December 23, 2023

The Premier League decision that keeps Alfie Doughty’s yellow card from last weekend’s postponed Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth, according to Hatters manager Rob Edwards, is “bizarre.”


Referee Simon Hooper booked Elijah Adebayo for delaying the restart as the Cherries attempted to take a quick free kick after the wingback had given Luton the lead early on by headed Doughty’s corner into the net from close range.


An hour later, Domini Solanke tied the score for the hosts. Then, the game was rightfully called off when Tom Lockyer, a defender for Luton, went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital after undergoing life-saving treatment on the field. Adebayo’s and Solanke’s goals—as well as Doughty’s assist—have been wiped from the record books. Marvelous Nakamba, the midfielder, has been suspended for five cautions, but he still has three yellow cards this season. Nakamba was previously a player for Charlton and Stoke.


Luton wingback Photo of Alfie Doughty by Liam Smith


The 24-year-old is therefore balancing on the edge of discipline with three more games remaining before the five cautions accumulate.


According to Edwards, Alfie Doughty’s reservation is still valid for a few reasons. It’s almost as if the game never happened, yet there is a booking that counts—which is weird, in my opinion. It would be beneficial if it could be altered.


In retrospect, the first half hour of the match was among Luton’s best of the season on the south coast. Adebayo scored what would have been his fourth goal of the year and third in three games, beating goalie Neto with an inch-perfect pass from Doughty. Town then paid the pay for a sluggish start to the second half, which was held back by a shoddy equalizer, but Edwards had been excited by the first half of what he had seen.


“I liked it,” he continued. We were aware that Bournemouth would strike soon, and we committed a few individual mistakes early in the second half, which put some pressure on them. It’s difficult to discuss the remainder of the game, but I was generally happy with what I observed.


“I hope they keep playing the way we’ve been playing because we had our best performance in a long time in the first half against Bournemouth. The matches between Arsenal and Manchester City were different; we were bold away from home, scored the first goal, and were starting to to take the ball more and actually have more spells of controlling the game.


“So I was really liking what I was seeing. It wasn’t perfect, still bits to improve on, but that first 45 was good, so I hope I see us really building and growing on that. I hope we can continue working the right way and the way we’re working again at the moment.”

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