Crisis club Luton share the points with below par City

By Sam Bartfield
Last updated : 06 October 2008
Before this game I would have happily taken a point as would the majority of sensible City fans. So how come we all felt a bit flat after leaving Valley Parade on a blustery October afternoon?

The obvious answer is that the performance wasnt nearly as good as the ones we were treated to early on in the campaign. Fair enough, we are still in the embryonic stages of a season filled with much expectation, but for me the worrying caveat that I took home with me on Saturday afternoon is that what was working so well earlier this season seemed completely lacking in this drab affair.

One notable example is the influence Colbeck and Daley had on this game. We all hope that these two will be too much for all the visitors coming to VP this season, but against Luton Colbeck looked like the player he was two years ago, wandering into blind alleys digging and scraping at the ball instead of getting it out of his feet and leaving left backs in his slip stream.

Daley was slightly better but even he couldn't get into the game as we know he can. In the middle Mclaren had arguably his worst display of the season despite a wonderful right foot shot from a well worked free kick that looked 'in' all the way until a wonderful save from the Luton stopper. Furman was lively again. Furmans next task is to relax a little and put his foot on the ball. He is so eager to cover ground and harry oppositions that you sometimes feel he forgets to play the game. McCall really needs to have a word with the lad and tell him its not all about running through brick walls, he needs to add a little subtlety.

With no one really getting a hold of play it was little wonder that Boulding spent the majority of the game wondering when he was going to get a chance to latch onto an inviting through ball and Thorne was left to the occasional deft touch back to one of the midfield men.

Luton held a good shape and were arguably the better side in a very dull first half. The game was littered with dead ball moments and protracted passages of play that saw little in the way of any player getting into any space or creating any moments of real danger.

The second half produced a number of talking points. Yes, Heckingbottom deserved to go, a yellow for each, Colbeck could have gone for an ugly looking lunge which was no doubt born out of frustration and we should have had a penalty for a soft and clumsy challenge on Daley.

Its possible that we missed Bullock this afternoon, but the worrying thing for me is that when Colbeck and Daley arent firing on all cylinders there isnt much else in the way of penetration. Even Thorney and Boulding would be hard pushed to deny that.

We were undone by a poorly defended cross 5 minutes from time, but in truth you felt once we went down to 10 men we were going to concede. I dont blame McCall for this, I think he did what most managers would have done in the situation.

On a more sour note Barry Conlon's introduction was greeted with a smattering of jeers from our supporters, something which McCall has rightly slammed.

Its not all doom and gloom though, Ainge showed himself to be a reliable deputy at right back, and Furman continues to impress. I think performances like this will leave us finishing outside the play off places but we all know the team is capable of more, or should I say Colbeck and Daley are capable of more.

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