clements and hit a shot from the right of the box which Norris pawed wide off the woodwork.
And three minutes later, the home side took the lead. After a corner was cleared, the ball was played back in from the right by Brown where it found Lloyd Jones unmarked and the defender had a simple task of nodding past Norris.
Luton continued to have much the better of it with Brown at the heart of most of their attacking play. On 13 the Chelsea youngster found Harry Cornick on the right but his shot flew over.
A minute later Dobra took the ball across the edge of the Luton penalty area before hitting a shot straight at home keeper James Shea.
On 15 Dozzell curled a freekick over the bar after Edwards had been fouled by goalscorer.
However, in the 17th minute, the Hatters doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Emmanuel was penalised for blocking off Elliot Lee and referee Brett Huxtable pointed straight to the spot.
Town complaints came unsurprisingly to nothing and Lee slammed the spot-kick to Norris’s right as the keeper dived the other way.
The Blues were still to really get going but in the 27th minute Judge struck a shot which was deflected wide.
But a minute later, Luton again threatened on the counter-attack, but Kazenga LuaLua’s backheel flick from the edge of the area was blocked.
Luke Berry scraped another effort just past Norris’s right post on 31, then two minutes later Roberts battled his way on to the ball on the left of the Hatters box before cutting across to Judge, whose shot was diverted away from goal.
But it was still mainly Luton and in the 35th minute a quick Brown break ended with Lee hitting a shot which Norris saved to his right.
Six minutes before half-time, it was almost 3-0. The ball fell to Berry 25 yards out and the ex-Cambridge man’s low strike flew only just past Norris’s right post.
LuaLua shot not too far wide on 44, then as the half moved into injury time referee Huxtable inadvertently clashed heads with Brown midway inside the Town half with the Luton man coming off worse. Inevitably there were chants of ‘off, off, off’ from the Town fans.
Huxtable’s whistle ended a dismal half for the Blues soon afterwards with Town having been very much second best.
Despite having changed all their XI from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Cardiff, Luton got on top very quickly and went into an early lead before Town had settled.
The Blues were still to find their feet when the Hatters doubled their lead from the spot and although they started to pass the ball around more fluently later in the half, the home side continued to look more threatening and might even have gone in further ahead at the break.
Too many of Town’s players looked off the pace having played few competitive games either due to lack of recent fitness or inexperience with youngster Dobra perhaps the brightest spark having made one or two tricky dribbles.
Luton: Shea, Berry, Lee, Shinnie (c), Cornick, Bolton, Galloway, Brown, LuaLua, Bree, Jones. Subs: Stech, Cranie, McManaman, Jervis, Moncur, Panter, Neufville.
Town: Norris, Emmanuel, Chambers (c), Wilson, Clements, Huws, Dozzell, Dobra, Edwards, Judge, Roberts. Subs: Holy, Skuse, Jackson, Nolan, Rowe, Downes, Kenlock. Referee: Brett Huxtable (Devon).
Photo: Action Images
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