Luton Town 3 – 1 Doncaster Rovers: Match report by Lizzie Robinson
The game against Luton was bound to be our first real test of the season, unfortunately we failed it miserably…
Fresh off the back of two excellent victories over Morecambe and Newport, Rovers seemed to be indestructible. The only change Darren Ferguson made to the side was bringing in newly fit right back Frazer Richardson for Harry Middleton. This allowed Matty Blair to take a more attacking role in the side, so he was no longer playing out of position.
The Rovers side started in impeccable fashion. After five minutes we genuinely could have been 3-0 up, with both Williams and Marquis failing to put away absolute sitters and a goal disallowed for being offside. Matty Blair playing on the right hand side was absolutely key, with the width he was providing allowing us to go past the diamond in Luton’s midfield with ease, creating chance after chance.
So far this season, Doncaster Rovers have scored in every single competitive game and this hasn’t changed despite our loss. Joint top goal scorer James Coppinger slotted in his 5th goal of the season, putting the visiting side deservedly in front. After this goal, however, everything changed.
During the goalmouth scramble before Coppinger scored, Luton’s captain Scott Cuthbert got seriously injured in the six-yard box. The huge amount of time taken to treat and remove the centre back from the field completely destroyed all momentum Rovers had, and was certainly the turning point of the game.
Luton began to go on the attack, fuelled by their captain’s horrible looking injury and determined to make up for his absence. Their first shot on target all game went in due to some sloppy defending and some very evident mental fragility that had arisen after the considerable break in play. Luton’s second goal was very similar, with Marriott seamlessly sliding the ball under Marko Marosi, securing a lead before the break.
Rovers came out from half time with very little improvement. The width that helped us to create chance after chance in the first twenty minutes had totally disappeared along with any momentum we’d previously had. The midfield line-up of Rowe, Haughton and later Middleton, when he was substituted on for a presumably injured Richardson, failed to create anything in the middle of the park either, with Copps beginning to disappear into nothingness. It felt like it was only a matter of time until Luton scored a third and eventually they did.
There has been some debate as to whether Joe Wright’s challenge was actually inside the box or not, it was so close that it’s basically impossible to tell. Either way, it was the final nail in the coffin and cemented defeat to the Hatters when McGeehan’s penalty hit the roof of the net in spectacular fashion.
- Luton Town FC – After two successive defeats to teams lower than them in the league, Luton managed to bounce back and perform brilliantly to defeat us, capitalising on our sudden lack of momentum after the break in play.
- James Coppinger – The guy just keeps on scoring, although his performance was far from his best today.
- The travelling fans – Despite our players failing to turn up today, the Rovers fans did in droves. A 260 mile round trip takes a huge amount of commitment, which should really be applauded considering the sheer numbers that made it to the game and had to endure such a frustrating loss.
- The Rovers defence – I certainly hoped that our back four, which has been pretty solid as of late, would make Luton’s front two Hylton and Marriott look more like a Travelodge and a Ibis Budget, but this was definitely not the case. The first two goals were sloppily conceded and it was disappointing to see a back four that was so strong a week ago, look so out of their depth. Even the addition of newly fit Baudry didn’t help matters in the way most people expected.
- Tommy Rowe – It pains me to say this, but I kept forgetting the signing of the Summer was on the pitch. He didn’t create chances the way he usually does and didn’t impress at all. One can only hope that this is merely a blip and his performances will go back to normal sooner rather than later.
- Darren Ferguson – I’m NOT saying this result was Fergie’s fault. Far from it. I’m very much in support of the Scotsman at the helm of the team. Our form under him so far this season has been pretty spectacular and the way we played in the first twenty minutes of the game showcased this yet again. However, there is no denying that he has a huge task on his hands to ensure we bounce back against an undefeated Carlisle on Tuesday and get this run of form back on track sooner rather than later.
The DRSG sends special thanks to Lizzie Robinson for this report and Adam Stubbings who wrote the preview. The DRSG website is an open platform not afraid to publish the views of any Rovers fan however extreme. If you want your content to be made available to our audience then please do not hesitate to contact us!