Luton Town Weekly Round-Up: Ending the Week on a High

Despite early disappointment during the week, Luton Town will be ending the week on a high. The Hatters now find themselves in 12th position in the Championship, with mid-table mediocracy being some achievement for the side who found themselves wandering the non-league just seven years ago.

The Hatters’ rise to England’s second tier has been a story of exponential success, but the Bedfordshire club have become accustomed to either a promotion battle or relegation scrap come the concluding stages of the season. This year, things look calmer for Luton, as they continue their efforts to establish themselves as a Championship club. However, this week will be one of the more eventful they will experience this season.

Luton Town Will Be Ending the Week on a High

The Hatters Draw Chelsea in the FA Cup Fourth Round

Drawing Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup brought about a mixed reaction from the Luton faithful. Some fans showed the excitement one would expect from a tie of this magnitude, but others were hung up on the fact that it will still be played behind closed doors.

After over a decade of working themselves back up the football pyramid, this match – alongside the League Cup tie against Manchester United – would have been the modern-day pinnacle. However, it will be a rare opportunity for The Hatters to showcase their ability against one of Europe’s elite and apply the pressure to the heavily-backed hosts.

Rhys Norrington Davies’ Recall and Move to Stoke

Sheffield United’s decision to recall Rhys Norrington-Davies was a huge blow for The Town, with the Welshman becoming an integral part of Nathan Jones‘ squads since his arrival in September. What made the decision harder to take, was that the 21-year-old joined Stoke City on the same day.

At first glance, Norrington-Davies’ move to Stoke seemed rather lateral and indeed pointless. But, The Hatters began starting the Welsh international on the wing, hindering his development as a left-back somewhat. Additionally, it seemed that The Potters were in a rather desperate situation, and without a left-back available, they needed to take action urgently.

Poor Performance and Result Against Struggling Rangers

On the same day, Norrington-Davies departed for Staffordshire, Luton hosted a Queens Park Rangers side, who were without a win in nine league games. The Bedfordshire side were on a run of six games without defeat at home too and were seemingly turning Kenilworth Road into a fortress.

However, a disappointing performance followed, allowing the West London side to take all three points. Charlie Austin‘s presence caused the Town defence all sorts of problems, with the former Southampton man netting on his return to the club in a comfortable 2-0 QPR win.

The Signing of Kal Naismith on a Free

Filling the void left by Norrington-Davies was not exactly essential, with both Dan Potts and Brendan Galloway returning to full fitness, but when rumours emerged that The Hatters were linked with utility man Kal Naismith, it seemed like a vital bit of business.

The Scotsman has played in five different positions over the last 12 months, meaning that when he eventually signed, The Hatters had a player who could cover all bases. It remains unforeseen whether Naismith is part of Nathan Jones’ immediate plans, but he will certainly become a vitally important player with the fixtures coming thick and fast.

Luton Town End the Week on a High

After an unimpressive performance against an out of form QPR side, visiting Bournemouth seemed a daunting task. The Cherries had scored the most home goals in the division and only sat a point adrift of the play-offs; anything other than a home win looked unlikely.

After a particularly uneventful first 25 minutes, Bournemouth were reduced to ten men when Jefferson Lerma was sent off for catching Tom Lockyer with a loose arm. Despite having the man advantage, Luton had to endure long spells of Bournemouth possession in the run-up to half-time and were lucky not to concede.

They started the second half off brilliantly, creating four clear-cut chances in the first five minutes. Midway through the second half, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored what eventually turned out to be the winner, curling in from just inside the box. A brilliant defensive display in the last 15 minutes kept The Cherries out and secured the unlikely three points for The Town.

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