United have now kept two consecutive clean sheets in the League. They managed that feat only twice all of last season: in January (Notts County home, 4-0, and Blackpool home, 0-0) and March (Cheltenham away, 1-0, and Stevenage home. 0-0).
Jevani Brown is the fourteenth United player of that surname in the club’s history. His predecessors were Sid from the 1920s, while the Thirties saw two Bobs, plus the enigmatic C, CO and W (reportage was not big on first names in those days). The Forties introduced Eric, WH and Neville, then there was a large gap until the more recent Mick (1968-69), Danny (2006-08), Simon (2009-11) and Jason (2013-14).
Unsurprisingly, Smith is the most popular surname in United’s history with 19 entries, followed by the Browns, then Taylor (12), Wilson (12), Johnson (11), Robinson (11) and Walker (10).
Today’s attendance of 3,573 is the first ever recorded instance of that number for a crowd at a United game. The nearest previously was 3,574, for a home Southern League game against Margate on 1 May 1968, which the U’s won 4-1 thanks to goals from Ian Hutchinson (2), Billy Wall and Alan O’Neill.
That figure was also recorded on 10 December 2002 at Kenilworth Road, Luton, when United won a LDV Vans Trophy Area Quarter-Final 2-1 on an extra-time golden goal from Luke Guttridge on a freezing sub-zero night. Tony Thorpe had given the Hatters an early lead, but Terry Fleming equalised just before the hour.
United team: Marshall, Tann, Jordan, Duncan, Angus, Guttridge, Tudor (Nacca), Youngs, Riza, Bridges (Chillingworth), Fleming.
Luton team: Ovendale, Boyce, Hillier, Coyne, Davis (Kimble), Robinson, Spring, Hughes, Brkovic, Thorpe (Fotiadis), Crowe (Holmes).
Forde 7. Little to do.
Halliday 8. So good to have the best right-back in the division playing again.
Legge 7. Solid effort.
Taylor 7. Stuck to his task.
Dunk 7. Good attacking support.
Deegan 9. The fulcrum.
Elito 6. The usual curate’s egg.
Brown 9. As assured a League debut as one could ever wish to see.
Maris 8. Bundle of energy.
Azeez 7. Fine movement, but woeful finishing.
Ikpeazu 8. Led the line with his usual twinkle-toed power.
Mingoia 6. The odd decent cross.
Osadebe 6. Fairly quiet League debut.
Ibehre 6. Unable to make much of an impact.
United responded to Luke Berry’s departure and criticism of their dour style of play with a vastly improved display of open attacking football which entertained the Cambridge masses but just lacked that vital quality in the final third. Something to build on, at least.
Man of the Match
Gary Deegan. Ran the engine room with authority and pinpoint passing.
Horwood 5. Awarded far too many soft free-kicks to tumbling Morecambe players and against a mostly innocent Ikpeazu.
Soundtrack of the Day
Wolf Alice “Beautifully Unconventional”