Gary Johnson decided at half time to try and plug the gaps on the flanks by making a double
substitution and a formation change. Stephen Reed and Abdelhalim El Kholti made up the left flank
as Nick Crittenden and Jamie Gosling came off.
If Yeovil's major problem in the first half had been their cutting edge in the final third,
the tactical switch seemed to initially do the job as the Glovers rattled up more chances in six
minutes than they had managed in the previous 45.
Darren Way's first strike of the half was to lead to Yeovil's equaliser. His angled drive was
beaten out by home keeper Robert Beckwith and when Lee Johnson pumped the ball back into the
area in search of Way, Emmerson BOYCE seemed to forget that his keeper was still recovering
his ground, and his glancing header neatly fell into the corner of the net for an equaliser.
The Glovers went after Luton like a team possessed, and Kirk Jackson and Kevin Gall came close to
giving the visitors an improbable lead, with Beckwith now the busier of the keepers. But Luton
ultimately rode the storm.
Lack of ball control was to cost the Glovers at the other end of the park ten minutes into the
half. Hugo Rodrigues saw a fairly tame looking cross bounce off his shins and straight into the
path of former Bristol City striker Tony THORPE, and he cut inside and finished from a
narrow angle to make it 2-1.
Worse was to come eight minutes later, when as Yeovil pushed up, Rodrigues was left exposed,
having to cover the right-back position as Courtney PITT advanced up the field. A shove
out on the wings saw the Portuguese defender land in the book, and when Pitt himself took the
free kick, Chris Weale was deceived by the movement of Paul Hughes right in front of him. Whether
Hughes dummied the ball or just failed to connect, his run was enough for Weale to lose sight of
the ball, and for it to rather tamely land in the back of the net.
Gary Johnson decided that he just as well throw the kitchen sink at Luton, and so off
went Hugo Rodrigues and on came Andy Lindegaard, but 60 seconds after the substitution,
the tie was dead and buried. A ball in from the right was mis-kicked into the ground on
the half-volley by Steve HOWARD, but the bounce on the ball was enough to loop over
Chris Weale's head for a somewhat flattering 4-1 lead.
To their credit, neither Yeovil or their large travelling support allowed the scoreline to
spoil their evening too much, and they finished the match playing some tidy football, that
nearly got them a goal back that perhaps would have painted a more realistic reflection on
the balance of play. Abdelhalim El Kholti squeezed through two Luton defenders and banged a
shot against the outside of the post but this was not to be Yeovil's night.
Such games always provide a good benchmark, and whilst it showed on the night, that Yeovil
lack a thing or two to be an upper-table Division Two side, their performance was not a million
miles away from their more illustrious opponents. The main difference was in the two penalty
boxes. Whilst Yeovil often struggled to carve open clear-cut chances, Luton were ready to
pounce on mistakes and half-opportunities to make their game count. Thankfully teams of Luton's
standard should not turn up too often in Yeovil's league matches this season.
MOTM Vote Result:
|Abdelhalim El Kholti
Overall match rating: 6.7 / 10
18 votes received.