JOE KINNEAR REACTION AND REPORT FROM LUTON SITE
The team that beat Watford had a stinker, says Joe
A disappointed Joe Kinnear was stunned after watching the side that played so well at Watford seven days earlier, play so poorly tonight.
“We never really started tonight. We didn't even turn up in the first half. That's the worst I've seen since I've been here. we're giving goals away for fun.
“I'm bitterly disappointed because we were well off the pace. I can't believe that's the same team that played at Watford. It's the same players. Only a week ago everyone was saying how wonderful we were at Watford. I didn't know they were going to put in a stinking performance, but they did and now it's back to the drawing board. We seem to have to go behind to lift ourselves up.
“But we made chances. We could have had five and Howard is the only one to come out of it with any credit.
“We gave them the first goal. Perrett should have cleared the cross. He's held his hands up - but it's too late. It's always errors. If we can eradicate those mistakes, we'll beat most teams because we'll always score goals.
“Then for the second, Coyne hasn't jumped to head it clear and it's gone through Bayliss's legs. That's the big concern.
“We thought the third was about three yards offside, but the real worry is that we're just letting in so many. we'll always get forward and nick goals, but defensively I'm worried sick. They were really poor, soft goals to give away.
“You have to look at our centre backs. They were really outstanding last season and now they've all got an error in the bag and that's the worry.
“I took Hughes off because he never got forward and got a cross in. We needed someone to get forward. Hughes doesn't like playing there but we can't have two of them tucking in. How many crosses did Hughes get in?
“I'm filling in. Hughes and Brkovic did a good job at Watford, and we told them to get forward tonight but they couldn't. They were disappointing. I don't mind one of them tucking in, but I can't have both. I thought Robinson did well when he came on.
“When you're chasing the game, you need more impetus but they were totally in charge of it and they were cruising. On the night, they were better than us.
“I was worried that they had three in the middle of the park and we had two. We were getting run ragged by Disley, WilliamsonSellars. I thought Disley was outstanding and they were quicker than us all over the pitch.
“They can't tell me why it happened in there.
“I do know that we are void of pace on the left hand side and I can't solve it within the club. We've got to do the best we can with the squad unless I get funds. I went to look at a player from Wolves last night, but he's on four-and-a-half grand a week, so he's out of our range. I've got to beg, steal or borrow and I'm trying to get some players who will come for our sort of wages.
“The job doesn't get any easier. I might have to get someone to do me a favour on a loan, but good players are all on big wages.
“But it's not all doom and gloom. we've got Aston Villa to come and maybe we'll get a few quid from that.
“But in the end, there are bigger issues than matches. No-one likes getting beaten, but we're trying to get the stadium built and to make this a stable club.”
Report from http://www.lutontown.co.uk
The Hatters gave struggling Mansfield a three-goal start and could only pull two of them back in a scramble at the end. Howard grabbed his sixth of the season and Nicholls fired one in late, but poor defending and a lacklustre performance saw the end of the unbeaten run.
The first goal came on nine minutes when Perrett tried to chest a cross from Sellars on the left back to Emberson, but only laid it into the path of Lawrence, who rammed it past Emberson for the first.
After that, Luton just could not get any rhythm into their play and on 23 minutes, Joe Kinnear brought on Coyne and played three at the back, pushing Davis and Boyce forward and sacrificing Hughes down the left.
But immediately Mansfield went two up when Sellars was given time and space on the edge of the box to set himself for a shot and pick his spot inside the post.
At half time, Joe took off Bayliss and Brkovic and brought on Robinson and Fotiadis, switching back to a 4-4-2, But within four minutes they had conceded again/ Sellars burst though from deep and slid a ball through fro Christie to run on to. He hit the ball across Emberson from the left and inside the far post.
After that, Luton tried everything and gradually got closer and closer without finding and fluency or sharpness.
Howard had a series of headers but it was not his day and they all flew just over. When he did keep it down, he hit the bar.
Perrett, too, hit the bar with a header from a corner, but through all this, Mansfield should have had at least one more. Disley charged through the centre all alone, but shot wide and Christie got to the byline but failed to find anyone with his cutback.
