With the prospect of playing one of our local rivals, Wycombe, the game was already a sell out. The fans started filing in coming earlier than normal to beat the traffic.
With some junior fans playing in the Hatters' Hideout before the game, on Fifa, table football and even more, and some fans coming for there first game all the way from Iceland, this game was lining up to be a real thriller.
Luton lined up with almost the same side that triumphed over Shrewsbury, although with a tight hamstring LuaLua was left out and Hylton was re-introduced into the starting 11. With LuaLua out and Thorne available again, big Mick didn’t have to try and worry about fitting all of our available talent on to the bench. I don’t know how Wycombe usually line up but what I do know is that Akinfenwa was added again to their line-up after missing last week to go and watch the Super Bowl live!
Many of you will know that sometimes we have a bit of trouble when at home to Wycombe, they seem to be our sort of ‘Bogey’ team when they are travelling to us. However, with our amazing form at the moment, I was quietly confident that we could overcome this challenge even if it would be difficult. If we went and beat them then we would equal our clubs record of the longest ever unbeaten run which was set 50 years ago!
We soon adapted to the slower version of the game and started to play our normal game. After a number of stoppages, we took the lead through an exquisite ball through from Danny Hylton into the path of Jack Stacey, who calmly took his time and then crossed the ball in so that none other than league one top scorer James Collins could sneak up behind the keeper and dive forward to head the ball in and put us in the lead!
We carried on playing our normal game and, although we didn’t score, we were definitely on top. The first half ended after the added time for all of the unexpected stoppages before we scored, and half-time rolled around just like the ball in the half time hotshots which was won by local boxer Linus Udofia and also like the ball in the game from the over 50’s walking football team who, at the end of the game, had a presentation to thank the loyal player-manager of the team over the last few years who is now stepping down from his role.
After these 15 minutes were up, the players made their way back to the pitch ready for the start of the second half. Oddly enough, we were all waiting for the Wycombe team again to be ready to get this game restarted. Eventually the opposition did make their way back to the pitch and the second half kicked off.
It didn’t take long to realise that we weren’t going to be waiting between each stoppage like at the beginning of first half. Both teams had periods of this second half where they could have netted a couple of goals but neither team did. It was building up to be a nervous finish to the game. That was until we made some substitutions.
Our first replacing Luke Berry, who hobbled off holding his leg, was George Moncur. Suddenly, the game seemed to come back to life with the energy from George. Maybe he was still full of adrenaline from his last home game where he scored the winner against Pompey.
Anyway, we then later took off Super Danny Hylton and brought on one of our other new signings, Jason Cummings, to make his debut for us. I doubt his debut could have gone any better other than if he had got a goal. Stacey played a really clever long ball to Cummings who brought the ball down amazingly and took it past one Wycombe defender, then the next couldn’t even stay on his feet and then Cummings had a brilliant shot from the edge of the box which was so powerful that it could only be parried by Allsop in the Wycombe goal straight to George Moncur, who slotted it home from three yards out in the 85th minute.
This goal gave us a bit of breathing space but the players didn’t care as Stacey, who was involved in every single goal, played the ball once again to Cummings who got his second assist of the afternoon, passed it back to Moncur who curled it beautifully into the bottom corner of the goal to put the game beyond return. These two late goals were made even sweeter when we realised that both Sunderland and Portsmouth had conceded and lost their leads, so that we gained 2 points on both of them.
Bogey team or not, the game ended 3-0 and we equalled the clubs long standing unbeaten record. The fans rejoiced in the stands and the players rejoiced with all of the coaching staff and Big Mick on the pitch. We stayed top of the league and we are looking very hopeful for the rest of the season. COYH!