Match Reports

4-4-2, 4-4-2

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Cold yet again but today inside as well as out. On the way to the ground Ian Pearce on 3CR said that Kevin Blackwell feared we may sell 3 or 4 players, and that the FA was insisting that we cannot extend loan agreements nor take new players in on loan, such that relegation is a very real possibility. QED not worth buying. QED we go bust for good.

Could it be that bad? Well seeing Tranmere run out in a very very drab urine-coloured away kit proved it was even worse than that. Except that you couldn’t believe they could be any good in a kit that colour.

So the Town team:


Perry Coyne Fojut Goodall


Bell Edwards Spring Currie


On the bench Talbot, Andrew, Jackson, Grant, McVeigh.

A spattering of away fans, and little obvious talent to justify them apart from Chris Shuker.

An undistinguished start (and far from the first time I have written these words this season) with the only point of interest in the first quarter the departure of Paul Furlong after 15 minutes, limping off and replaced by Calvin Andrew.

A poor rendition of ‘Send Bangoura Back’ provided better entertainment than the football, until Matt Spring beat the Rovers right back on 23 and curled a lovely cross over into a penalty area notably devoid of Luton players. And seconds later Andrew and Edwards set up Currie for a beauty of a curler just past the post.

This catalysed the Town faithful into a rendition of Band Aid’s anthem ‘Feed the Scousers’, followed by ‘You’ll Never Get a Payrise’.

On 31 Currie hit a great shot from 25 yards which was too hot for the keeper to hold, but no Town player was following up, and what was to become the anthemic chant of the day followed, the crowd singing 4-4-2 pointedly at Blackwell.

A chant that was repeated at half time and again as the teams emerged for the second half.

No changes at half time, unsurprisingly. That would require imagination or daring or both.

A quiet start but on 55 Edwards embarked on a jinking run past three Rovers defenders then shaped to shoot. Left footed and David Edwards? What chance did the ball have really? High and wide it was indeed.

After 60 minutes the crowd became restless, and the chants of 4-4-2 resumed in urgency. Blackwell’s response was to set Anthony Grant to warm up half-heartedly.

And then, as the chants became Boring Boring Luton, Talbot stripped for action. The change, for Darren Currie, came on 67 minutes and was greeted like the arrival of the Messiah.

Within two minutes Talbot had changed the game, running at the Tranmere defence with a hitherto absent urgency and threat, and setting Spring away down the left. He fired in a rocket of a cross which the keeper clutched confidently and then inexplicably dropped. And finally Edwards managed to find the target, albeit from 2 yards.

And the magic continued as Talbot became the central figure, 3 good chances in as many minutes none of which would have occurred without two strikers. Cue chants of We Know What We’re Doing to Blackwell.

And more followed, as the Town played like a balanced and purposeful football team who had met each other at least once and enjoyed it. Remember that?

To be sure the change made the game open, and Dean Brill had to make a blinding save from close quarters with 6 minutes to go. But it was entertainment for a change not the mind-numbing stuff played with 4-5-1. Entertainment that might even reverse the rapid decline in attendances as Blackwell educated us all in tactics.

And the crowd tried a reverse education, singing “4-4-2 , It Always Works” to Blackwell.

4 minutes of added time. Which gave us several opportunities for demonstrating negativity in the corner. Boring boring Luton.

But it worked, and an important 1-0 victory.

A standing ovation for the Town players and chants of Deano as Brill came to the tunnel. And as Blackwell approached, the loudest chant of the day, 4-4-2 again, on and on an on. It annoyed him, as did a fan in the Main Stand Enclosure, who succeeded somehow in goading him into a face to face “discussion”, ended only by PC Plod. A shame for a nice and caring man. If only he could see that his football is sterile.


Brill 7 if only Deano had been playing instead of Beresford last season ?
Perry 7 calm and confident at full back and a threat going forward.
Fojut 7 as usual
Coyne 7 never tested
Goodall 7 great performance
Robinson 7 tireless and effective but defensive
Edwards 5 typical hard-running low delivering performance
Bell 6 relatively poor, but fans MoM
Spring 7 classiest midfield player on show
Currie 5 poor low effort game, but two good shots
Furlong 5 didn`t last long


Andrew 6 worked hard but never threatened
Talbot 9 clearly MoM in just 20 minutes

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