Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Jokerman » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:54 pm

COOPERS HILL STEEPER STILL. Saturday 16th December 2017.

Injuries,indiscipline and inability to hold on to an advantage have all contributed to Forest Green Rovers exiting the F A Cup and finding themselves just one place above the foot of the league table. However fortunes can change quickly in football and there have been signs that manager Mark Cooper is not a million miles away from tranquillizing the forum 'managers'. Not least by the arrival of Jordan Stevens. Add some 'steel' in the January transfer window and move on up,that's the obvious plan.
In the meantime the team faces a formidable task as league leaders Luton Town haul themselves up Spring Hill. Something their supporters would not have predicted in 2014 after being crowned Conference Champions at Kenilworth Road following a comfortable win over today's opponents.
With the Rovers squad depleted just now fans in The Green Man are hoping for a boil over but fearing the worst. Most would settle for a point against the odds on shots.
The sky is filled with broken cloud with temperatures depressed enough to annoyingly lower the viscosity of the snorter fluid as the teams take to the field of play.
Manager Cooper's line-up includes a first start for Jordon Simpson while young Stevens retains his place. Traore returns to the bench but both Osbourne and Bennett are still unavailable.
Over eight hundred Luton fans line the west terrace swelling the crowd of two and a half thousand.
Rovers matched Luton for much of the first period of the game.
On seven minutes Cooper put Stevens through on goalkeeper Stech inside the area but his shot was blocked away at the near post.
Doidge showed skill to volley his own header on target but lacked the power to trouble Stech.
Apart from an early corner that Collins had to fist away Luton had posed little threat.
That all changed on forty minutes with sustained pressure involving a series of corners.
Luton defender Potts overlapping on the left sent in a cross that fell nicely to Hylton to side foot the opening goal only to see Collins make a spectacular one handed save diving low to his right.
A minute later Keanu gave the ball away in midfield. The ball quickly moved to Hylton whose low shot was just a fraction wide. Shinnie also fired in an effort before the first of three successive corners on 44mins the third of which saw Luton open the scoring.
Sheehan played the ball short to Hylton who wrong footed the Rovers defence with a clever back heel return to Sheehan who cut along the byline and powered the ball past Collins at his near post. The ball ran along the goal line and entered the net via the right hand upright.
It was a blow for the home side right on half time. The Luton fans were not ecstatic but probably relieved the form book was beginning to prevail following Rovers spirited showing.
The temperature began to drop as the second half got under way freezing the already frozen nuts off those who still had any.
Luton were first out of the blocks Lee smashing a shot from the edge of the box that Collins was alert to.
On fifty five minutes came a seminal moment in the game for Rovers. Stevens slipped a pass to Wishart marauding down the left channel. He struck a cross with pace perfectly for Doidge to meet head on ten yards out with such ferocity that Rovers supporters thought they had equalised. Stech performed a minor miracle and blocked the ball away. The Green Army were stunned.
Traore replaced Brown who had taken a knock earlier.
Sixty minutes on the clock and Luton were down to ten men. A cross field ball was contested by Stacey and Wishart. The Luton players boot high in the challenge caught the side of Wishart's head that brought forth a flow of the crimson. The referee immediately brandished a seasonally coloured card and Stacey was gone. Wishart continued after prolonged treatment that included several rolls of gaffa tape.
Rovers fans were entitled to think there may be a chance to retrieve the situation,there again using Exeter as a benchmark.
68mins and Laird hit a back pass across the six yard box to Collins who did not look too happy and dithered before tying his legs in a reef knot and falling over. Hylton goal hanging nearby though nearly falling over himself laughing still couldn't miss form two yards and tapped the ball into the empty net. The Luton fans celebrated with their players.
The game,like the weather was stone cold dead,dead enough to call in the embalmers.
Stevens gave way to Gomes soon after as Rovers battled on but it was difficult to tell the visitors were a man light.
Stech was equal to dealing with a couple of late corners from Rovers while Simpson denied Cornick at the other end with a terrific late block.
Eight minutes of added time just increased the frostbite for the spectators.
Forest Green Rovers are bottom of the league and will have to quickly put this game behind them.
The team are missing important players just now exposing the lack of depth in the squad.
The transfer window beckons hopefully it will solve the problem.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Lady Magpie » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:01 pm

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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Timb » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:43 pm

Back in the smoke finally. Thanks tom for the lift in plenty of time for the 6.30. It was cancelled.

So plan B. Curry and then pint at the Queen Victoria. All good.

The first thing that struck me was sitting at the bar watching Manchester City play Spurs.

Our basic ethos is the same. Our basic style and strategy is the same. But just watch the two games. Get the ball, recycling allowed. But.. ATTACK. At every available opportunity. Be brave.

