On Saturday we played a Luton Town team who were much better than their recent run of results suggested. Their captain said after the game that they had now started fielding a settled and more consistent side - and that’s exactly what they were.
Ricky started with what could have, if anyone was timing, won the fastest goal of the season award. Almost straight from the push back, some slick passing down the right side. Bo took it into the D, dribbled across the goal and put a well timed reverse hit low to the keepers right. 1-0.
It wasn’t quite plain sailing after that though. Luton equalised after 10 mins from open play. An attack in which Ricky had ample opportunity to clear their lines. 1-1 and a wake up call.
Good pressure from Ricky over the next 15 minutes forced a handful of short corners. From one of these Tim pushed the ball left to the grateful Johnny O’Farrell who swept the ball into the goal from a few yards out. There was some umpire discussion about whether it was a high first strike but it was cleared without the use of VAR. Goal! 2-1 to Ricky.
Luton then put on some pressure of their own and scored a similar equaliser from a short corner. Their initial shot was only half blocked at the top of the D and the ball deflected straight to a Luton attacker. He did well to solidly direct his shot past Ricky keeper Sean into the goal.
Half time score 2-2.
Good Ricky pressure early in the 2nd half earned some more short corners. From one of these an attempted flick at goal deflected to Gavin on the left who connected with the ball very cleanly from 8 yards out to drive it past the keeper. 3-2.
There followed a lot more pressure from Ricky, who were looking to make the game safe. However, one well executed counter-attack later and we are back to square one. A fast break by Luton down their left was followed by a very good cross. The ball fell perfectly to the Luton striker who put a well timed shot into the Ricky goal. 3-3.
The Ricky team then showed lots of character by pushing forward again to try to get a winning goal. More short corners followed. This time a low direct shot from Tim beat the keeper to his right and we got our noses in front again. 4-3.
Ricky then wisely decided to batten down the hatches and protect their lead. Wise words from Johnny at this point “Let’s defend, we’ve got more to lose than they have now”. And so it prevailed, Luton had a few half chances but couldn’t find another equaliser. Final score 4-3.
A few wobbles this week, perhaps understandable given a slightly makeshift defence. It was ultimately a solid team performance and we just about did enough to deserve the win
Next week Ricky 2s are away in Potters Bar who will try very hard to end our recent good run of results.