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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:47 12th March 2002

Luton Town v Exeter City

The Grecians' start the game making three changes to the line up from Saturday.  Glenn Cronin misses out due to illness as Steve Flack and Graeme Tomlinson take up their places on the bench.  In come Jay Richardson, Martin Barlow and Paul Read. At the third time of trying the game finally get underway as City are again in the change strip of purple and begin the game attacking the Kenilworth Road end where the Luton supporters are situated. Three minutes into the game and City have the first shot on goal as Roberts strikes an effort from the edge of the box.  Luton should have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute as Steve Howard controlled the ball on his chest and struck his shot on the turn over the bar. Just two minutes later and from a Nicholls free kick on the right, Forbes out jumped the City defence and saw his header bounce just inches wide of the post.  Christian Roberts started to cause problems on the right and won City the first corner of the game. Nearly twenty minutes have elapsed and City weathered the early pressure and are starting to mount a challenge of their own on the Luton goal with some great interchanging between Roscoe and McConnell on the left wing. Twenty seven minutes in and another Nicholls free kick was this time converted by Steve Howard who climbed higher than everyone else to place a header into the bottom of the net. One nil to the Hatters.  Luton have now stepped up a gear with Howard clearly in an off side position the linesman played on and City were rescued by Van Heusden who went to ground to parry out the shot. Half time comes and City find themselves an undeserved goal down, but again a good performance in the first half with a lot of players playing in unfamiliar roles. Half Time Score Luton Town 1-0 Exeter City City start the second half with no changes whereas Luton take Valois off for David Bayliss.  City are now attacking the 150 strong contingent of Grecian fans that have made the trip to Luton. Coyne brought Roberts down on the edge of the box and Roscoe took a quick free kick which ended up just inches high of Carl Emberson's crossbar.  Luton nearly doubled the advantage in the fifty sixth when a Taylor cross was met by the head of Spring who was in an offside position and saw his effort come back off the post. The pressure is again starting to mount on the City goal in the first quarter of the second half with Luton creating several chances but so far being kept out by the City defence and Van Heusden who has pulled of some great saves. The Hatters had a big shout for a penalty in the sixty fourth minute when Matthew Spring was brought down by Curran in the box.  From the next cross after the free kick Steve Howard scored his second goal after Van Heusden had saved the first shot and not managed to hold the ball in what ended up an easy tap in.  Two nil the Hatters. Sixty nine minutes into the game and Steve Flack came on to replace Paul Read.  Just a minute later and Luton replaced Adrian Forbes with Paul Hughes. Seventy nine minutes and the final nail in the coffin as Matthew Taylor sneaked in behind the defence to win the ball from a free kick and loop the ball over Van Heusden to make it three. City's next effort came a minute later when the ball fell free to Richardson in the middle of the field twenty five yards out, striking a rising first time effort Carl Emberson plucked the ball out of the air to keep his so far clean sheet.  City then make another substitution in the eighty third minute with Breslan coming on for Roscoe. City lose their third straight away game and return to St James' Park this Saturday to take on Shrewsbury Town and hopefully put some more points on the board.
    Data provided by Press Association