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Match Centre

PUBLISHED
23:37 3rd July 2012
By  Kai Day

U's beaten in topsy-turvy match at Luton

Josh Coulson returned to the squad to partner Michael Wylde, starting his second game in a row on return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Liam Hughes kept his place in the side, starting on the right wing and Luke Berry continued in his role behind Tom Elliott, leading the front line for United.

U's Line Up: Hedge; Jennings, Wylde(c), Coulson, McAuley; Willmott, Jarvis, Wellard, Hughes; Berry, Elliott

Subs: Garner, Shaw, Gibson, Moke, Smith

Luton had the first chance of the game as they attacked from kick off. Fleetwood gathered the ball out wide and sent in a cross, that was over-hit and went out for a goal kick to United.

Cambridge's first chance came when Berry burst forward into the box after the U's midfield had stolen the ball. He slightly over-ran the ball however and allowed Tyler in the Luton goal to gather easily.

The first real chance of the game came in the eighth minute. Rossi Jarvis fouled a Town player as he ran forward in midfield, Howells however picked the ball up and referee W. Barratt played advantage. Howells continued his run to the edge of the area before dragging his low powerful shot just wide of Jonathan Hedge's left hand post.

The first goal of the game came from United. In the 11th minute Rossi Jarvis's in-swinging corner was cleared by a Luton head. The ball however fell only to McAuley who sent a pass into the path of Ricky Wellard. Wellard unleashed an unstoppable 20-yard shot into the top right hand corner of Tyler's goal.

It didn't take Luton long to respond. In the 17th minute Fleetwood sent in an in-swinging corner of his own towards the edge of the six yard box which was met with power by Kovacs. His diving header left Hedge with no chance.

Luton now looked to push forward after their equaliser and a cross from the right hand side by Fleetwood was cleared just over his own crossbar by Coulson. The Hatters wasted the resulting corner however and it was easily cleared by United.

The quiet Robbie Willmott picked the ball up on the left hand side and was pulled back by Taylor, earning him a yellow card. The freekick was poor however and went out for a Luton throw on the other side of the pitch.

The first stoppage for injury shortly came after, as the game was brought to a halt when the linesmen nearest to the main stand slipped and had to be replaced by the fourth official!

The second half started with United looking the brighter side. Willmott, seeing more of the ball now, burst down the left wing and crossed the ball; where both Luke Berry and Elliott were laying on the floor. A large appeal for a penatly came from the United support and Tom Elliott but the referee and linesman were both unmoved.

Soon after Berry picked the ball up in midfield and played it out wide to Hughes. Hughes moved a few yards forward to the edge of the area, before unleashing a powerful low shot straight at the goalkeeper who easily gathered.

Two minutes later though, Luton took the lead against the run of play. Hughes lost the ball in the middle of the field to Howells, who played a defence-splitting pass through to Gray who slotted past Hedge from just inside the box.

In the 58th minute United did have the ball in the net again. Wellard, on the left hand side of the pitch, crossed towards Elliott. Elliott took the ball under control on his chest, set himself and slotted into the bottom right of the goal; only to be ruled out for offside.

Moments after United were punished. A Luton corner was not cleared well by United and the ball fell to Beckwith on the penalty spot. He curled the ball, left footed, past Hedge and a number of U's defenders into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.


Manager Jez George reacted by taking off Luke Berry and putting on Adriano Moke.  Moke went straight to the right hand side and Liam Hughes joined Tom Elliott upfront.

Moments later, Elliott looked to pick up the ball and race through to goal before being pulled back by Kovacs. Last-man Kovacs was given a yellow and the U's earn't a freekick on the edge of the area. James Jennings took the freekick, but it failed to clear the first man and the ball was cleared easily.

Jez also gave a second appearance to United new-boy Billy Gibson as he replaced Robbie Willmott on the 75th minute. Gibson occupied the right wing and Moke moved to the left hand side.

Cambridge did manage to pull a goal back in the 87th minute. Jennings swung over a cross towards the middle of the box which was met by Rory McAuley who's header flew into the top left hand corner.

United were unable to grab an equaliser however, as Luton saw out four minutes of stoppage time to claim the victory over the U's.

Attendance: 6,592 (622 U's fans)
    Data provided by Press Association