Dou­ble trou­ble as Josh bags timely two

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FIRST ROUND - By David Richard­son

JOSH McQuoid net­ted a spec­tac­u­lar sec­ond-half dou­ble, in­clud­ing a last minute win­ner, to seal Lu­ton Town’s 11th FA Cup first round win from their last 12 to de­light boss John Still.

McQuoid put the vis­i­tors ahead with a stun­ning long-range ef­fort be­fore Matt Har­rold equalised for the hosts.The tie looked to be head­ing for a re­play be­fore McQuoid cap­i­talised on a de­fen­sive mix-up to steal the win.

With only one win in their last five league games, Still con­firmed it was all about pro­gress­ing:

“I thought we started slowly but once we got into it we played well,” he said. “Away from home in the cup you’re al­ways de­lighted when you win and in the sec­ond-half we played well.”

And on Lu­ton’s hero McQuoid, Still added: “Josh’s form has im­proved since when he started here. He hasn’t had a lot of foot­ball but I think peo­ple are see­ing now that he is a good player. He has to add goals to his game so hope­fully he can do that and he has to be­lieve he can.”

An en­ter­tain­ing first half man­aged to fin­ish goal­less de­spite both teams hav­ing good chances.

Craw­ley started the brighter; keen to amend their poor home goal-scor­ing record that has seen them score just five goals in eight games.

First, Rhys Mur­phy’s dip­ping vol­ley went nar­rowly over be­fore Luke Wilkin­son cru­cially blocked Roarie Dea­con’s shot in­side the area. Lu­ton’s Jonathan Smith forced Reds goal­keeper Dar­ryl Fla­ha­van into a good save.

Luke Gut­tridge wasted a de­cent chance for the vis­i­tors, shoot­ing wide fol­low­ing some good work by Jack Mar­riott.

Dea­con’s ef­fort from range fell kindly into the path of Mur­phy and his goal bound toe-poke was saved by the legs of El­liot Justham as Craw­ley pushed for a break­through min­utes from half-time.

McQuoid started the sec­ond-half with a bang, curl­ing a shot from 25 yards over Fla­ha­van in front of the 487 trav­el­ling Lu­ton fans be­hind the goal.

Their lead lasted just ten min­utes, though, as Har­rold rose high­est to head home the equaliser.

Buoyed by the goal, Craw­ley had a great chance to go ahead but Mur­phy skied over. Mo­ments later, Reds cap­tain Sonny Bradley had the ma­jor­ity of the home fans cel­e­brat­ing, but in fact his header had hit the side net­ting.

McQuoid made Craw­ley pay for their missed chances, fir­ing in from ten yards, leav­ing Reds man­ager Mark Yates dis­ap­pointed.

Yates said: “We’re pretty solid and or­gan­ised and we’re not bad when we do what we’re good at.

“Just like we showed in the first-half, but we couldn’t quite match that in­ten­sity in the sec­ond.

“We’re on a good run in the league and long may that con­tinue.”



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