Key Luton Town takeaways as Chelsea edge the Hatters to an FA Cup quarter-final spot
Being edged out of the FA Cup by the European champions without deploying our strongest XI is something that us Luton fans will take a lot of pride from.
In what was an excellent first half, we were brave in possession, aggressive off the ball and scored two very good goals.
As the game wore on, Chelsea’s quality started to show and they managed to dominate with the ball, however, it was a performance that acts as another reminder of our continued progression.
All eyes now turn back to the league, and whilst last night might have ended in defeat, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic in what remains of this season.
We are going to look at a few key takeaways from last night’s clash…
Kenilworth Road will be massive in our play-off push
Our Bedfordshire home was electric last night and a continuation of this in the league will give us a massive hand as we chase down a play-off spot.
The genuine belief that we brought into the game helped serve an excellent atmosphere, something that translated onto the pitch in the early exchanges.
Kenilworth Road has often been a fortress over the years, and should we continue to reach the levels of noise and hostility of last night, then that can only be a big boost.
Competed with the Champions of Europe with key men missing
The likes of James Bree, Elijah Adebayo, Henri Lansbury and Kal Naismith all did not play a part last night, with Dan Potts, Admiral Muskwe, Carlos Mendes Gomes and Peter Kioso being trusted from the very start.
A special mention has to also go out to Harry Isted who stepped up and made some excellent saves after coming on for Jed Steer, proving to be a more than capable shot-stopper against world-class opposition.
The fact that we performed well with so many changes is a further indicator as to how competitive our squad is this season, with those players on the fringes reminding Jones that they are competent enough options.
Harry Cornick’s composure in front of goal is excellent to see
Harry Cornick did not have much to feed off last night, and whilst he looked sharp and was brave going forward, it was his first half finish that emerged as one of the biggest talking points.
Cornick has struggled when going one-on-one with a goalkeeper at times, but it appears that he has added an element of composure to his game this season, something that has allowed him to improve his goalscoring record.
Everything about our second goal oozed class, with Muskwe coming in short to deceive the Chelsea backline, before Carlos Mendes Gomes’ intelligent and perfectly-weighted through ball was met by an equally intelligent run from Cornick, and then the finish was a confident one.
Amari’i Bell shines once again
I did not want to single out many players for putting in good shifts, because last night’s strong performance was a collective effort.
However, it would be unfair not to mention Amari’i Bell’s display as he continues to thrive at left wing-back.
Stepping up to the occasion admirably, he was once again a real threat when carrying the ball, but he was also defensively resilient.
Bell is quickly emerging as one of the most important players in our side, which is particularly beneficial for us as it is difficult to identify a deputy option in his current role.