A giant-killing (almost)

I have to say I was rooting like hell for Thurrock FC to take out Luton Town today...in all honesty, they deserved better than a 1-1 draw, because they played about at as peak a level as a non-league side is going to get. Their number 4 (whose name absolutely escapes me, and I'm too lazy to look it up on Soccernet) was no doubt the Man of the Match (even though their number 15, a guy who normally plays beach soccer, got the equalizer coming on as a sub). Just a few minutes in, he made Marlon Beresford save well from a free-kick, then someone else lashed one just a few inches wide. Luton were kinda lucky to take the lead right before halftime -- a Premiership keeper would most likely have punched out that cross before their guy could get on the end of it. It was well-taken though, which was lucky for the Hatters...it was the only real chance I could remember them getting in the entire match. Meanwhile, the second half was almost all one-way traffic going Thurrock's way...a non-fan would have been hard-pressed to correctly guess which one was the League side. However, their two guys up front were absolutely awful, and, as the color guy stated, playing in the Ryman Premier for a reason. Still, the equalizer was deserved, if not especially well-struck (it went in off of Beresford's face...a better keeper probably stops it, but, then again, a better striker slots it home without a problem most of the time.

Thurrock's #10 (Cliff something-or-other) should have iced the game when he was one-on-one with Beresford, but he shot it right into Beresford's grasp (reminded me of the one Bergkamp wasted against Kiev...or was it Leeds? I'm so confused.)

There's probably no way Luton lets this one get away from them at home in the replay, but well-done to the non-League outfit all the way...not only did they have the vast majority of clear chances, the referee (who was unbelievably awful, WAY to quick to produce a yellow card every 20 seconds) turned down a clear shout for a penalty. Seriously, even Alex Ferguson would have said: "Yeah, that was a penalty" were it by a Manshit United player.

However, as well as Thurrock played, a lot of this performance has to go down to the fact that Luton just isn't very good...for any side to be vulnerable to endless long balls being blasted over their back four (and when you're losing the battles for pace with a friggin' non-league team), it doesn't speak very well for your effort on the day. I can't claim to be an expert on Luton Town, but I'd have to say that Hatters supporters are quite disappointed by their side's performance.

I wonder who'll be the giant that goes out in the 3rd round this season...of course, the smart money would be on the clubs hemorhagging losses at the moment -- Blackburn, Leeds, etc. However, I also wouldn't be surprised to see Chelsea get stunned by someone...call it a gut feeling.


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