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Luton match report
17 January 2015 17:55 Post ID: #71068
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Injuries and mistakes cost Argyle as they lost 1-0 to promotion rivals Luton at Home Park

I've never seen a John Sheridan team make so many mistakes, especially this season and the winning goal came from a mistake with most of the players not realising it was a corner and not a throw-in.

Even during the game we lost Lee Cox and Dom Blizzard through injuries and sadly the replacement players/depth in the squad are just not good enough, although to be fair any team losing nine players plus Anthony O'Connor and Bobby Reid plus Cox and Blizzard during the game would struggle.
Just four subs were named including one who Sheridan has no confidence in.

We started well enough and once Olly Lee settled into the game he showed his range of passing.
I thought Ben Purrington was playing too deep, almost as a left-back and not in the advanced role that Kellett plays. Tom Flanagan, who I was surprised to see was right-footed, should have move 10 yards over to push Purrington further forward. That said, considering he has been out for so long Purrington did well enough.

We did actually score when Reuben Reid headed in but the ref disallowed it for what seemed like a push or pull by Reid on a defender, it did seem a very soft decision.

Soon after Luton won a corner which was cleared for another corner, except most of the Argyle players thought it was a goal-kick including Luke McCormick who went behind the byline to collect the ball. Luton took a short corner, our defence wasn't ready and Andy Dury fired in a low shot. A very soft goal to concede and very uncharacteristic of us.

Basically, it went downhill from there. Cox was about to be subbed with a minute of injury time left in the first half, surely he could wait until the break and assess his injury?? As it was the ball didn't go out of play and Tyler Harvey had to wait for the second half to come on.

For the second half Harvey played behind the strikers with Blizzard dropping back to partner Lee.
But it was soon all change again with Blizzard getting the injury jinx and limped off to be replaced by Nathan Thomas.
The winger briefly played up front alongside Reid with Lewis Alessandra dropping back but that lasted about five minute before Sheridan switched to 4-4-2 with Thomas out wide, Kelvin Mellor on the other flank and Curtis Nelson at right-back.
Thomas sent in at least two excellent crosses, unfortunately no player was on the end to convert.

We did enjoy some pressure although just as we are building up a head of steam Thomas takes a corner and hits the first defender, criminal!
From then on we never looked liked scoring and the game was gone.

There were too many mistakes, passes went astray, there was no leadership, no urgency and sad to see a team that looked so dominant against the likes of Northampton reduced to playing like this, that said the injuries and formation changes disrupted any well laid plans.

Lee did ok, he passed well but did have the odd mis-placed pass. Flanagan isn't Peter Hartley but filled a gap.
Mellor wasn't on his game at all and struggled, Cox did look to be carrying an injury, Harvey was anonymous when he came on which is a shame, most fans want him to succeed.

After his goal was disallowed Reid's head dropped and wasn't in the game enough. The one bright spark was Alessandra who was full of running and invention.

Luton were no great shakes, they looked suspect in defence but we just didn't put them under sustained pressure.

Perhaps if one player had made just one run into the box to convert one of the many crosses into the six yard box we would have won or at least drawn? It was so frustrating to see those crosses wasted.

It was yet another game were we've conceded first and not come back to win, a statistic that must have crossed the minds of many fans as Drury's shot rolled past McCormick. Game over in the 22nd minute?

The gap between us and the teams above us is widening week by week.

McCormick 6, Nelson 6, McHugh 6, Flanagan 6, Mellor 5, Purrington 6, Cox 5, Blizzard 5, Lee 7, Alessandra 8, Reid 6, Harvey 5, Thomas 5.

Man of the match: Alessandra.
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