Lincoln City drop points against Luton Town

Lincoln City suffered a second 3-0 loss in four days as they were brushed aside by Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013.

Lincoln City are one point about the relegation zone with two games remaining in the Blue Square Conference Premier. Photo: Tom Larken.

Lincoln manager Gary Simpson made three changes to the team which lost at Kidderminster on Saturday, April 6th, Dan Gray, Craig Hobson and Phil Turnbull were brought in while captain Alan Power, Adam Smith and Vadaine Oliver dropped out.

In the home dugout, Luton boss John Still chose to make five changes to the team which was thumped 5-1 by Gateshead at the weekend. Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Jake Goodman, Solomon Taiwo, Alex Wall and Dan Walker made way for Scott Griffiths, Ronnie Henry, Matt Robinson, Alex Lawless and Jon Shaw.

Playing in their white kit it was Lincoln who started the brighter of the two sides. First, midfielder Mamadou Fofana tested Hatters’ keeper Dean Brill within 30 seconds of kick-off with a shot from the edge of the area, before Imps top goal scorer Jamie Taylor brought a fine save from Brill with a rasping left footed drive.

This pressure was not to last however and Luton soon began to work their way back into the game. On the 13th minute Luton thought they had the lead however Shaw, having put Lawless’ cross past Paul Farman into the net, was ruled to be offside by the assistant, much to the uproar of the Luton faithful.

In the 41st minute Luton went ahead through left winger David Martin. A Lawless corner was only half cleared and after being gifted far too much time by Lincoln to set himself, Martin smashed in an unstoppable opener off the post to give Luton the lead.

This goal seemed to unsettle Lincoln and just two minutes later it was two. Former Hinckley United striker Andre Gray latched on to a long ball and calmly rounded Farman to give the Hatters a 2-0 lead into half-time.

Following a scrappy half of long throws and hopeful hoofs over the Luton backline, the 173 travelling Imps supporters may have hoped for a change in game plan for the second half. This was not to be however, and with both Lawless and Gray’s pace and movement continuing to cause problems; Luton began to assert their dominance.

On the 65th minute came the game’s most bizarre incident. Seconds before Shaw converted a Gray cross to make it three for Luton, referee J. Hopkins decided to blow for an off-the-ball incident, caution both Lincoln centre half Andrew Boyce and Luton’s Lawless, and insist that the ball be given back to Lincoln, much to the displeasure of the Luton crowd.

This did not perturb Luton however and, just five minutes later, the ball ended up in the back of the net once again. A quickly taken free kick down the Luton right flank caught the Lincoln defence napping and Martin was left free at the back post to tap home man of the match Gray’s cross to complete his brace.

Lincoln desperately searched for a consolation and nearly found one through centre back Nat Brown; however his close range header was tipped round the post by Brill. A late spell of keep ball from Luton ensured that they recorded a comfortable win, sending the travelling fans home despondent following a performance in which Lincoln were outfought and outthought in all areas of the pitch.

This result leaves Lincoln placed precariously just one point and one place above Stockport who lie in the relegation zone, and will certainly need better performances in the two remaining games of the season (at home to relegation rivals Tamworth and away at mid-table Hyde) to ensure survival.

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