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  • Writer's pictureOliver Kay

4 observations from Luton Towns' 1-0 victory over Swansea at the Kenny

Luton Town hosted Swansea at Kenilworth Road, it was Luton Town who emerged victorious, thanks to Carlton Morris' goal in the 39th minute. It was a fiesty game, which saw Russell Martin and Richie Kyle dismissed after some handbags on the touchline, but ultimately it was a game where Rob Edwards' philosophy was on display for packed Kenny to see the full transition from Nathan Jones ball. This result also gave us our first victory over the Swans at Kenilworth Road since 2001. Here are four observations from the match:

Another clean sheet for the Town

Swansea's possession dominance didn't translate into clear-cut chances, largely due to the very tidy work of Lockyer, Bell and Osho, who in particular had a sublime game. In total Swansea were limited to 9 shots, only 3 of which were on target and well dealt with by Ethan Horvath who has put that blunder against Millwall firmly in the rearview mirror. In total the Luton Town defence limited Swansea to an xG of 0.54 (in comparison to our 2.66), which is frankly exactly what you want to see when putting in steely defensive performances. This brings Ethan Horvath's clean sheet haul up to 14 for the season, currently third place in the race for the golden glove, where Ben Wilson of Coventry has 17 clean sheets.

Luton Town lack the cutting edge

Despite posting an xG of 2.66, having 17 shots, Luton Town only had 4 shots on target and rattled the woodwork twice. Seeing Middlesbrough continue to be free scoring in front of goal, it's certainly one thing to walk away with the 3 points, but in terms of putting a marker down and put the fear of god into your other playoff rivals, we haven't quite hit the right notes. Teams know they when they play Luton Town that they will get harried in possession, will face a mean defence, but they also know that if Luton don't score, there is always a chance to nick it with a goal. In our last 10 league games, we have only scored more than 1 goal, three times, each of these times being 2 goals. We are creating the chances, but now it's time to put teams to the sword. One chance in particular against Swansea, was a moment of magic from Clark, where he suckered Fisher out of his goal, with Clark opting to shoot when there was an open goal with two players over in the 6 yard box. Fortunately, it didn't cost us this time.

Carlton Morris notches number 14 for the season

Luton Town's goal came from a well-worked move involving several players, but it was Carlton Morris who applied the finishing touch, after Fisher got a hand to Doughty's deflected cross. The striker, our current record signing - who is showing why he is worth every penny, showed his predatory instincts to pounce on a loose ball in the box and slot it past the Swansea goalkeeper. Morris' hold-up play was also impressive, as it always is, bringing his teammates into the game with intelligent lay-offs. Which was even more impressive considering he was up against Nathan Wood, who had a fine game. This brings Morris' total to 14 goals and 5 assists for the season, still third in the charts for the golden boot, although he has a lot of ground to make up on both Chuba Akpom (21) and Viktor Gyokeres (17) if he wants to stick that golden boot up on his mantle. For Carlton he must be thinking, what a difference one season can make, as he finished the season with 7 goals and 5 assists in a struggling Barnsley side.

Luton Town's midfield battled hard

While Swansea enjoyed the lion's share of possession at 58%, Luton Town's midfield worked tirelessly to disrupt their opponents' rhythm, which was highly effective as Swansea usually enjoy on average 65% possession. Returning Allan Campbell and Jordan Clark were great, but Marvelous Nakamba was particularly effective in the middle of the park, harrying Swansea's midfielders, breaking up their attacks and winning his ground duels. In total he won 50% of his tackles (3/6) and 11 ball recoveries. He is truly what we needed in middle of the park, sitting in front of that back 3, patrolling the pitch laterally, rarely venturing forward. Even if Aston Villa have a clause in the loan agreement that says he has to play every game, frankly, I don't care, Marv has shown he could be the difference between playoffs and no playoffs.


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