Published: 25/02/2012 20:22 - Updated: 25/02/2012 20:26

Keane wonder strike seals place in semis


Keith Keane
Keith Keane


FA Trophy quarter final
Kenilworth Road
Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Hatters took one step closer to a trip to Wembley after a convincing win over Gateshead in the FA Trophy.

A scissor-kick from John Paul Kissock and a Keith Keane 30-yard strike direct from a free-kick gave Luton the two goals that secured their place in the semi-finals of the competition.

Speaking after the game, manager Gary Brabin said: “I’m delighted with the performance, delighted with the result, and delighted we’re through to the semis.

“We played some really good stuff and I think we deserved the win.” The gaffer also sung the praises of the goalscorers.

He said: “Kissock is certainly a player capable of scoring goals, and today he’s grabbed an opportunity with both hands and scored a cracking goal.

“The performance from Keane was him at his best and he drove us on from midfield.”

Desperate to forget the disappointment of the 1-0 midweek league defeat at Barrow, Luton were quick out of the blocks and a long-range strike from Robbie Willmott plus a low shot from Greg Taylor gave them their first glimpses of goalmouth action.

The early pressure led to the Hatters taking the lead in the eighth minute.

After build-up play with Willmott, Alex Lawless was able to cross into the box for a waiting Kissock to acrobatically slam home.

The lead could have been doubled minutes later by Danny Crow when after receiving a pinpoint cross from Willmott, the striker rattled the goalpost.

Despite Luton holding the majority of the possession, the visitors came dangerously close to equalising on the break.

Goalkeeper Mark Tyler was forced to make an impressive reaction save after a right wing cross from Craig Baxter enabled Mickey Cummins to unleash a powerful goalwards strike.

Apart from that it was one-way traffic and the Hatters looked dangerous every time they pressed forward, while Gateshead seemed powerless to prevent them.

After getting on to the end of a left wing cross from Jake Howells, Crow had a second chance to extend the lead, but visiting goalkeeper Tim Deasy did well to stop his close range effort from finding the back of the net, punching the ball away into the sixyard box, where a waiting Willmott was unable to do anything with the rebound.

On the stroke of half time a strong strike from Taylor, who impressed with his forward runs throughout the afternoon, was turned around the post.

The game continued in a similar fashion after the restart, with Luton taking every opportunity to cause problems for the visitors.

The goal that eventually put the Hatters two up had taken its time coming but was well worth the wait.

Keane unleashed a stunning 30-yard freekick which fooled keeper Deasy and smashed into the back of the net.

Lifted by the goal, Town piled forward again and Kissock managed to find space in the box and hit a firm shot that sailed just past the post. Luton now find themselves in the draw for the semi-final of the Trophy alongside York City, Newport County and Wealdstone FC.

When asked who he’d like to meet in the next round, Brabin said: “I couldn’t say.

“I’m looking forward to the draw, but I’m more looking forward to getting back with the lads and preparing for the next match.” Luton will find out there last-four opponents tomorrow when the ties are decided.

Luton Town – Mark Tyler, Greg Taylor, Keith Keane, George Pilkington, Alex Lawless, Danny Crow (Stuart Fleetwood), Robbie Willmott (Aaron O’Connor), Shane Blackett, Jake Howells, Ed Asafu-Adjaye, John Paul Kissock (Charlie Henry)

Unused subs – Adam Watkins, Lewis Kidd

Gateshead – Tim Deasy, Sam Rents, Kris Gate (Jamie Chandler), James Curtis, Ben Clark, Phil Turnbull, Jon Shaw, Yemi Odubade, Micky Cummins (James Marwood) , Craig Baxter, Alan O’Brien

Unused subs – Paul Farman, Josh Gillies, Carl Magnay

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 2,499 (88)

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