Saturday, 28 December 2013

Two Minutes With... Luton Town

This year’s Boxing Day clash at The Hive saw us take on John Still’s Luton Town side. Hatters fan Dave (@DaveLTFC88) gives his thoughts in this instalment of Two Minutes With.

Thursday 26th December 2013
Barnet v Luton Town
5th           2nd

Previous weekend:
Hyde 0-1 Barnet
Luton Town 4-2 Gateshead

How did you get to the game?
Initially I had planned to take the train to West Hampstead and then go on the Underground to one of the stations surrounding The Hive; however, no trains on Boxing Day meant I went on the supporters coach for the short journey. 
What did you make of The Hive?
I was pretty impressed, I was under the conception it was a glorified training ground. The terrace that Luton fans were situated on was excellent for acoustics and making lots of noise.
What did you make of the game?
Very happy with the game. With Cambridge and Grimsby both winning in early kick offs, the pressure was well and truly on us to respond, and we did that.  The first half performance from us was brilliant with Andre Gray's pace causing the home defence all sorts of problems. The tackle and the debate from it has spoiled what was otherwise a good advert for Non-League Football. Barnet came at us a lot more in the second half, and pulled one back but I think we just about deserved the three points. 
Who (from either side) impressed you?
For Luton, Paul Benson was once again a key performer. We've been yearning for a decent target man ever since we sold Steve Howard to Derby in our Championship Days and his partnership with Andre Gray is arguably the best in the League.  Alex Lawless continued his impressive scoring form making it 5 in 5 from an out-of-position role in left midfield. Jake Hyde was very impressive for Barnet too, won more than his fair share of headers against McNulty and deservedly got a goal in the second half.
Who (from either side) could have done better?
I don't think I could single out an individual who could have performed better, but I don't think it'd be unfair to say Barnet looked a lot more threatening with 10 men than they did with 11 - although I think some of our players were mentally affected by the injury to Smith which played a part.
Was the score line a fair reflection on the game?
I think most away fans would say yes, although most Barnet would argue they deserved a point. In my opinion it was a classic away day performance, and whilst they dominated play in the second half, Barnet didn't really force Mark Tyler into that many saves.  At the other end, Luke Guttridge wasted a three-on-one attempt in the second half at 2-0 which would probably have killed the game off. 
Who do you play next and how do you think you’ll do?
We play Kidderminster at home in less than 48 hours time. They've slipped off the pace a bit and we're in good form so hopefully we'll pick up three points to keep up the pressure on Cambridge at the top of the table.  After that it's the return game vs Barnet, again our home form is very good this season, and without wanting to sound arrogant, I'd be a little disappointed if we didn't take at least four points from the two games. 
Price of match day ticket
8/10 – I paid £16 for a terrace ticket, which is probably around the stock price for a 'bigger' club at this level. 
Purchases made at the ground
2/10 – I tried to buy a burger pre-match but was told there was no hot food available.  A friend of mine also brought a hot chocolate which was very watery to say the least. Disappointing.
9/10 – Couldn't complain about the view, nice little terrace with no pillars in the way allowed for an excellent view 
Quality of football
7/10 – Both sides tried to play the 'right' kind of football and even going into the latter stages, the game never got scrappy. As mentioned earlier, it was a good advert for Non-League Football.
Overall experience
8/10 – Obviously three points is always a good start for an away day.  A very tough obstacle on paper overcome as we look to get back into the Football League. Refreshing to see a side try and play good football as well, although was slightly disappointing not to see Edgar Davids in action.
Total = 34/50

Post Match
Table – Barnet 7th / Luton 2nd
Following game
Salisbury City v Barnet
Luton Town v Kidderminster Harriers

Thanks Dave!

If you’ve been to The Hive this season, give me a shout and you can be your club’s voice. Additionally, if you know you’re heading down for your game, let me know - @Luuuce_x

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