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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:36 11th August 2009

LUTON TOWN 4-1 MANSFIELD TOWN

Two goals from centre-half George Pilkington put the Hatters on the road to victory as they came from a goal down to put four goals past Mansfield Town to seal a first emphatic win in the Blue Square Premier. The Town defender had not scored in 23 previous appearances in Luton colours before he hauled the Hatters level 20 minutes after the hosts had gone behind to Scott Garner's opener. Chances rained down on the visitors' goal in the opening half but the Town failed to find a second before the break. However, that all changed on 66 minutes when Pilkington blasted his second after Mansfield failed to clear Andy Burgess' corner. The Hatters made the game theirs when Kyle Perry scored an own goal when heading home Asa Hall's cross before the game then saw two red cards in the space of five minutes. Firstly, Town's Callum Reynolds was dismissed for a second yellow card before the Stags' Scott Gardner followed the Hatters man for an early bath when shown a straight red for a nasty-looking challenge on debutant Freddie Murray. With the Hatters still well on top they made the points safe when Tom Craddock blasted home an injury-time penalty after Perry had upended substitute Claude Gnakpa.  Luton Town: Tyler, Reynolds, Keane, Pilkington, Murray (Howells 88), Newton (Gnakpa 90), Burgess, Hall, Jarvis, Craddock, Gallen (Basham 75). Subs Not Used: Gore, Beavan. Booked: Reynolds, Jarvis. Sent Off: Reynolds Mansfield Town: Marriott, Gardner, Jones, Somner (Speight 69), Armstrong, Garner, Briscoe (Clare 80), Williams (Istead 46), Nix, Duffy, Perry. Subs Not Used: Sandercombe, Graham. Sent Off: Gardner. Booked: Armstrong, Istead. Attendance: 7,295 including 542 from Mansfield. Referee: K Johnson. For minute-by-minute detail, see below: FULL TIME Luton Town 4 (Pilkington 38, 66, Perry own goal 81, Craddock 90 (pen) Mansfield Town 1 (Garner 18) Result 90 mins - GOAL!  HATTERS 4-1 Mansfield - Gnakpa is brought down by Perry and the referee awards the Town a spot-kick. Pilkington rushes forward looking for his hat-trick but Gnakpa wants it. But so does Craddock. Captain Keane had the final say and Craddock - who scored at Wimbledon - stepped up to blast the ball emphatically past Marriott to seal an impressive win. 90 mins - PENALTY TO LUTON! 90 mins -  And another change. Claude Gnakpa's on for Newton as the fourth official indicates four added minutes. 88 mins -  Sub for Town. Murray's had a good game and he's come off for Jake Howells. 87 mins -   OFF - The Stags's Scott Garnder makes it red card number two of the night as he is shown a straight red for a nasty challenge on Murray. 85 mins - Newton smashes a left-foot shot over Marriott's crossbar as the Hatters hunt number four. 83 mins - Goal number four for the Hatters is chalked off as Hall rounds off a fine move by sticking the ball in the net with a lovely finish but the midfielder is denied the goal by the flag of the linesman. 82 mins  OFF - Callum Reynolds is shown is second booking and is given his marching orders for a foul on Perry. 81 mins - GOAL! HATTERS 3-1 Mansfield - And that's number three. Hall sends an arching cross to the back-post looking for Newton but before the winger can get to it the Stags' Perry nods in past Marriott for an own goal right in front of the Kenny End. He looks like he wants the ground to swallow him up. 79 mins - Two chances in the space of a minute for Town as Burgess and Craddock combine. Firstly Burgess finds Craddock who shoots over with a left-foot shot from the left-hand edge of the area and then it's the other way around a moment later as Craddock's flick finds Burgess but his shot is straight at Marriott and comfortable for the keeper. 75 mins -  First change from Mick and it's Gallen, who goes off to a raptous round of applause from most inside Kenilworth Road. Steve Basham is on in his place. 74 mins - Wasteful play by Perry as he whacks a shot from 25 yards high and wide of Tyler's goal. 73 mins - Gallen blasts a shot over Marriott's goal. It looked like he took a nick and referee, after awarding a goal-kick is overruled by his assistant at a corner it is. 71 mins - Half chance for the visitors as Perry nods wide a Nix free-kick after Keane was harshly adjudged to have fouled the midfielder. 68 mins - More great play but the Town and it could have been three. Craddock dances around two challenges and tees up Burgess to cross for Gallen who is inches away from connecting. The ball fall at the feet of Newton who chips the ball goalwards but Hall, arriving late in the box is adjudged offside. 66 mins - GOAL!  HATTERS 2-1 Mansfield - It's that man again. No goal in 23 previous matches for the Town and he's got two in one night - and this one is with his left foot as George Pilkington slams home from 12 yard following Burgess' left-wing corner. The goal came after great play and super turn from Gallen found Murray down the left and his shot from an audacious angle was turned around the post by Marriott. Get in! 63 mins - Armstrong is again in the action as he is booked by the referee after a hefty challenge on Newton, a minute later the official has is cards out again when carding Steven Istead. 61 mins - Nifty play from Craddock tight on the touchline nutmegs his marker before Burgess swings in a vicious cross that Gallen gets a head to, but the ball bounces of Craig Armstrong which goes behind for a corner. 57 mins -  A lull in proceedings as a hush descends over the ground. Neither side have threatened to test the goalkeeper in the opening 15 minutes of this second period. 