Match Report


Blue Square Bet Premier game
played on Saturday, 13 November 2010, at 3pm


A controversial goal, early in the second half, gave Luton the points in a game in which they had 18 shots at goal but rarely actually troubled Alty keeper Coburn, thanks to effective closing down and blocks from the Alty players as well as wayward shooting from Luton themselves.

The goal came when Alex Lawless's effort seemed to be cleared off the line by Robbie Williams but, after the match, Luton boss Richard Money claimed it was "at least a yard over the line". Referee West at first allowed play to continue after Lawless's shot, until the Luton players protested to him and the linesman. The linesman then belatedly raised his flag and Mr West went to consult him. The outcome was a goal awarded to the Hatters. Stuart Coburn was booked for his protests.

Alty enjoyed their best spell in the final twenty minutes and actually ended with more shots on target then the visitors but a Reeves shot, which Tyler saved, was probably their best effort.


  • 47 mins: Alex LAWLESS (ALTRINCHAM 0 Luton Town 1)

    REFEREE: Mr R J West

    ATTENDANCE: 1,416 (559 in away end)


    Alty made two changes as Lawton and Joseph moved to the bench and were replaced by Smith, returning from injury, and Danylyk.

    Before the game, Luton boss Richard Money had indicated that striker Danny Crow might be fit after suffering with a groin injury and, in fact, he started. But Adam Newton, Amari Morgan-Smith and Shane Blackett remained sidelined. However, Alex Lawless, signed from York, had made his debut at Wrexham last Thursday and started today too.


    Fewer than 48 hours after their unexpected defeat at Wrexham, the Hatters were again in action. Despite their lowly position, Altrincham's midweek defeat by AFC Wimbledon had been only their second defeat in nine league matches. Five previous meetings between the clubs had yielded just three goals from outfield play and Alty had yet to win.

    Luton became the first team to complete home and away fixtures with Alty this season after Kenilworth Road had been the venue for the opening game of this season, which Town won, 2-1, with a late goal.


    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Stuart COBURN, 27. Andrew MILNE, 2. James SMITH (capt), 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 15. Ryan BROWN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 25. Matt SOMNER, 11. Nicky CLEE, 17. Wes BAYNES, 9. Michael TWISS, Subs: 21. James COATES, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Damian REEVES, 10. Chris DENHAM

    LUTON TOWN: 1. Mark Tyler, 3. Fred Murray, 6. George Pilkington, 13. Zdenek Kroca, 2. Daniel Gleeson, 18. Claude Gnapka, 11. Andrew Drury, 4. Keith Keane, 14. Alex Lawless, 9. Matthew Barnes-Homer, 19. Danny Crow Subs: 16. Ed Asafu-Adjaye, 29. Danny Walker, 10. Taiwo Atieno 15. Jake Howells, 17. Pavel Besta.


    Luton kicked off, attacking the end occupied by their own supporters, and soon they had the first chance of the match. This came as Barnes-Homer chested down a through ball from which Crow fired a rising shot over the bar (2 mins). Play then stopped after Crow had gone down injured but he continued after treatment (4 mins).

    Alty's best early moment came when Clee picked up a Williams clearance and embarked on a mazy run up the left, but he was blocked off as he got into the box. An Alty corner, following a Danylyk cross, soon followed and in the 13th minute the Robins gained their second flag kick. Clee then threatened on the left but overhit his cross, confirming the even start to the game (14 mins).

    But Luton then went close when Drury impressively improvised a cross from the left with the outside of his foot. Barnes- Homer got on the end of it but his header was blocked. The Hatters now began to get the upper hand, winning two corners; from the first Gnapka involuntarily headed over the bar when an Alty clearing header rebounded off him. The second arose when Barnes-Homer got past Smith.

    Referee West then allowed Luton the advantage when Danylyk committed a foul in a Hatters' build-up. At the end of the move, Mr West lectured the Alty midfielder, whom he was later to book (20 mins). Luton now had the upper hand but despite their pressure were far from landing any telling shots on the Alty goal where Coburn was having almost as quiet an afternoon as Tyler, his opposite number. The hardworking Alty team were closing them down and harrying them well.

    When Alty gained some relief through a freekick as Baynes was felled, the victim wasted the opportunity by taking the freekick too quickly and immediately losing possession (30 mins). Smith then impressed with a fine tackle to see off another Luton attack, at the cost of a corner.

    The referee then called over Smith, as Alty’s captain, to witness a verbal dressing down for Danylyk from Mr West (33 mins). Luton then wasted a good opening as Gnapka and Barnes-Homer got free but produced a woeful attempted interchange of passes. After more Luton pressure had produced no real threat, their captain, George Pilkington was booked when he tackled Twiss from behind (41 mins).

    Nicky Clee, who had been having a quieter than usual game, now came over to the touchline to use an inhaler, suggesting that he was in less than full health. However, soon afterwards, Clee was halted by the referee's whistle as he got into the box, though he would have preferred advantage to be played rather than being awarded a freekick (45 mins). Two minutes of added time left the game still goalless.



    Luton started the second half well and, just a minute into the half, Drury's swerving 35-yard shot stung Stuart Coburn's palms. But the game's deciding moment arrived in the 47th minute when Barnes-Homer advanced on the right. The ball came to Lawless whose effort was cleared on the line by Williams and play continued. However, the Luton players appealed for a goal and Mr West went across to the linesman who had, very belatedly, now raised his flag. After some discussion, Mr West was persuaded to award the goal which he had clearly not considered to be one from his own viewpoint. Afterwards Luton boss Richard Money, some 60 yards away, confirmed that it was "clearly a yard over the line" before the clearance.

    Alty keeper Stuart Coburn could not believe the decision and found himself booked for his protests. A shocked Alty then went through a rocky few minutes, during which Gnapka fed Drury for a drive over the bar, before they steadied their ship.

    Alty defender Andy Milne now had an effort blocked (57 mins). Alty now withdrew the out of sorts Clee for Damian Reeves, their top scorer, who despite that record had made just three appearances from the bench in the previous five matches (59 mins).

    Luton were now well on top, with Lawless and Keane impressing in midfield. But the Hatters finishing remained woeful as Pilkington now dragged an effort wide. After 65 minutes, Denham came on for Danylyk, following which Densmore fired wildly over the bar (66 mins).

    But this heralded Alty's best spell of the game. Denham shot over the bar and then he got past Fred Murray but his final shot went comfortably to Tyler (68 mins). Denham was then lectured for dissent before he again tested Tyler following the pass of the game from Baynes, a 50 yard diagonal ball forward. Then Kroca was booked for a foul on Reeves but from the resulting freekick, Baynes struck the ball well, but wide (74 mins).

    Howells then replaced Gnapka for the visitors and this prompted a Luton upturn as they now won two corners. As play went into the final ten minutes Lawless made a hash of a shot at goal. But Luton had now gained the upper hand again after Alty's good spell. In the 89th minute a a shot from Howells struck Crow's hand and went into the net with the linesman imediately ruling it out for a combination of offside and handball, it seemed.

    Four added minutes were signalled during which Crow was deservedly booked for what may be summed up as "taking the mickey". First he moved the ball before an Alty freekick before standing about six feet away from the freekick spot. He then pretended not to understand the ref's instruction to move before stepping a couple of paces further away and refusing to move again. Having been shown the yellow card, he gave way to Walker a couple of minutes later (90+4 mins).

    So, the final whistle soon sounded with Luton having been the better side for much of the game in terms of attacking prowess but, as for finishing, they had been no better than their opponents who, in fact, landed more shots on target from many fewer attempts.