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Luton v Spurs, (Checkatrade Trophy - 15.08.17)
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


      Checkatrade Trophy, Southern Group F
            Kenilworth Rd, Luton.
        Tuesday 15th August 2017, 7.45pm.

           LUTON TOWN   v     SPURS
         (Orange/Black)    (White/Blue)
            4-2-3-1          4-1-4-1

              2(1)             2(1)
(Luton win 4-2 on penalties)

            Gambin 19        Shea(o.g) 21
           McQuoid 51        Loft 47

Luton: Shea; Justin(James 46), Mullins(C), Hylton(McQuoid 46), Cook; Cornick(Read 77), Senior; Gambin, Bakinson, Lee; Famewo

Unused Subs:- Isted, Peck, Jones, Shamalo

Booked: Cook 90+2(Foul on Bennetts)

Coach: Nathan Jones

Spurs(4-1-4-1): Austin; Dinzeyi(Eyoma 51), Maghoma, Tanganga, Bennetts; Skipp; Tracey(Shashoua 80), Pritchard(C), Duncan, Miller; Loft(Sterling 77)

Unused Subs: De Bie; Roles

Coach: Wayne Burnett

Attendance: 2,699

Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistants: Graig Taylor & John Farries
Fourth Official: Michael D'aguilar

It was a warm evening for the short trip up the M1 for the opening game of the group. The Premier League clubs enter U-21 sides who play away in the group stage. The teams play in their club squad numbers which made it fun making notes.

Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Maghoma and Tanganga with Dinzeyi at right back and Bennetts on the left. Skipp anchored the midfield with Duncan and Pritchard ahead of him flanked by Tracey on the right and Miller on the left in support of Loft up front. Luton played with players from their first team squad who did not start in Saturdays defeat at Barnet. Cook and Lee did get on while they had other youngsters on the bench.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Kenilworth Road end but were forced onto the back foot by a determined "Hatters" side. Austin made an early save from Lee and Gambin won a corner which saw the keeper having to make another save. Lee saw his effort blocked for a corner from which he fired wide. Hylton drew a save before Tracey got behind the home defence only for Shea to race quickly off his line to save.

The pressure finally told when Gambin turned in the area to score. Luton's lead did not last long as Pritchard hit a low drive from outside the area. The ball beat the diving Shea to hit the near post and rebound off the keeper into the net.

Spurs began to get more into the game and a run down the left by Bennetts saw his effort hit the far post before it was cleared for a corner. Cook hit a free kick wide after Skipp fouled the dangerous Lee. Austin saved from Cornick before Hylton headed wide. Gambin headed wide from Cornick's cross and Austin saved from Cook. Spurs had few chances but as the half ended Bennetts' drive was deflected for a corner and Duncan played in Tracey to draw a save from the keeper.

Luton made two changes for the start of the second half to keep the pressure on Spurs but were caught out when Miller played a lovely ball for Loft to run onto just inside the Luton half. The striker had beaten the offside trap, and had a clear run on goal to slot home and put Spurs in front.

Luton kept going with Lee seeing his effort saved by Austin before they got the equaliser. The two subs combined to score with James crossing from the right for McQuoid to head in at the back post.

Spurs made their first change before the restart with Eyoma replacing Dinzeyi at right back, where he had a tough time. Loft headed wide from Pritchard's long ball as Spurs pushed forward. Miller got through the Luton defence but Shea saved at his feet. Bennetts' pass inside gave Miller another chance which he put wide. Duncan gave the ball to Pritchard whose effort was deflected to make it easy for Shea to save. Eyoma fired over before Loft had a chance blocked.

A cross from the right evaded three Luton players in the area before Spurs made their second change. Sterling replaced Loft up front and he was followed soon after by Shashoua coming on for Tracey on the right. Spurs lost Maghoma for a spell when he had a cut which needed treatment and a change of shirt which the ref did not like requiring him to have another before returning to the field of play.

Tanganga made ground to block a shot on the right which was worked back in before it was driven wide. James got down the right but fired over before Shashoua played in Sterling for a chance that was saved. As the game went into added time Cook got the only booking of the match when he took out Bennetts from behind to stop him getting away.

With the scores even after 90 minutes and each side getting a point, penalties were taken to decide who got an extra point. The new "ABBAA" sequence of taking such kicks was deployed. The kicks were taken at the end in front of the four hundred Spurs supporters, with Luton taking the first. Lee sent Austin the wrong way scoring to his left. The next two kicks were taken firstly by Shashoua who sent the keeper the wrong way but hit the post, and then Maghoma who made no mistake to make it 1-1. Cook and McQuoid made no mistakes with their kicks to take it to 3-1 to the home side. Sterling made it 3-2 before Bennetts blasted over. That left Gambin to win the shoot out 4-2 to give Luton the extra point. I don't see the point of this tennis style of penalty kicks. In my view, if you win the toss then you should have the advantage of choosing to go first or not.

This was a tough game for our development squad which they could have lost by a margin but they stuck to their guns and held on. Chances were few but they showed good approach work through the middle and Bennetts was a danger on the left. When Eyoma came on they improved on the right. 16 year old Skipp did well in front of the defence which coped well with the attacking threat of Luton. As a comparison Manchester City and Chelsea were also held to draws by Rotherham and Plymouth, with Chelsea losing the penalty shoot out. Barnet and AFC Wimbledon play in two weeks time with Spurs' next game on Tuesday 3rd October when they travel to Wimbledon.

Ray

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