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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town's 3-1 loss at Luton in the Carabao Cup

PUBLISHED: 22:52 13 August 2019

PP019 Luton v Ipswich Carabao Cup5-b-a

PP019 Luton v Ipswich Carabao Cup5-b-a

Ipswich Town lost 3-1 at Luton Town to exit the Carabao Cup at the first hurdle tonight. STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.

Josh Emmanuel tries to shepherd Izzy Brown to the sideline at Luton Picture Pagepix LtdJosh Emmanuel tries to shepherd Izzy Brown to the sideline at Luton Picture Pagepix Ltd

TIMES HAVE CHANGED

Almost two years ago to the day, Town came to Kenilworth Road in the opening round of the Carabao Cup and eased to a 2-0 victory. It was a case of Championship side easing past League Two opposition. David McGoldrick and Bersant Celina showed their class that day.

Tonight, the boot was on the other foot. Luton, now in the second-tier following back-to-back promotions, eased their way to a 3-1 win against the recently-relegated Blues as Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown ran the show.

Lloyd James headed the Hatters in front (8), before Elliot Lee's penalty (18) and Andre Shinnie's low free-kick (55) extended the lead. Armando Dobra grabbed a consolation (74) for the Blues.

Alan Judge charges forwards at Luton Picture Pagepix LtdAlan Judge charges forwards at Luton Picture Pagepix Ltd

Mick McCarthy, the man in charge of Town for the aforementioned last visit to Luton, watched from the stands with interest in his new role as Republic of Ireland boss.

THE CAVEAT

Luton boss Graeme Jones changed his entire team following a 2-1 defeat at Cardiff on Saturday, but was still able to bring in three Premier League loan players, as well as experienced Championship campaigners Kazenga LuaLua and Shinnie.

Bailey Clements on his full debut at Luton Picture Pagepix LtdBailey Clements on his full debut at Luton Picture Pagepix Ltd

Luke Chambers was the only Town player to keep his place following Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Sunderland.

Paul Lambert's rotation saw him call upon a clutch of semi-fit players - James Wilson, Emyr Huws, Gwion Edwards and Alan Judge all playing catch-up with their fitness following injuries and/or disrupted pre-seasons.

There were also debuts for highly inexperienced youngsters Bailey Clements and Dobra.

For Huws it was a major milestone, this being his first competitive start in more than 20 months.

Jordan Roberts battles at Luton Picture Pagepix LtdJordan Roberts battles at Luton Picture Pagepix Ltd

Even the other outfielders - Josh Emmanuel, Andre Dozzell and Jordan Roberts - have had limited game-time over the last 12 months.

It was always going to be a big ask for this team to compete against decent opposition.

SELF-HARM

Armando Dobra gets a pat on the head for scoring Ipswich's consolation goal at Luton in the Carabao Cup Picture Pagepix LtdArmando Dobra gets a pat on the head for scoring Ipswich's consolation goal at Luton in the Carabao Cup Picture Pagepix Ltd

That said, Town managed to shoot themselves in the foot when it came to the opening two goals.

Four players were in a cluster following a half-cleared corner. Brown's teasing ball back into the box took them all out, with an unmarked James ghosting in at the far post to head home an eighth minute opener.

Josh Emmanuel was then guilty of a needless and clumsy foul on Elliot Lee in the corner of the box to concede an 18th minute penalty that Lee tucked away.

The homegrown right-back didn't look to be in favour with Lambert as it is, having been left out the squad entirely for the opening two league games. This error has not helped his cause.

Luton go 3-0 ahead during the second half with this free-kick Picture Pagepix LtdLuton go 3-0 ahead during the second half with this free-kick Picture Pagepix Ltd

It gave Luton a platform to enjoy themselves.

Conceding shoddy goals that left a mountain to climb was a theme throughout last season. It continued at the weekend. And it's a habit Town need to quickly break.

DANGEROUS DOBRA

Will Norris is sent the wrong way as Luton go further ahead during the first half in the Carabao Cup Picture Pagepix LtdWill Norris is sent the wrong way as Luton go further ahead during the first half in the Carabao Cup Picture Pagepix Ltd

Armando Dobra was Town's most lively player. Operating on the left wing, the Albanian teenager produced some lovely tricks and incisive runs.

It was fitting that he grabbed the Blues a 74th minute consolation goal, rifling a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box following a run and pass by substitute Flynn Downes.

And what of the other two debutants?

Wolves loan keeper Will Norris could do little about the goals against. He made smart saves from Harry Cornick and Lee in the first half and blocked at the feet of Callum McManaman after the break. This game doesn't tarnish him in any way.

Unimpressed: Former Manager Mick McCarthy watching Ipswich Town at Luton for the Carabao Cup Picture Pagepix LtdUnimpressed: Former Manager Mick McCarthy watching Ipswich Town at Luton for the Carabao Cup Picture Pagepix Ltd

It was, however, a steep learning curve for left-back Bailey Clements. The 18-year-old was often left chasing shadows. To his credit, he did improve.

WE MOVE ON

To be honest, Paul Lambert won't be losing much sleep being out of this competition.

Skipper Luke Chambers is not a happy man after Town concede. Picture: PAGEPIXSkipper Luke Chambers is not a happy man after Town concede. Picture: PAGEPIX

This was game three of eight in a hectic opening month for a thin on the ground squad that will soon have three group games in EFL Trophy to contest. Squeezing a second round game in wouldn't have been ideal.

Town are set to be backed by 4,000 fans at Peterborough on Saturday.

We may have been starved of any sort of cup run in recent years, but it's all about being in the League One promotion mix this season.

Lloyd Jones gives Luton the lead in their Carabao Cup win over Ipswich. Picture: PAGEPIXLloyd Jones gives Luton the lead in their Carabao Cup win over Ipswich. Picture: PAGEPIX

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