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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:42 1th September 2009

LUTON TOWN 3-0 CRAWLEY TOWN

Blue Square Premier Player of the Month George Pilkington got the Hatters back to winning ways with his second brace of the season to help the Town ease to a comfortable win over Crawley Town. The 27-year-old defender, who was presented with his prize shortly before kick-off, put the Town in command after a subdued opening with a coolly-taken finish from 12 yards on 36 minutes. By that time the Town had already surpassed the six-hour mark without conceding a goal and Pilkington's strike ended a drought of 249 minutes without scoring at the other end. Crawley threatened sporadically with the pace and power of winger Kieran Djilali and striker Jefferson Lewis but in truth the Hatters were always in command and Pilkington doubled his tally shortly after the hour mark when nodding home Kevin Nicholls' excellent left-wing corner. Four minutes later it was three when Craddock - briefly overtaken by Pilkington at the top of goalscoring charts - netted his fourth goal of the campaign when heading home Claude Gnakpa's teasing cross. The Town seemed happy to declare at three and, with Crawley failing to test Tyler at all in the second period, the Hatters claimed three points, a fourth clean sheet in succession and rose back to third in the table. Not a bad night's work. Luton Town: Tyler, Gnakpa, White, Pilkington, Murray (Hall 77), Nicholls, Keane, Jarvis, Craddock, Gallen (Donnelly 82), Newton (Blackett 77) Subs not used: Gore, Basham. Crawley Town: Jordan, Rents, Hutchinson, Broadhurst, Forrest, Louis, Pinault (Malcolm 80), Carruthers, Killeen (Barton 80), Collins, Djilali. Subs not used: Rayner, Cogan, Quinn. Attendance: 6,389 (115 from Crawley) Live updates from Kenilworth Road Luton Town 3 (Pilkington 36, 61, Craddock 65) Crawley Town 0 Latest score 90 mins - I'll be honest with you, not much as happened over the last seven minutes. The Town are content with this lead and Crawley don't look like threatening Mark Tyler's goal. A fourth consecutive clean sheet on the cards here...and we've got three additional minutes here. 83 mins - Half chance for the Town as Hall heads over Nicholls' right-wing corner. 82 mins - After a double change from Crawley it's a final substitution from Mick. George Donnelly replaces Kevin Gallen. 77 mins - Double change from Mick. Asa Hall is back. He's on for Murray while Shane Blackett's on for Adam Newton who's had a good game down the right. Shane's gone left-back and Hall joins Keane and Nico in the middle with Jarvis moving to right midfield. 76 mins - Super run from Claude down the right flank sees him win a free-kick right on the edge of the Crawley penalty area. Nico curls the resulting set piece to the back stick which finds an outstretched Alan White who can only guide his effort straight into the arms of Jordan. 74 mins - More great play this time from messrs Craddock and Jarvis. Jarvis plays a delightful ball into the striker's pass and the Town goalscorer is thwarted by a good stop from Jordan. 72 mins - Not a chance as such but lovely quick, precise and zippy interplay from the Hatters involving Gallen, Craddock and Jarvis on the edge of the visitors' penalty area draws applause from the Kenilworth Road faithful. 66 mins - Chance for Crawley to reduce arrears but Dominic Collins, the Reds Devils' centre-back fires well over the cross bar when well replaced to reply but it stays three-zip. 65 mins - GOAL! HATTERS 3-0 Crawley - Tom Craddock obviously didn't take too kindly at being demoted to second top scorer so he's gone and levelled things up by heading the Town's third of the night. Super wing play by Newton down the right sees the former Brentford man deliver an inch-perfect cross to the back-post where Craddock is waiting. He makes a decent connection and forces Jordan into action but it's seemingly too powerful for the keeper and the ball squirms over the line. The Town are coasting now... 61 mins - GOAL! HATTERS 2-0 Crawley - Would you believe it? It's that man again. He's a centre-half and now he's our leading goalscorer. Gallen and Jarvis do well to win a corner down the left and Nico swings in a delicious corner that looks like it's already in but Pilks is there to nod home from a yard for his second of his game and his fourth of the season. Get in! 54 mins - Tonight's gate has just been handed to me another top attendance for the BSP: 6,389 including 115 from Crawley. 