Opinion: The narrative looked too good before Luton Town's defeat at Watford
If Football followed scripts, it would not have provided football fans up and down the country with those memorable moments that fuel excitement levels and anticipation on matchdays.
Now, going into yesterday’s clash with Watford, the narrative almost looked too good for the Hatters, with Luton embarking on a seven-game unbeaten run against strong opposition, whilst the Hornets had slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Millwall, adding an additional layer of expectation.
However, derby days rarely follow form and logic, and subsequently, all of Luton’s pre-match optimism was drained away inside the opening three minutes when Keinan Davis showed great improvisation to turn in from six yards out.
Initially responding well to the early setback, Luton pressed well and were winning the majority of battles across the pitch, however, one key theme, that helped shift the momentum was Davis’ ability to cause havoc whenever Watford broke forward.
This meant that Watford started to place balls beyond the Luton midfield, and the forward was able to collect possession and turn to advance the play. Whilst a fairly simple method to help gain control, it was mightily effective and was used to break the visitors’ press.
A tactic that forced Allan Campbell and Jordan Clark to drop further back, Watford managed to fully impose themselves on a Luton side that were quickly losing confidence.
Ultimately, it was a forgettable day for the travelling Luton support, and one that quite rightly has caused real frustration, but the Hatters are still positioned well and will divert all attention to putting things right when Sunderland visit Kenilworth Road on Saturday.
The Hatters typically respond positively to setbacks like the one suffered at Watford, and whilst the wind has certainly been taken from the sails, it is an opportunity to display to show real character and a bouncebackability that is characteristic of a Nathan Jones-led team.
Trying to put a positive spin on how yesterday unfolded, and admittedly it has been difficult to do just that, but Luton thrive as underdogs, and with expectations amongst fans of other clubs rising in recent weeks, it is a result and display that will turn eyes elsewhere, for now at least.