Hertford VI 2 - 3 Luton Town IV
By Geoff Oates
Another thriller from the masters of the one goal defeat....
Another thriller from the masters of the one goal defeat (our 5th this season), all the more galling because we thought we had equalised with a couple of minutes to go, but Daryl’s shot was adjudged to have been from outside the D.
With a good side, strengthened by Tom Goodeve on loan from the Stags and Sam Timms in goal (our keepers were all out on loan to higher teams), hopes were high until about the second minute when we saw the pace and skill of a rejuvenated Luton attacking midfield. Nothing like the team we played last year. But as we were digging in for a long siege (we conceded 7 short corners in the first half alone) Daryl got away behind their midfield, skinned three defenders and slammed the ball past the keeper to give us the lead. That set the pattern for most of the game. If we could get behind them and move the ball quickly they were vulnerable, if we gave the ball away we faced constant pressure and relied on luck, guts and above all a stunning performance from Sam to keep us in the game.
They equalised on 12 minutes from a short corner but surprisingly that was it till half time. They took the lead from open play shortly after half time as our defence struggled again to adapt to their pace, but the game became increasingly even, with Luke and Tom cutting through midfield with increasing success, and Daryl and DPJ finding good space ahead of them. DPJ picked up a neat through ball to beat their keeper from 5 yards after a good spell of pressure around their D, but Luton stepped up the pressure, pulling our defence all over the place with short passes and aggressive dribbles until the marking fell apart and left a striker unmarked at the dead of the D. This time Sam had no chance.
For 7 minutes we hurled the kitchen sink at them (as sweeper I spent more of that in their D than in our own) and with 2 to play a wave of attacks and blocks ended with Jon feeding Daryl who shot blind into the corner of the goal, only for the umpire to judge the ball had been outside the D……
MotM goes to Daryl. On the balance of play in the first half we really can’t complain at the result, but we deserved something for effort and character, and not a little skill in one of our best performances so far.