The future is orange – the future is Luton! Or is it?


The future is bright – the future is orange!
That seemed to be the message from Luton Town to their supporters as they ended Mansfield Town’s three-day reign at the top of the BSP on Tuesday night.
For those who didn’t go and saw the 4-1 result, it looked Mansfield had been panned.
The truth was it was a closer game than that score suggests, but with Luton always deserving the three points.
Just two goals in the last nine minutes, as Mansfield rightly went a bit gung-ho for an equaliser, finally killed off the visitors.
And it was even tougher that those two goals were a Kyle Perry own goal and a penalty conceded by the same player, who had been a two-goal hero just three days earlier!
We all agreed in the press box at the end that we did not see a side as good as Luton all last season in this league and probably won’t this season.
They look every bit the League Two side who are only here by default rather than having been a poor side last season. Only that 25 point deduction brought them here and they don’t look like they will stay long (well worth a flutter on top of your Stags bet on that form).

But I still think Mansfield are capable of pushing them hard all the way and can’t wait to beat them in the Field Mill return. And Luton have many culture shocks to overcome this season as we all know only too well.
Walking down towards  Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night brought back a lot of memories, largely bad ones about looking over my shoulder down the back streets with my lap top perched invitingly on my shoulder.
You can’t park near the ground for the match and for the residential cars who were parked near the ground, one had their side window bashed through which hardly filled you with hope your own car would be in one piece when you left the stadium late after all the post-match interviews were typed up.
An accident near Donington Services made me late on the way down (though not too late for a Pukka pie) and roadworks near Northampton produced big queues later on as we tried to stay awake long enough to get home.
Stags fans were fantastic on the first day against Crawley with their backing. But the noise those ‘mad Hatters’ made on Tuesday was something else.
It was a crescendo of vitriol – a constant barrage of aggression that will make it a very intimidating place to go for away teams, fans and referees alike.
Every single decision was contested on the pitch by their players and in the stands by their fans. Every Stags tackle was a foul, in the box was a penalty, everything the referee gve Mansfield was wrong.
If Field Mill is to be a fortress, Luton will be a giant castle with several moats (possibly cleaned out by the local MPs on expenses)?
It was funny to hear the home fans taunt Stags about their poor away following. Over 500 Stags fans were there so, on those standards, they will have a big shock as the season unfolds when several of the also-rans in this league bring just three men and a dog to their away section.
‘You’ve never won a thing’ from the Luton fans was countered by ‘You’re not famous anymore’ by the travelling fans as Mansfild’s joy at going ahead was soon silenced.
Meetings between these sides have often been fiery and goal-filled affairs and this was no exception with two red cards near the end of an all-out action-packed game that was a fantastic advert for this level of football.
So now it’s on to Salisbury which will be the polar opposite of Luton.
Salisbury are a club that almost went through financially last season and play at a tiny, picturesque little stadium – one of British football’s real outposts.
Amazingly they are the only side to win their first two games and replaced Stags at the top on Tuesday.
But I firmly believe Mansfield will have too much for them on Saturday.
I did not have much time to look at the town or its surrounds last season but, for somewhere I have never had the pleasure of visiting, I will make sure I do this time as I really liked the look of what I saw.
That means throwing a tent in the car (watcc it pour down) along with a copy of the Good Beer Guide which has revealed a promising number of top quality drinking establishments in the city centre.
The games then come thick and fast with two home games in five days.
Football is a fickle mistress and the euphoria of the opening day win was washed away by the Luton defeat.
If Stags were to lose on Saturday then all of a sudden some fans would look upon it as a poor start to the campaign.
But if Stags won at Salisbury, with two at home to follow, it could be the platform that sets them up for a campaign to remember.
It is a very fine line and none of us can wait to see which side of it the Stags end up on.


One Response to “The future is orange – the future is Luton! Or is it?”

  1. Says:

    Great coverage thank you for covering.

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