Still Luton looked for the opener and Crowe and Robinson were full of running but neither could get an opening for a shot and Mansfield got bodies and legs in the way of everything.
finally in the last five minutes, Luton scored twice in a minute. First Howard got his head to a Davis free kick and this time found the target. Within a minute, Davis rolled the ball infield to an unmarked Nicholls and he ran on and fired into the corner from 20 yards.
Now Luton went all out but it was too late.
This had not been the bright start with chances missed that we saw against Notts County on Saturday. Luton started nervously and Moore almost scored for Mansfield after only four minutes when he glanced a free kick from deep past the post without a Luton defender challenging.
And it could have been more than two as Mansfield began to believe in themselves after conceding 15 goals in their last three league games.
Disley and Lawrence broke upfield from a Luton corner with only Boyce for company, played it between them to put Disley in one-on-one and only Emberson's legs saved a 3-0 scoreline.
Luton had their moments, with Crowe using plenty of energy to run at the defence, but Howard was having an unhappy time and getting little constructive service.
Early on, Hughes put Crowe in to beat the offside trap but Moore got back with a good challenge.
Then Hughes set Spring bursting away and he fed Crowe who again made the byline but his cross was deflected and the keeper caught.
The closest Luton came was a well-worked free kick fro 25 yards out when Nicholls squared the ball to Spring , who drove it low past the wall and Pilkington did well to get down and push it away. Perrett led the pack charging in, but the keeper again did well to block his shot from a yard.
Apart from that, Boyce shot over from the right after Crowe set him up and Howard headed just over from Boyce's cross, but the goal would not come.
Ben Roberts failed to recover from his flu bug so Carl Emberson continued in goal at home to Mansfield tonight. David Bayliss kept his place ahead of Chris Coyne with Emmerson Boyce returning at right back.
There was no keeper on the bench and Peter Holmes was drafted in as a substitute in place of the injured Carl Griffiths. Carl Emberson revealed last week that if he were sent off Chris Coyne would take his place in goal.
The team was: Emberson, Boyce, Perrett, Bayliss, Davis, Brkovic, Spring, Nicholls, Hughes, Howard, Crowe. Subs: Neilson, Robinson, Coyne, Fotiadis, Holmes.
Home form is becoming a real problem for Luton after good performances at Cardiff, Brentford and Watford, they have now lost three at home in five league games.
FIRST HALF ACTION: Mansfield kicked off towards the Kenilworth Road end.
Moore had a header just wide from a free kick for Mansfield on four minutes that Luton failed to pick up.
Then Christie failed to connect with an acrobatic overhead kick as Luton started uncertainly.
Hughes put Crowe through to beat the offside trap on eight minutes but as he turned to shoot Moore got in a challenge and the ball went behind for a corner. Nicholls took it short but put the return from Spring high over the bar trying to cross the ball.
But Luton went behind on nine minutes when Perrett tried to chest a Sellars cross from the left back to Emberson but only laid it into the path of Lawrence, who stuck it past Emberson for the opening goal.
Hughes sent Spring bursting away on 15 minutes and he fed Crowe, who got to the byline but his cross was deflected and caught by the keeper.
Davis had to turn a Sellars cross behind on the far post after Sellars was given lots of space on 18 minutes. Emberson fisted away the corner under pressure.
Then Emberson had to collect another low shot from Lawrence as Luton could not get going and Mansfield threatened a second on so minutes.
Crowe tricked his way past Moore to the byline on 21 minutes, but cut back inside and was closed down. He tried to pick out a white shirt but passed back to a Mansfield player in midfield.
Hughes did well on 23 minutes to break two challenges but sliced his shot and it almost went for a throw.
Coyne came on for Hughes, and Luton played with a back three, Boyce and Davis pushing up to wing backs but immediately Mansfield scored a second when Sellars was given space on the edge of the box and fired inside the post.
Luton tried to come back but the passing was not there. Boyce's cross on 16 minutes was cleared and Howard, trying to hook the ball back in, put it behind for a goal kick.
Disley and Williamson broke with only Boyce back on 28 minutes but Disley's shot was saved by Emberson's legs.
When Howard won a dangerous free kick 35 yards out, Brkovic put the cross high over the bar on 30 minutes.
