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Match Report: TOWN 2 - 0 Aston Villa

23 July 2013

Impressive Town down Villa.


John Still's Luton side produced a highly impressive display to beat Premier League side Aston Villa 2-0 at Kenilworth Road.

 

The Hatters opened the scoring in the 23 rd minute, with Mark Cullen's cutback finding Jon Shaw six yards out, and the former Gateshead man hammered the ball home into the roof of the net.

 

And despite a spirited start to the second half from the visitors, Luton turned in a composed performance with Jake Howells netting late on to secure a great win.

 

The Hatters had the first chance of the evening in the fourth minute as winger Dave Martin latched struck a powerful left-footed effort at goal, but it went narrowly wide.

 

Two minutes later Ronnie Henry's cross from the right found Shaw, but the striker couldn't quite direct his effort goalwards.

 

The visitors first threatened Mark Tyler's goal in the 14th minute, as highly sought-after striker Christian Benteke stung the keeper's palms from outside the Luton area.

 

Villa gradually got into the game, with Graham Burke bursting down the right. Martin was adjudged to have pulled the winger's shirt, but the Hatters comfortably dealt with Gary Gardner's free-kick.

 

A deep Shaun Whalley cross aimed for Martin was cleared behind by the Villa defence, and although goalkeeper Jed Steer punched clear, the Hatters took the lead shortly afterwards.

 

The ball found its way to Cullen on the right of the Villa box, and his cutback found Jon Shaw who fired the Hatters ahead in the 23rd minute, powering into the roof of the net.

 

Villa looked to get back into the game, with Yacouba Sylla firing towards the Hatters goal from distance, but his effort was waywarda and didn't threaten Tyler.

 

After 31 minutes the ball broke to Cullen and the fomer Hull City striker shot from the edge of the area, but his mistimed effort was saved by Steer.

 

The visitors were awarded their first corner of the evening in the 33rd minute when Gardner's long-range free-kick was deflected behind, but the Hatters cleared their lines easily enough.

 

Luton were playing some neat one-touch football, with Scott Griffiths and Martin linking up well down the left with Luton's frontmen Cullen and Shaw.

 

Six minutes before the break, some neat build-up play saw Benteke receive the ball about 25 yards from goal and he threaded Fabian Delph through on goal, but Tyler was alert to the danger and raced off his line to smother the ball.

 

Two minutes later, Delph repaid the favour and Benteke looked to be through, but again Tyler was off his line quickly to deny the visitors.

 

On the stroke of half time Gardner struck a free-kick towards goal from long-range, but his swerving effort drifted narrowly wide of the Luton goal, with the Hatters going into the break 1-0 up.

 

Luton started the second half on the back foot with Villa trying to level the score but the hosts soon got into their stride, Whalley running at the visitors' defence and having a shot blocked.

 

The visitors were upping the ante however, and Gardner's powerful 25-yard effort went narrowly over Tyler's crossbar.

 

In the 56th minute the hosts came close to levelling the score as right back Janoi Donacien's powerful run saw him cross for Callum Robinson, a half-time substitute for Benteke, but the latter's header went just wide.

 

The visitors then made 10 changes on the hour mark, and immediately afterwards Henry made a great sliding tackle on Antonio Rodriguez Luna just inside the Luton box to prevent the left back getting a cross in.

 

And just minutes after seeing claims of a handball waved away after a Luna cross struck him in the box, the former Stevenage man made another great tackle to deny Daniel Johnson when he looked set to shoot.

 

In the 68th minute the ball broke to Robinson in the box who should really have tested Tyler, but he could only fire over when well placed.

 

Luton almost doubled their advantage in the 74th minute, Andre Gray finding Shaw moments after coming on, but the former Gateshead man's shot was parried wide by Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

 

But the home side did net their second of the evening in the 78th minute, Jake Howells capitalising on a defensive error to calmly advance on Guzan before dinking the ball into the net.

 

Daniel Johnson threatened to peg one back for the Villains as he ran through the middle, but his effort flew into the Oak Road End.

 

And the Hatters saw out the final 15 minutes or so to claim an impressive victory over Paul Lambert's Villa side in front of 4,304 fans.

 

 

TOWN: Tyler; Henry, McNulty, Lacey, Griffiths; Whalley (Howells, 73), Taiwo (Stevenson, 69), Guttridge (Smith, 69), Martin (Gray, 73); Cullen (O'Donnell, 76), Shaw

 

Not used: Nunez, Justham


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