LUTON V WALSALL MATCH REPORT
The Hatters pre-season unbeaten streak came to an end this afternoon as they were beaten by an early goal at Kenilworth Road.
Craig Mackail-Smith was named man-of-the-match on the day the Club announced his signing of a two-year contract.
Mark Tyler completed 90 minutes, pulling off some good saves and there were other good performances from Luton despite the result.
The game didn’t start well for the Town, when on 6 minutes Bradshaw picked up the ball inside the Luton box and slotted the ball into the net past Mark Tyler. After the restart the, game settled into a rather uneventful pattern, with Walsall enjoying the better of the possession.
Cameron McGeehan looked hungry in midfield, chasing the ball down and making some solid challenges.
Up front, Mackail-Smith got his first chance to snatch a goal on 23 minutes after he got on the end of long goal kick from Tyler, and almost muscled his way through the Walsall defence – to no avail.
Shortly after, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu showed his class, with a cute dummy through his legs, picking up the ball again on the turn, but Etheridge blocked his advance in the Walsall Goal.
As the half progressed Danny Green showed some excellent crossing ability picking out the waiting Paul Benson on more than one occasion. Just before the end of the half O’Donnell took a shot from outside the area after Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s run and pass.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first. Walsall had their chances going forward, with Cook, Demetriou and Morris forcing saves from Tyler on 57 minutes. The Hatters keeper looked sharp between the posts, despite having not featured in much in pre-season.
John Still made a number of changes on the hour, with Smith, Griffiths, McCourt, Wilkinson, and Lee coming on for Potts, McGeehan, Doyle, Ruddock-Mpanzu and Green. With the changes in team came a change in formation as the 4-4-2 was changed to a 3-5-2.
The change in formation seemed to suit the team too, with some lovely flowing movements coming through midfield. McCourt looked a handful in midfield making some probing runs and intelligently distributing the ball around the pitch.
Ryan Hall came on for Stephen O’Donnell on 71 minutes, Magnus Okuonghae for Stephen McNulty on 76 minutes and on 80 minutes Mackail-Smith and Benson made way for Marriott and Zola.
The match ended 1-0 to the visitors. Some promising moments for the Hatters despite the result. Luton play Barton Rovers in the Beds Senior Cup on Monday evening, before the season starts in earnest against Accrington Stanley on Saturday.