52 mins - Howls of derision from the Hatters faithful as the referee again turns centre stage when awarding Mansfield a free-kick for a high-foot by Hall. 50 mins - Referee Johnson incurs the wrath of the Kenilworth Road by booking Jarvis for a challenge that looks harsh given the Town midfielder looked to have played the ball. 48 mins - From the resulting free-kick Kyle Nix fires into the Hatters' wall. 47 mins - Booking for Reynolds, his second in two games as he upends Perry right on the edge of the area after latching on to Duffy's flick-on. 46 mins -  One change at the break and it's for the visitors as Steven Istead comes on to replace Williams, as the Town kick-off towards the Kenilworth Road end. HALF TIME: Referee Johnson calls time on the first half as the Hatters find themselves level with the Stags. In all fairness it's been all the hosts. On top in the stats but remember they count for nothing at this level. Stay tuned for the second half for more updates. 45 mins - We're going to have two minutes added at the end of this half... 44 mins - Penalty shout for the Hatters as it looks like the goalscorer Pilkington is pulled down following another Jarvis corner. 43 mins - I'm guessing you're thinking about time! For the record, Pilks' goal was the Town's 13th attempt of the evening. 38 mins - GOAL!  HATTERS 1-1 Mansfield - The Stags concede a needless corner following miscommunication between Marriott and Scott Garnder. Jarvis whips over the resulting flag-kick which is flicked on by Callum Reynolds and who's the at the back-post? George Pilkington, sliding to meet the ball with fantastic execution. The ball hits the back of the net and Kenilworth Road erupts. It's the defender's first ever goal for the Hattes it couldn't have come at a better time. Game on. 37 mins - Interesting corner routine from Burgess as he picks out Keane lurking on the edge of the area. The Town skipper nods the ball into the danger zone, but after a deflection, Marriott pounces on the loose ball. 35 mins - Make that 12. This time Jarvis shoots from outside the penalty area after patient build-up by Gallen, Hall and Craddock. 34 mins - Yet another chance for the Hatters - their 11th effort inside 34 minutes. This time another corner from Burgess is half-cleared and Keane shoots well over from 25 yards. 32 mins - Terrific effort from Ryan Williams for the Stags. He pings a first time volley that arcs goalwards and only missed the top corner of the net by a whisker. Top effort. 26 mins - Half chance for Mansfield. Big centre-forward Rob Duffy flicks on a long-ball and Tyler is quick out of his goal to beat Kyle Perry to the ball. Moments later George Pilkington shoots wide of the Hatters as the centre-half find himself in the Mansfield half. 23 mins - Another chance for the Hatters. They need to take these chances. Burgess curls in another free-kick which is headed away by Mansfield and sent back goalwards with a stunning volley by Jarvis whose effort whistles past the post. Unlucky. Great technique. 20 mins - As the Town look for an instant reply Hall sees a header blocked by what most of the crowd think is handball and as the ball drops loose to Gallen the striker's shot is well blocked for a corner. 18 mins - GOAL!  HATTERS 0-1 MANSFIELD - Well it's been all the Hatters and they been made to pay for missing their chances as the Stags take the lead against the run of play. A left-wing free-kick is headed on to the back-post where Scott Garner is on hand to tuck the ball past Mark Tyler. 16 mins - Gallen and Burgess have been a menace during the opening quarter-of-an-hour and two combine again to good effect when Burgess's outswinging cross is met by a thumping header by Gallen that comes agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. 10 mins - Well it's all Luton as another shot rains down on Marriott's goal. This time Newton runs down the right and feeds Asa Hall. The younger midfielder looks fresh despite recently recovering from an achilles injury and he tries his luck from the right-hand edge of the penalty area with a fierce drive that just narrowly missed the post. 7 mins - Third chance in as many as minutes as Gallen drives shot that whistles just past Marriott's right-hand post after capitalising on Scott Garner's defensive header. 6 mins - Another chance for the Town and again Burgess is involved. Great place from Kevin Gallen gives Burgess the chance to find the on-rushing Freddie Murray, making his debut, but the newcomers' shot is gathered by Marriott. 5  mins - First real effort from either side at it comes from the Hatters. Jarvis finds Burgess down the level who delivers a right-footed cross from the left which is nodded goal-wards by Craddock but his effort is comfortable for Alan Marriott. 1 min - We're off and underway as the Nottinghamshire visitors kick-off playing in their blue and white striped away shirts kick-off. 19:42 The teams out out on the field with the Hatters led by skipper Keith Keane. Kenilworth Road is awash with colour on a beautiful August evening, bathed in summer sunshine. 19:20 TEAM NEWS Hatters boss Mick Harford is forced into making two changes to his side following Saturday's 1-1 opening day draw at AFC Wimbledon. With Shane Blackett suspended following a red-card at Kingsmeadow and Lewis Emanuel out with a broken toe, Harford drafts in Rossi Jarvis and new signing Freddie Murray, who arrives on a six-month loan deal from Grays Atheltic. The changes are likely to see Keith Keane drop to centre-half alongside George Pilkington and Rossi Jarvis join Asa Hall in the centre of midfield. Luton Town: Tyler, Keane, Pilkington, Newton, Craddock, Burgess, Hall, Jarvis, Gallen, Reynolds, Murray. Substitutes: Gore, Howells, Gnakpa, Basham, Beavan. Mansfield Town: Marriott, Gardner, Jones, Garner, Briscoe, Somner, Duffy, Williams, Armstrong, Perry, Nix. Substitutes: Clare, Istead, Graham, Speight, Sandercombe Once again we're going to be bringing you live and detailed text updates from Kenilworth Road as the Hatters kick-off their home campaign in the Blue Square Premier against Mansfield Town. 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    Data provided by Press Association

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