Spring hit a free kick from 25 yards low past the wall but the keeper got down to block and then saved Perrett's follow up shot on 32 minutes.
Crowe set up Boyce for a shot from the right on 35 minutes but he struck it firmly a yard over the bar.
Howard got in a firm header under pressure from Boyce's cross from the right after Nicholls sent him away, but he put it just over the bar from six yards on 37 minutes.
Crowe and Boyce tried to get things going but it was not happening into the last five minutes of the half, but Pilkington had to punch away a dangerous Brkovic cross from a free kick on 43 minutes.
Half time: Luton 0 Mansfield 2
SECOND HALF ACTION: Robinson and Fotiadis came on for Bayliss and Brkovic and Luton kicked off towards their own fans, filling the Kenilworth Road end. The Hatters were back to 4-4-2 with Fotiadis on the left of midfield and Robinson on the right.
Howard got a head to a Coyne free kick from halfway on 46 minutes but the keeper dropped to his right and caught the ball.
Robinson almost picked out a shot on 46 minutes and the ball fell to Nicholls, shoes derive was deflected just over.
On 49 minutes Mansfield made it 3-0 when Sellars burst through and fed in Christie, who took the ball on and hit it with the outside of his left foot from the left, inside the right hand post.
Fotiadis had the ball taken off his head on 56 minutes then Robinson went on a run to the edge of the box but could not get in a shot.
Luton were giving it their all without finding an opening and Mansfield were still dangerous on the break.
Moore cleared Spring's effort from a goalmouth scramble off the line on 59 minutes.
A minute later, Howard headed Robinson's chip back from the right onto the roof of the net.
Christie turned in the box, got to the byline and swung a dangerous cross over that everyone missed on 65 minutes.
Luton were playing with three up front but Mansfield were dominating the game and won a free kick just outside the box for some Boyce shirt pulling on 66 minutes.
Nicholls put a great ball over the top for Crowe on 68 minutes and he won a corner that was cleared at the near post.
Christie got to the byline on 70 minutes but failed to find Lawrence and Boyce got back.
Disley then burst through the middle to a through ball over the top on 72 minutes but with only Emberson to beat, screwed his shot wide.
A minute later, Howard hit the bar with a header after Crowe hooked the ball into the centre.
Then Howard's header from Nicholls's free kick from deep was glanced inches past the post.
Sellars tried an effort from 25 yards that Emberson caught above his head on 74 minutes and the Crowe got to the byline but his shot was beaten behind at the near post.
Howard had another chance with a header form a Robinson cross on 77 minutes but put it back across goal from the left and past the post.
Nicholls fed Spring with a neat low pass on 79 minutes and he ran on and shot from 25 yards but just over the bar.
Howard had another chance on 80 minutes from a Davis cross from the left corner but again put the ball just over the bar.
Spring nearly wriggled through on 82 minutes but was closed down and then Howard won a corner and Perrett hit the bar with a header on 84 minutes.
Fotiadis fired just over from a half chance a minute later.
The Howard did score from a Nicholls Davis free kick from deep after a foul on Howard.
Then Nicholls pulled another back on 87 minutes with a shot from 25 yards after Davis rolled the ball in to him and suddenly Kenilworth Road was full of noise again.
Robinson found space on the right on 89 minutes but put his cross over everyone.
Two extra minutes were shown but Mansfield played them out by winning a corner.
FULL TIME: Luton 2 Mansfield 3
Teams: Luton Town: Emberson, Boyce, Perrett, Bayliss (Fotiadis HT), Davis, Brkovic (Robinson HT), Spring, Nicholls, Hughes (Coyne 23), Howard, Crowe. Subs not used: Neilson, Holmes.
Mansfield Town: Pilkington, Delaney, Clarke, Moore, Lever (Reddington 87), Lawrence, Disley, MacKenzie, Williamson, Sellars (White A 87), Christie. Subs not used: White J, Corden, Larkin.
Bookings: Bayliss 12, Nicholls 53 (Luton) (Mansfield)
Referee: B. Knight
Attendance: 6,004, including 160 from Mansfield
Latest | September 2002