LUTON TOWN 1 CITY 1
League Cup 3rd Round
25th October 1977
Luton R Futcher
ref A Robinson
City Corrigan, Clements, Donachie, Owen, Watson, Booth, Kidd, Barnes, Channon, Keegan, Power – sub Palmer(unused)
Ron Futcher scores Luton’s goal
Tony Book’s comments from The City programme 1st November 1977
We needed a result at Luton very badly. Even though the outcome was not victory I felt highly satisfied that we retained our interest in the competition by gaining a draw. You have only got to remember the outcome of the previous Saturday, when the team had fallen to pieces in defeat at home against Wolves, to realise the necessity for avoiding defeat, regaining our composure and lifting morale.
Luton have no reputation for generosity on their own ground and I have always looked on them as being a footballing side, which has meant that our task in the third round is stiffer than we would have liked. And Luton lived up to all the good reports I had received about them by turning on the football knocking the ball about well, and keeping us on our toes throughout the 90 minutes.
But my joy was that we did keep on our toes. We did not allow Luton to unsettle us despite being under pressure to do well following the Wolves let-down.
We required a confidence restorer and that’s exactly what we got. We got back to normal.
There was one particularly dangerous moment when, I suppose, the tide could have turned against us and wrecked our intentions. That was when Luton took the lead and. naturally, had their adrenalin flowing to its full.
Those are difficult moments for a First Division team that is expected to do well against a side from the lower league. The critical period is in the minutes immediately after suffering the reverse, and we rode out the crisis by equalising almost immediately through Peter Barnes.
Had Luton been able to settle on their lead and possibly revise their tactics to make it harder for us to penetrate them, then there’s no telling what the outcome would have been. But at no stage of the match did I feel less than optimistic that we would stay in the competition, the players had listened and learned well from the Wolves set-back.