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Luton match report
06 August 2016 18:04 Post ID: #71796
A game of two halves that saw Luton score three second half goals to beat a demoralised Argyle 3-0.

All the pre-season excitement and optimism evaporated in 45 second half horrible minutes and we slump to bottom of the league.

Manager Derek Adams started with a 4-1-2-1-2 formation with Oscar Threlkeld sitting deep behind David Ijaha and Ryan Donaldson, Graham Carey allowed to roam and Jimmy Spencer and David Goodwillie as the striker partnership.

We pinned Luton in their own half for the first 15 minutes of the match and everything looked good for the new Argyle team, although we didn't create clear chances we did move the ball around and worked angles to get the crosses in. But credit to Luton for weathering the storm and defending very well.
Our best chance was a Carey free-kick that hit the side netting.

We were not helped by referee Lee Collins who failed to cut down on the fouls from Luton early in the game and only started issuing cards late when it was too late. Yann Songo'o was clearly held down in the penalty area but the ref gave nothing, a penalty at that point when we were on top would have given us a completely different game.

Ijaha was a force in midfield and was dominating the game but slowly Luton came into it and created better chances, one of which keeper Luke McCormick did well to scoop up the ball after a deflection.

We did try a tactic of getting Donaldson spare at the far post but the crosses never found him.

The second half was completely different, almost as though Luton and their manager Nathan Jones (who nearly got the Argyle job) were just sizing us up during the first half.

Luton's first goal started when a crossfield pass from Spencer hit the referee, Luton broke away and a cross deceived McCormick after a rebound and Hylton smashed it in from close range.

Argyle heads went down.

We huffed and puffed, we had a couple of free-kicks in good positions but the delivery from Carey was poor.

Jake Jervis came on for Ijaha and we played a 4-3-3 formation, you know when things are not going well when Carey is shunted out to the left.

Disaster struck when Spencer gave away possession and Luton once again easily raced away and just one simple ball allowed Marriott to shoot across McCormick and into the far corner.

Argyle heads dropped even further.

There was a touch of Wycombe about Luton as they started dropping like flies and breaking any momentum we could muster.

Donaldson and Goodwillie were replaced by David Fox and Jordan Slew to little effect.

The ref finally started to punish Luton for the repeated fouling and gave Potts a second yellow. It didn't matter because Luton just went down the other end and scored a third goal to compound an awful first game of the season for us.
Argyle heads were now on the floor.

We can only properly judge the team after 10 games but the second half today was poor.
The lack of width really hurt us, we just couldn't stretch a very organised Luton defence, we relied on the two full backs to give the team width and Gary Miller struggled to do this. He found good positions but his decision making is slow and he quickly gets closed down, although to be fair he's a full back and not a winger.

For home games, especially when losing, we really need width, the pitch has been shortened and narrowed but even so there is still room for a winger on the pitch.
The pitch has been shortened so much there is now room for advertising placed on the pitch behind the goal line.

Ijaha was a powerhouse during the first half, the Luton players just bounced off him, it was a surprise to see him replaced but perhaps he was tiring. His replacement Jervis just couldn't get into the game.

Goodwillie had good movement and is a player that will win penalties and frustrate opposition defenders and he has a habit of not really jumping for headers and committing himself to a tackle.

Spencer worked hard and had a great chance to equalise when a lob from Carey found him and all he had to do was get a touch on the ball but somehow missed it. His loss of possession created the second Luton goal.

Threlkeld was our best player, busy, hassling and passing. Donaldson had a good first half but like most of the players went missing when Luton got in front.

Sawyer looked to have picked up a bad injury late in the game.

Luton look a good team resiliant and strong with pace up front, they created 12 chances compared to our seven but 23 fouls tells it's own story.

The ref was poor, he allowed Luton to use the black arts and time waste and only cracked down when it was too late.
He admired his vanishing free-kick spray as though it was a work of art.

A good first half followed by a poor second half when creativity and lack of width cost us. A work in progress.

Man of the match: Threlkeld.

McCormick 6, Miller 5, Songo'o 6, Bradley 6, Sawyer 6, Threlkeld 8, Ijaha 7 (Jervis 5), Donaldson 6 (Fox 5), Carey 5, Spencer 5, Goodwillie 5 (Slew 5).
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