Southend United 3 Luton Town 1
This game was probably one of my favourites so far. Southend had some players back, we saw West Ham’s teenage starlet Junior Stanislas’ professional debut and, for me, Luton had four ex or loaned Norwich players I could laugh at.
Luton were absolute cack, they are in so much trouble, their only player with any class (Paul McVeigh) was stuck out on the wing where he had to chase hoofs all night. Southend started the game looking like a decent League 1 side but, after failing to score, their concentration drifted. The game was petering out when they got a dubious free kick 25 yards out on the left. Experienced heads were shoved aside by a confident 19 year old debutant who had already lit up the game with a few moments of obvious class. Stanislas took a few paces back, briefly looked up then wrapped it round the wall at pace and into the bottom corner.
After that Southend became the latest side to fail to take chances made and, predictably, Luton fashioned an equaliser from purest, filthy, green. And yellow. A McVeigh corner and Spillane header bought them level. The goal seemed to galvanise Southend’s accuracy and from then on they tore at Luton’s dying corpse for the last ten minutes, scoring two more goals. The first was a really good break down the right which saw Kevin Betsy cut inside and skim a cross over the stranded defence to the head of an onrushing Stanislas. This boy is good. The third was a formality, I don’t remember it. I was too cold for brain function by then.