Home Results News Table Squad Statistics

Pilgrims 4-3 Luton Town

Carling Cup

With a prize of a home tie against Premiership side Fulham in the next round going to the winners this was always going to be a closely fought contest. To add to the spice, manager Steve Evans included two former "Hatters" in his starting line-up, namely goalkeeper Nathan Abbey and midfielder Courtney Pitt. This decision paid dividends when on 22 minutes PITT put the Pilgrims in front against the League One leaders with a low drive from 20 yards out that deceived Marlon Berseford in the Luton goal. Three Luton players were booked in the first half, all for fouls on Pitt as they tried to contain Boston's "Man-of-the-Match". Luton's best chances of the first half were a deflected shot by Steve Howard that was easily saved by Abbey and a curler from Rowan Vine that Abbey once again had no problems with. The second half began with contrasting fortunes for Boston's former Nottingham Forest striker Jason Lee. On 52 minutes Luton won a corner from which LEE headed into his own net whilst under presure from a Luton attacker. LEE soon made amends however, when he headed a goal into the net at the right end five minutes later after being picked out Tom Bennett's corner kick. There were soon good chances at both ends. First Beresford was called into action to save a Pitt free kick. Then Luton were unlucky not to draw level when Howard saw his free kick cannon off the post. Luton did however equalise for the second time in the 77th minute.

This time from the penalty spot after Mark Greaves fouled Vine - Kevin NICHOLLS firing home into the bottom right hand corner. With extra time looming manager Steve Evans brought on "Super Sub" Lee Thompson for Tam McManus with less than two minutes of normal time left. It looked to be an inspired substitution as THOMPSON gave Boston the lead for the third time when he scored from close range with only seconds remaining on the clock. The joy was short lived as Luton substitute Enoch SHOWUMNI took the game into extra-time with his own short range effort two minutes into injury time. Boston went in front for the fourth time four minutes into the extra period when THOMPSON beat the offside trap to latch onto a through ball from Simon Rusk and fire past Beresford at the second attempt after his first effort had been blocked by the keeper. Luton applied the pressure in an attempt to comeback yet again. A Howard header brushed the post, then a piledriver of a shot from Steve Robinson was tipped over the bar by Abbey. A goalmouth scramble from the resulting corner ended in Boston's favour with the ball going over the bar. Boston held on though to record a memorable victory that will bring top-flight opposition to York Street for a competitive fixture for the first time since Derby County visited in the FA Cup back in 1974.

United team: Nathan Abbey, Lee Beevers, Austin McCann, Mark Greaves, Paul Ellender, Simon Rusk (Martin Carruthers 107), Tom Bennett, Chris Holland, Tam McManus (Lee Thompson 89), Jason Lee, Courtney Pitt (Danny Thomas 92). Subs not used: Paul Bastock, Greg Strong.

Match report copyright © Ken Fox, 2004.