Luton Town 3 Tranmere Rovers 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 06 October 2003

Luton Town secured all three points with a hard-fought and well-deserved 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers.

Only QPR are lower down the Fair Play league than these two teams but this tense contest threatened to boil over on a number of occasions.

The game started brightly with both teams playing a 4-4-2 formation as the early rain gave the pitch an extra zip.

Australian defender Chris Coyne went close for Luton on the half-hour when his acrobatic scissors kick was headed off of the line by Gareth Roberts.

Tranmere's best effort came when Iain Hume's 20-yard drive was tipped over the bar by Robert Beckwith.

Luton went in to the break 1-0 up after Russell Perrett headed the impressive Matthew Spring's cross high into the roof of the Tranmere net on the stroke of half time.

It was no more than the Hatters deserved after dominating large parts of the first half and having the lion's share of the possession.

Tranmere started the second half well though and equalised when the Luton defence failed to deal with a low cross from Simon Haworth and Chris Dagnall toe-poked the ball home at the far post.

Top scorer Gary McSheffrey restored Luton's advantage in the 64th minute. Tranmere keeper John Achterberg saved well at the feet of Kevin Foley but he was unable to hold on to the ball and McSheffrey fired into an empty net.

Forbes scored his second goal of the season and Luton's third eight minutes later and the Hatters were good value for their 3-1 win.

"We weren't at our best tonight," said Luton boss Mike Newell. "We've played better this season but we ground out a good result.

"Spring played well and the way he worked off the ball showed an extra dimension to his game."

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