So having missed the 6.30, get back for the 7.36. There were more than 50 Luton fans waiting which is by far the most away fans I have ever travelled back with.

And I have to say it was probably the most enjoyable trip back since the AFC Wimbledon days which was with guys I play 5a side with.

A group of 5 Feyonoord Luton fans and some others and the time flew by in the buffet. They knew all about our Royal Antwerp connection interestingly.

But the most telling comments were from the die hards.

We got away with it today. Our keeper played a blinder. Your keeper, can we play him every week. We want Doidge. We want Wishart.

Nuf said. Keep.calm and carry on.

Stick to the plan.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Rich E » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:57 pm

That's hard to watch, it really was a Christmas gift.

Two other remarkable things from this afternoon:

(1) The ball getting wedged in at the top of the main stand

(2) Someone leaving all of the windows of their car open on a freezing cold day


What's done is done but let's work on dead ball kicks, keeping passes shorter and cutting out the defensive howlers.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Philpot » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:15 pm

Now I know why Peter Kay has cancelled his tour. He can’t compete with the second goal
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby NewForestRover » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:18 pm

Timb wrote:Back in the smoke finally. Thanks tom for the lift in plenty of time for the 6.30. It was cancelled.

So plan B. Curry and then pint at the Queen Victoria. All good.

The first thing that struck me was sitting at the bar watching Manchester City play Spurs.

Our basic ethos is the same. Our basic style and strategy is the same. But just watch the two games. Get the ball, recycling allowed. But.. ATTACK. At every available opportunity. Be brave.

So having missed the 6.30, get back for the 7.36. There were more than 50 Luton fans waiting which is by far the most away fans I have ever travelled back with.

And I have to say it was probably the most enjoyable trip back since the AFC Wimbledon days which was with guys I play 5a side with.

A group of 5 Feyonoord Luton fans and some others and the time flew by in the buffet. They knew all about our Royal Antwerp connection interestingly.

But the most telling comments were from the die hards.

We got away with it today. Our keeper played a blinder. Your keeper, can we play him every week. We want Doidge. We want Wishart.

Nuf said. Keep.calm and carry on.

Stick to the plan.


They're not having Doidge and they're certainly not having Wishart!!

Do the trains get cancelled very often?
I can't think of much worse than hanging around for the 7.36 (as I do) and then finding it isn't running.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Too occasional fan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:38 pm

gooseman wrote:For me this is the fundamental problem with FGR. If you get half a sniff at goal let rip. Yes it maybe saved. It may miss but have a go. You never know. For me I blame the coaching staff for this.


That was the first half story at Exeter. Dominate, possession and space, except the final third. When you get there, defenders panicking & desperately running backwards, classic opportunity for goal. What happens? No striker with a deadeye shot. Pass back and repeat.

After a while the defence learns that there is no threat, no change in behaviour, no goal risk.

Letting rip at goal often fails, but it might get a deflection, it might get a rebound. Most of all it makes the defence worried that we are not a one solution team. Like we clearly are.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby chrism » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:08 am

Can anyone explain the logic of having 7 players behind the ball for a free kick with only 3 attackers against 10 defenders + goalkeeper in the penalty area. It's no use relying on a shot from 30 yards out. Even if it's on target the keeper has so much time and if he drops the ball the odds are very much in favour of the defence. Not the first time I've noticed this strange tactic.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Timb » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:39 am

Too Occasional Fan and Gooseman hit the nail on the head. It was so noticeable today when top played bottomish.

Any Luton player in close proximity to the box was quite obviously looking to step and shoot. With the pass as the second option.

We were the opposite. First option was find the pass even if to the rear, and if no option then what?

We are so close to being it. We are already the best footballing tesm ever to have the privilege of pulling on an FGR shirt, but we are not the finished article yet (as bottom of the league shows)

Keep the faith.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby michael » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:49 am

Letting rip at goal often fails, but it might get a deflection, it might get a rebound. Most of all it makes the defence worried that we are not a one solution team. Like we clearly are.

agree with you TOF.

unfortunately-the one player prepared to do that - KMB-was isolated for most of the game out on the right wing-and hardly saw the ball-a waste playing him there-even if getting back in the groove post injury
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby michael » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:57 am



poor-yes,but i would not crucify BC over that.

as a couple of us have commented previously-was not necessary to throw it back to BC across 6 yard box-and the throw was poor as well-bouncing ball,and slow-so player had time to chase it.

not just down to BC that goal
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby The Cumbrian » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:00 pm

Very annoying at the time but in the cold light of day you have to feel for the lad. I rarely tweet but felt inclined to reply as below. The sort of attitude shown by the comments from Luton fans indicates a (mental) age range of up to about 25, so doubt they have heard of Eddie Waring .....

