LUTON TOWN 0 ALTRINCHAM 0
played on Saturday, 17 April 2010, at 3pm
Luton, averaging six goals a game at home over the last four matches, were tamed by a disciplined Alty performance. After matching a disappointing Hatters side, who made numerous unforced errors, in a first half during which Alty won twice as many corners as the hosts, the Robins spent most of the second half on the back foot. Coburn was the busier of the keepers but even he had only a couple of important saves to make.
REFEREE: Mr J G Adcock
ATTENDANCE: 7,374 (97 in the away end)
Alty welcomed back Stuart Coburn after injury whilst Chris Denham returned, on the bench, after his injury absence in midweek. John McAliskey dropped out of the squad but was involved in the warm-up.
Luton had to make a late change as Hall replaced Keane, who injured himself in the warm-up.
This was Alty's third game in a week against a top-three team, following 1-0 defeats by Oxford United and Stevenage Borough. In contrast to these tight games, Luton had hit 24 goals in their previous four home games and were unbeaten in 12 matches!
LUTON TOWN (Orange and white): 1. Mark Tyler, 2. Ed Asafu-Adjaye, 6. George Pilkington (capt), 12. Shane Blackett, 23 Fred Murray, 14. Asa Hall, 7. Adam Newton, 15. Jake Howells, 35. Simon Heslop, 10. Tom Craddock, 20. Kevin Gallen, Subs: 5. Janos Kovacs, 22. Craig Nelthorpe, 29. Matthew Barnes-Homer, 9. Liam Hatch, 16. Rossi Jarvis.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 5. Greg YOUNG, 27. Ryan BROWN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 21. Peter DORAN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Nicky CLEE; 19. Chris SENIOR, Subs: 10. Chris DENHAM, 9. Colin LITTLE, 18. Michael WELCH, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 24. Adam CARDEN.
The hosts kicked off on a warm, sunny afternoon and Alty started a little nervously as Smith tried to shepherd a through ball back to Coburn but then was forced by a Luton attacker to poke the ball wide of his own keeper to an opponent. However, the Alty defender then recovered the ball and cleared the danger (2 mins).
Both sets of supporters in a 7,000 plus crowd were in good voice in a fairly even opening period. But soon, a Clee long throw came off a Luton player to Williams, who volleyed well towards goal, forcing Tyler into an excellent save, at the cost of a corner to Altrincham.
After 13 minutes, Coburn made his first save, from Hall's shot. Alty soon experienced another moment of worry at the back when a Smith back pass got caught under Coburn's feet but the Alty keeper managed to clear it (15 mins). Luton then won their only two corners of the half, in quick succession, but the Hatters were repeatedly making unforced errors. Time after time they played passes into touch when aiming to find team mates.
Having a won a corner from a Luton miskick, Densmore wasted it with a poor, low kick which went into the side netting (20 mins). Altrincham were fairly comfortably holding their own as both sides proved unable to create a clear chance with the game passing the half hour mark. Soon, Senior won a corner and, then, when Doran was fouled, Murray was booked (35 mins).
Craddock then forced a good parry from Coburn which then needed an excellent clearance from Williams to end the danger (37 mins). A series of throws from Clee helped to maintain Alty's momentum as the home crowd, spoilt by successive big home wins, began to get a little restless. Clee now won another Alty corner before Danylyk was penalised for a foul just outside his own box (44 mins). This came to nothing but, a minute later, Heslop forced a decent save from Coburn. In a game in which there had been no stoppages, it was surprising to see two minutes of added time announced. In fact nearly two and a half minutes were played before a goalless first half was brought to its conclusion. Altrincham had matched their hosts impressively so far, leading four-two in the corner-count.
|Half-Time: LUTON TOWN 0 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Alty kicked off but they were to spend much of the second period in their own half as Luton upped their game. But Hall's very wide shot was all they had to show in the opening stages. An even more inaccurate shot nearly hit the corner flag soon after this (51 mins). After Alty had seen off a corner they made the first substitution, with Denham replacing Senior as the lone striker in the 4-5-1 set up (59 mins).
Soon Denham fed Doran who got in a shot which went narrowly wide (61 mins) and two minutes later, Doran again was narrowly wide (63 mins). Hatters' boss Richard Money had seen enough and made a double change, with Hatch and Barnes-Homer replacing Asafu-Adjaye and Murray (64 mins). Hatch's first act was a bad foul on Young for which he was booked.
Luton continued to press and won three corners in the next ten minutes without seriously threatening to score, except from a Barnes-Homer cross which traversed the goalmouth. At that point Nicky Clee gave way to Colin Little (75 mins). Two more Luton corners followed but the well organised Alty defence saw these off comfortably. Next, Doran was replaced by Carden (80 mins). Coburn did have to make a good save soon after this from Gallen (83 mins) but Denham was doing his best to make a nuisance of himself when Alty did get the ball into the opposition half.
Craddock was then booked when, having fouled Danylyk, he tried to man-handle him to his feet (89 mins). Consistent with his first half timing, the referee decreed there would be six added minutes after the ninety. Alty came through these without any real alarms to emerge with a well-earned point and become the first team to stop Luton scoring in twelve games.
Once again Alty's part-timers had put in a team performance to be proud of and the travelling supporters showed their appreciation at the final whistle.
|Full-Time: LUTON TOWN 0 ALTRINCHAM 0|