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A JUNIOR HATTER'S REPORT | PLYMOUTH & BRADFORD

15 March 2019

My Dad always said supporting Luton was never going to be dull and yet again the Hatters haven't disappointed this week.

At the age of only 14 I have seen us relegated three times, promoted twice, been part of the 40,000 that saw us lift the JPT, seen us lose two play-off finals and seen us become the first non-league team to win an FA Cup tie away at a Premier League team. Now we stand on the brink of another promotion after a nerve wracking 5 days.

It all started with a long trip down to Plymouth which we did Friday night and ended up staying in the same hotel as the players, who I am pleased to say all seemed to behave themselves!

This was to be Sonny Bradley's first return to Plymouth since he left to join us last summer and he was keener than most, I am sure, to perform well and keep the Plymouth attack at bay. Plymouth had been on a good run of form since Christmas and so I was expecting a tough game. The game was a tight affair and fairly even in the first half.

The main talking point was Super Danny having to be substituted after about half an hour out of fear he was going to get sent off having been booked unfairly in my opinion, fouled and then penalised for falling on the ball and picking it up in expectation of being awarded a free-kick but the referee disagreed. With the Plymouth fans begging for him to be sent off Mick took the sensible decision to remove him to avoid us having to play with 10 men.

At half-time it was 0-0 and all to play for. The second half we got on top of Plymouth and it was virtually all one way traffic as we pressed for the all important breakthrough. We huffed and we puffed but couldn't find a way to beat former Luton loanee Matt Macey who made a couple of excellent saves, especially the one where he tipped Collo's header over the bar.

The game ended 0-0 which was slightly disappointing seeing how dominant we had been second half and this disappointment increased on hearing Sunderland had snatched a very late equaliser at Wycombe. The players left the field to be greeted with the bizarre sight of what was in effect a large paddling pool set up outdoors by the building sight which used to be the main stand, which had been filled with ice for the players to have their post match recovery session. Surely the players could have just trotted down to the beach and gone for a swim in the sea, which I'm sure was cold enough.

Some players later even opting for a full recovery session in temperatures of around -130 degrees.

So Saturday over and all thoughts turned to the big match Monday night at the Town Hall. With Power Court safely in the bag so to speak this was now the meeting on which all our future dreams rested. I never thought watching a local council planning meeting would be interesting and nerve wracking at the same time.

The three Luton representatives, including Gary Sweet, played a blinder. The big moment came when the councillors were asked to vote and I was a bit worried when I saw quite a few hands not go up in support but luckily then realised these people were not actually voting and to a great cheer reminiscent of a Luton goal the result was announced as 8 in favour of the development and just 1 against and permission had been granted.

My Dad was naturally overjoyed as he said he has been waiting most of his life for this to finally happen and dreams of a new stadium have moved even closer to becoming reality.

With a great spring in our step all day Tuesday it was off to Bradford for our heroes. I had to make do with watching it on iFollow, school getting in the way of the important things in life like going to watch Luton!

It looked a miserable evening up in Yorkshire and not the greatest of pitches as the brown patches were clearly evident! Bradford had been in poor form up until Saturday but had comfortably beaten Peterborough and so must have been hopeful of upsetting Luton on their own pitch.

The Town were unchanged yet again with Danny allowed back on the pitch. Luton started the game really strongly and despite the conditions were able to play some great football.

We took the lead with a fantastic team goal, moving the ball from the left wing all the way across to the right and then Shinniesta's sublime through ball allowed Stacey to race into the penalty area and fire the ball past the keeper and the all important first goal.

We looked comfortable throughout the first half despite Bradford having 8 or 9 corners but the only worrying moment was when Macca went down holding his hamstring and had to be replaced by Luke Berry with Pelly dropping back to fill in as CDM. Half-time 1-0 and hopeful for more goals second half.

The second half saw conditions worsen with driving rain and strong winds which seemed to prevent James Shea from kicking the ball anywhere other than into the stands!

There was a welcome return for Harry Cornick but other than that the only real thing of note was the comedy moment of the evening when following a foul on James Justin and a bit of raised tempers, Bradford's striker Clarke decided it would be a good idea to try and shove Sonny in the chest. His efforts clearly made little impact on Sonny who then theatrically stumbled backwards waving his arms in the air as if he had been pushed by the Rock. Then to rub it in Sonny pretended to try and look for his attacker by making a searching gesture with his hand above his eyes to signify the height difference between the two of them, easy for him to do when he's so tall. It made us laugh anyway!

Bradford tried desperately to get an equaliser but the Hatters defence was superb once again and yet another clean sheet was kept for James Shea and his defence. So another record set, this time the most away games undefeated and the lead at the top of the table extended back to 5 points.

We are all still trying to recover from the excitement of another magnificent week. Bring on Gillingham Saturday. Get down to the Kenny and cheer the Town on to victory if you can.

Don't forget to check out the hatters hideout if you sit in the Kenny End as well.

COYH


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