|Luton Town 3 v 1 Ipswich Town|
Tuesday, 13th August 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Luton Town 3-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 13th Aug 2019 21:46
A much-changed Town side exited the Carabao Cup at the first round stage having been comfortably beaten 3-1 by Luton at Kenilworth Road. The Hatters, who switched their entire XI, went in front through Lloyd Jones on eight, Elliot Lee made it two from the spot in the 17th minute, then Andrew Shinnie added the third before Armando Dobra hit a debut consolation for the Blues 16 minutes from time.
Boss Paul Lambert made 10 changes handing keeper Will Norris and youngsters Bailey Clements and 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 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 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, the Hatters’ third choice.
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 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 withdrew Luke Bolton and LuaLua at half-time in favour of Martin Cranie and Josh Neufville.
The Hatters went close to a third two minutes after the restart, a cross from the right reaching Lee on the left of the area but his effort flew just over. At the other end, a Judge low shot was hit straight at Shea, also from the left of the box.
Nine minutes into the second half the home side did add to their lead. Dozzell committed a foul just outside the area after Emmanuel had failed to clear and Shinnie’s freekick flew past Norris.
Judge was shown the game’s first yellow card for a foul on Brendan Galloway two minutes later, before Lee hit a strike from the edge of the area which was too close to Norris.
Just before the hour mark a Wilson error allowed Cornick to break down the right and tee-up Brown, whose shot was deflected wide.
Danny Rowe replaced Edwards on 61 with the Welshman having benefited from the run-out but unsurprisingly not at his best having not played a game since April.
A minute later, the ball fell to Dozzell in space on the edge of the box but his shot was too close to Shea, who turned the ball over. Soon after, Roberts scraped a low shot to the Hatters keeper.
Town went closer in the 65th minute when, following a corner, Rowe crossed from the left and Shea failed to claim. Roberts turned goalwards but the ball was cleared away from the line.
Luton swapped very impressive loanee Brown for Callum McManaman on 66, before the Blues switched Huws, who again will have benefited from the competitive minutes if some way from his best, for ex-Luton loanee Flynn Downes.
The Hatters continued to dominate and went looking for a fourth, Norris saving from McManaman with his feet, the ex-Wigan man having found a way through the Blues’ defence.
The 1,064-strong Town support finally had something to cheer in the 74th minute when Dobra smashed home a debut goal. The Albanian U19 international picked the ball up from Downes after the sub had won the ball on halfway, brought it forward and inside to the edge of the box before slamming a low strike to Shea’s left and into the net.
With 13 minutes remaining Judge was replaced by Jackson, then on 79 Roberts was booked for a foul on Jones.
After a spell in which Town sent in a couple of dangerous balls from the right but without being able to create a chance, Dobra was booked for a foul on halfway.
Just prior to the fourth official indicating four minutes of additional time, Emmanuel was booked for a foul as Luton broke, the last serious action of a disappointing evening for the Blues.
Having started slowly and conceded early on, Town never looked like they would get back into the game and threaten to claim a place in round two.
The Hatters, who made one more change than the Blues, looked a much slicker outfit from the off with Town thoroughly disjointed with too many players either on the way back from injury or lacking senior experience.
Dobra’s debut goal and display and game time for the likes of Huws and Edwards were the only positives Town could take from the tie.
While manager Paul Lambert won’t be too disappointed at not having another game to add to the Blues’ lengthy fixture list, he will have been unimpressed that his fringe team was swept aside so easily by the Championship new boys.
Luton: Shea, Berry, Lee, Shinnie (c), Cornick, Bolton (Cranie 46), Galloway, Brown (McManaman 66), LuaLua (Neufville 46), Bree, Jones. Unused: Stech, Jervis, Moncur, Pante.
Town: Norris, Emmanuel, Chambers (c), Wilson, Clements, Huws (Downes 66), Dozzell, Dobra, Edwards (Rowe 61), Judge (Jackson 77), Roberts. Unused: Holy, Skuse, Nolan, Kenlock. Referee: Brett Huxtable (Devon). Att: 5,433 (Town 1,064).
Photo: Action Images
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