View from the pressbox: The alternative Luton Town awards for 2016-17
After covering Luton the length and breadth of the country once again this term, it's time to hand out some awards to the stars of the show.
Player of the season: There are some stand out candidates for this award, but it simply has to be Danny Hylton.
It’s never been just about goals with Hylton, as despite sending 26 of them into the opposition’s net during the course of his first campaign as a Hatter, the manner in which he leads the line has made him an undoubted favourite on the terraces, being the kind of focal point Luton have been missing for years.
A close second in the running is skipper Scott Cuthbert, who has been a colossus at times this year, the rock on which Town’s impressive defensive record has been built on.
Joint third would be Christian Walton, after excelling when on loan from Brighton in the first part of the campaign, and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu for his displays of the second half of the season, as he is now looking a proper player for Town.
Young player of the year: It couldn’t be anyone else other than James Justin. Coming through the youth ranks means an instant popularity usually, but the teenager has looked so composed at both right and left back. With a first touch to die for, he could go on to be a star in the future.
Breakthrough act: Isaac Vassell. Impressed Mick Harford enough to be offered a deal in the summer and it’s easy to see why as close up, his sheer pace is absolutely frightening. Added goals to his game as well and gets better and better with every passing moment.
Goal of the season: Few candidates this term, including Hylton’s curler at Morecambe, (so I’m told, see below) plus Jack Marriott’s effort versus Cambridge, but you’d go some way to better Stephen O’Donnell’s rocket against Yeovil Town way back in August. A real ‘pick that out’ effort.
Favourite Alan Sheehan free kick of the season: Deserves his own category as the Irishman has netted three blinders this term. Hartlepool one was a corner, but my personal favourite was against Crawley, where the phrase, ‘there’s no stopping that’ couldn’t have been put to better use.
Best moment of the season: Olly Lee’s winner at Barnet. Midfielder had received a fair amount of stick prior to the game, but had the whole away contingent at the Hive singing his praises as one with a cool finish during the 1-0 victory.
Quote of the season: Nathan Jones on Glen Rea: “If I had a kid that’s what I want, hopefully he’s not as dull as him, but that’s what I want because he’s right up there and I love him.”
Saves of the season: Three of them to pick out. Christian Walton’s brilliant stop from the spot at Notts County, Matt Macey’s tip on to the bar from Kyle Vassell’s overhead volley against Blackpool and Stuart Moore’s superb reflex stop to prevent Paul Mullin equalising for Morecambe,
Worst journey: Two spring to mind and that’s Morecambe and Carlisle.
The trip to the Globe saw me and my passengers miss kick off for the first time ever covering the Hatters, and even worse, by the time we had got there, Danny Hylton had made it 1-0 with an apparent pearler.
Also getting back from Carlisle on a Thursday night is bad enough, but when every single road is shut, it makes it twice as awful.
Back header of the season: The press corp are purveyors of the art and there have been some crackers this season, but Accrington defender Omar Beckles’ attempt over his own keeper was by far and away the best. Enough to earn the man of the match award from some cheeky Town fans who had sponsored the game too!
Best food: Wycombe. It’s always Wycombe. This time was no different as a delicious lasagna was served up. And they get extra points for dishing out more when this reporter hadn’t anticipated they would run out.