"In the words of Eddie Waring "He'es a poor lad". These things happen, it may even happen to Luton. He'es 19 and like your goalie had already made two stunning saves. You will never find another keeper laughing at such misfortune."
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby The Cumbrian » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:20 pm

Too occasional fan wrote:
That was the first half story at Exeter. Dominate, possession and space, except the final third. When you get there, defenders panicking & desperately running backwards, classic opportunity for goal. What happens? No striker with a deadeye shot. Pass back and repeat.

After a while the defence learns that there is no threat, no change in behaviour, no goal risk.

Letting rip at goal often fails, but it might get a deflection, it might get a rebound. Most of all it makes the defence worried that we are not a one solution team. Like we clearly are.


Compared to the Exeter game I thought Rovers were more positive today, but still not enough. The secret is too mix it up, keep the opposition defence guessing, especially if you can do that without your own players having to guess.

On the whole I thought it was a decent performance, especially considering the inexperience of the team, and yet another game where we deserved something, and there could have been no complaints from the opposition if we had won.
Last edited by The Cumbrian on Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby The Cumbrian » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:23 pm

Here' an interesting stat from a Luton tweet - which I have just verified for myself. Lutons 1st goal on Saturday was the 11th goal in a sequence scored by 11 different players.

In comparison FGR last 11 goals: 9 by the same player, the other 2 being from defenders.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Earl » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:51 pm

The expectation was a heavy loss so pleasantly surprised we competed well and matched the league leaders for most of the first half. And then we gift a goal at the death of the first half? They had three corners in a row. The first they took short and no FGR player intervened They repeated for the third and again they stood and stared and allowed Luton to more or less walk the ball in.
The second half followed the usual pattern of passing for the sake of passing and lacking bite up front, especially after having a man advantage. I heard a Luton fan comment they played better and were more of a threat with a man down.
The second goal was completely avoidable. What an idiotic choice to throw the ball at the keeper in a dangerous position.
We could have scrapped a point if Doidge had put away his chance but as so often the afternoon ended in disappointment.
The table shows we’re the worst performing club in league two. Can we survive with the more of the same?
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Old Git » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Massively important stat that is Cumbrian. It raises a few questions. If Christian gets injured who will replace him. If he carries on playing every game sometimes 3 times a week, will he burn out or be more likely to be injured. The new guy from Weston appears to be more of an attacking midfielder than a target man and will need time to adapt to this level. This only matters of course if he does not leave us in the transfer window.
If Forest Green Rovers get in the football league then Pigs can fly !!!
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Foggy » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Good point above about experience in the side, our starting line up probably included only three or four who are aged over 21, one of our starters is only 17. I know we have been forced into this somewhat due to injuries and suspensions, of those missing yesterday probably Bennett, Osborne and Iaccoviti would have started, the last of those is also a young player. Given these comments I am proud of the way our team played yesterday, in the face of roughhouse tactics, general foul play and gamesmanship, doing well to avoid getting dragged into that type of behaviour.

My only slight disappointment was that we didn't put a bit more pressure on their players who picked up bookings early on, both of whom looked reluctant to put in a tackle. I'm not sure how Simpson won MoTM, I would have had Wishart, Cooper and Laird some way ahead of him.
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby Fartvs Antiqvvs » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:54 pm

king giraffe III wrote:
FootieMan wrote:"Success is measured by going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm".

Winston Churchill often quoted great things. Yes he said the above too!

He was a leader but not a general. There is a difference.

Let's not degenerate posts into a slagging match. Not pointing the finger at anyone but just making an observation.

We are where we are. It's not great but it proves one thing.

You can be in a relegation fight with money just as easy as being in one without any money.

Time for Leaders now and not Generals.


Tbf, he was neither a general or a true leader. Just someone whose experience (albeit as a failure) put him in prime position to become Prime Minister. Subsequent success in WWII was not down to him, but (a) German failure to realise how close Fighter Command was to obliteration in 1940, and (b) Japanese miscalculation.


I take it you lived during the WW 11 period then KG111? ;)
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby T50 BOS » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:28 pm

Think you must have been watching a different Laird to me Foggy - after a couple of decent showings in a midfield role I thought he was poor again at left back and the throw back to Collins created unnecessary pressure on the keeper who duly obliged with an air kick to Christmas wrap it for Hylton !
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Re: Match thread from The New Lawn (Luton Town)

Postby coyler » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:57 pm

Interesting to hear the Luton manager saying they had earmarked our throwing/passing back to the GK, and a goal came from it.
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