Luton Town 4 Harrogate Town 0: Advertiser player ratings

A bright footballing display wasn't enough to save Harrogate Town from a heavy FA Cup third round defeat to Luton Town on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 11:34 am
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 11:54 am
Rory McArdle heads clear during Harrogate Town's FA Cup third round defeat at Luton Town. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Here's an assessment of how Simon Weaver's men performed during that 4-0 loss at Kenilworth Road.

Mark Oxley 6 - Wasn't overly-busy, though he had to pick the ball out of the back of his net four times. Can't be faulted for the Hatters' first, third or fourth goals and was probably a bit unfortunate with their second. Showed good reactions as he managed to block Carlos Mendes-Gomes' initial effort from close-range, however the ball then hit Rory McArdle and broke kindly for Cameron Jerome to apply a finishing touch.

Ryan Fallowfield 7 - Came up with an important header at the back post early on and defended his side of the field pretty well, but it was going forwards that he really caught the eye. Linked up with George Thomson extremely well in the first half, overlapped to good effect and got in behind the Luton defence time after time. But, despite doing so well to get into these areas on at least half-a-dozen occasions, was unable to produce a telling delivery. Replaced by Warren Burrell on 52 minutes due to his groin starting to tighten up.

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Nathan Sheron 5.5 - Won some useful headers during the opening 45 and came up with three key interventions inside his own penalty area after the interval. He was however easily beaten or failed to stop opponents in the lead up to all of the Hatters' goals.

Rory McArdle 6 - Like Sheron, there were some moments of really accomplished defending, though he was beaten in the air by Jerome as he flicked the ball on to set up Elijah Adebayo's opener. As the man charged with leading and organising Town's back-line, he will be hugely disappointed that the hosts were able to score four times.

Lewis Page 6.5 - Showed real desire to drive forwards down the left on a few occasions in the first half, delivering one dangerous early cross. More importantly, he stood up really well defensively and fared well in his one-on-one battles. Is definitely improving as a result of getting an extended run in the side.

Josh Falkingham 7.5 - There were one or two misplaced passes across the course of the afternoon, however this was Harrogate's captain at somewhere near his assertive best. Dictated the game during the opening period and was very much in control of proceedings for a sizeable chunk of the contest despite being up against some seasoned Championship midfielders.

Lloyd Kerry 7 - Was excellent in the first half alongside Falkingham. His influence waned after the break as the Hatters began to see more of the ball having gone 2-0 up. Replaced by Josh Austerfield on 61 minutes.

Brahima Diarra 8 - ADVERTISER STAR MAN. Missed a really good one-on-one chance that he ought to have stuck away at 2-0, but otherwise, he was superb. Once again showcased his outstanding ability with the ball at his feet and, on a number of occasions, he strolled past Championship footballers as if they weren't there. Forced a decent save out of James Shea late on.

George Thomson 7 - He combined to good effect with Fallowfield down the right, demonstrating what an excellent technician he is with some precise and nicely-weighted passing. Directed one effort from a useful position straight at Shea and drilled a free-kick narrowly wide.

Luke Armstrong 7.5 - Was tightly marked and had two centre-halves breathing down his neck pretty much every time the ball came anywhere near him, but showed up well and looked completely at home up against Championship opposition. His hold-up play and link play was tidy throughout and he threaded a lovely pass in to Diarra to put him clean through on goal. Couldn't take a difficult chance at 2-0 and perhaps should have scored late on, however his strike on the stretch was brilliantly kept out by Shea.

Jack Muldoon 6.5 - Asked to do a job on the left of a front-three and delivered a typically industrious display. Looked after the ball very well as he always does and was another Harrogate player who seemed neither fazed nor out of his depth when confronted by a team who play their football two divisions higher up the pyramid. Lost his footing in a good area during one first-half raid.