Saturday 18 February 2012
LUTON v VALE OF WHITE HORSE
At Luton Regional Sports Centre
Both teams had to contend with a raging blustery cross wind at the bleak, open spaces at the Luton Regional Sports Centre but at least the rain held off until the game had finished.
The VALE playing down the slope started ominously by misplacing their first three passes to the opposition but soon settled into a scrappy game dictated by the wind.
The VALE were sharper in their passing and created considerable panic in the home defence. In the 7th minute Masters made a chance for himself and his effort from 15 metres was well parried by the home keeper and cleared before Webb could pounce. Fleming, Masters and Sewell were prompting the front players with passes but invariably a home defender would scramble the ball away as control of the ball was difficult.
After 18 minutes Crowther had his first touch of the ball and then it was to take a goal kick. Sykes played the ball to Ormrod after 22 minutes and his ground hugging effort was well saved.
The VALE had a series of corners but they were invariably taken into the wind and came to very little although Masters had an effort go narrowly wide of the upright on the one occasion. In the final minute of the half Fleming played a ball into Ormrod’s path but his effort grazed the cross bar.
The VALE’s back four of Brinkley, Allum, Blackwell and Woodall had been totally secure throughout the first half.
HALF-TIME: LUTON 0 VALE OF WHITE HORSE 0
In the first minute of the second half a slick move involving Masters, Ormrod and Sewell released Webb but his cross shot was carried narrowly wide of the goal by the wind.
It seemed only a matter of time before the VALE would score as Webb, Ormrod and Sykes all had efforts comfortably saved by the home goalkeeper. Webb was torturing his defender but none of his wind assisted crosses came to anything.
After 16 minutes Luton broke away and Crowther had to make a brilliant save to push a shot that was destined for the top corner over the bar at full stretch.
The VALE defenders were having to work hard to nullify the home attack and it paid off in the 22nd minute when the home defence failed to clear an attack and Masters drove a venomous cross shot past the home keeper to give the visitors the lead.
The VALE pushed forward and both Fleming and Webb had good efforts well saved. The game concluded with the VALE on the attack.
FULL-TIME: LUTON 0 VALE OF WHITE HORSE 1
VALE SQUAD: Matthew CROWTHER; Sam BRINKLEY; Joe BLACKWELL; Dominic ALLUM; Dylan WOODALL; Jamie MASTERS; Joe FLEMING; Jack SEWELL; Calum SYKES; James ORMROD; ScottWEBB.
Next fixture: Saturday 25 February 2012
Venue: Oxford Brookes University (Harcourt Hill Campus)
Kick-off: 10.30 a.m.