52 mins - But that all changes when a fantastic cross-field pass from Newton down the right finds Craddock at the back-post. He gets the better of marker Daniel Forrest to blast a shot goalwards that flashes across Jordan's goal. Unlucky. Great pass and great play. 50 mins - Not much news to report in the last five minutes - neither side have threatened so far... 46 mins - The Town get us underway for the second period kicking towards the Kenilworth Road end and there are no changes for either side at the interval. HALF-TIME - And that's the half-time whistle. The Hatters have finally broken their duck in front of goal. It's been pretty comfortable so far but we're in front and that's all that matters! Join us for updates in 15 minutes and apologies for the delay in getting to you all. 44 mins - Another chance for the Red Devils and its Louis again. He looks lively and tries a snap-shot after shifting past Nicholls and Gnakpa to fire straight into the arms of Tyler. 42 mins - Crawley have been second best but that's not to say the Hatters have been brilliant. Far from it. But they have a chance to equalise when the ball drops to Lewis Killeen 20 yards out but he can only drill the ball wide of Tyler's left-hand post. 41 mins - A chance for 2-0 Town. Nicholls whips in a fine delivery from the right and Gallen gets up to nod goalwards that flies narrowly over Jordan's crossbar. 39 mins - For those interested Pilks' goal ended the Hatters' own drought of 249 minutes without a goal. 36 mins - GOAL! HATTERS 1-0 Crawley - Crawley fail to clear Nico's right-wing corner and the ball falls to the feet of Craddock. The striker looks up a lofts across to the back post to Newton who wins the ball jumping with the Crawley keeper. The ball falls nicely for who else but George Pilkington - winner of the Blue Square Premier Player of the Month award before kick-off - to slot home his third of the season. All 10 Town players then rush to bench to celebrate with Mick and co. A nice touch. Get in! 29 mins - Great chance for the Hatters. Gallen again does well to hold the ball. It looks like he's got no-where to go but a fancy back-flick intelligently find the on-running Rossi Jarvis. However it falls to the midfielder on his weaker left foot and he can only guide the ball past Jordan's left-hand post. 25 mins - Bit of an update, only to tell you it remains pretty quiet here at Kenilworth Road. The Town are well on top but have yet to call visiting keeper Nick Jordan into any meaningful action. Yet... 19 mins - Chances at both ends for either side in the space of 60 seconds. Firstly Craddock miskicks when well positioned and then the Reds spring on the counter with the pace of Kieran Djilali down the right flank. The winger ghosts past Murray and whips in  vicious low cross that eludes everyone in the box. Jefferson Louis then picks up the loose ball, beats Gnakpa and fires a shot towards Tyler's near post but it's easy for the Hatters' stopper. 15 mins - A half chance for the Hatters. Gallen does well to hold the ball up down the right flank. He finds Newton who delivers a cross to the back stick where Freddie Murray is waiting but the left-back can only guide his volley over Nick Jordan's crossbar from eight yards. 13 mins - Just back-tracking while I catch up I can tell you that after five minutes the Town had gone six hours without conceding a goal. Not bad going, eh? Michael Mackay was the last man to score past Mark Tyler 400 minutes a go... 10 mins - No action to report of note, but the Town are lining up with a 4-3-3, a formation similar to last season. It's a back four with a narrow midfield trio of Nico, Keane and Jarvis with Gallen up top supported by Newton on the right and Craddock on the left. We're live at Kenilworth Road for live updates...sorry we're a bit late. A problems with the programme printers means your writer has had to print inserts for the last two hours. No excuse but we're now. Tonight's teams: Hatters' boss makes one change to side that drew 0-0 at Kettering Town on Saturday. It's an inforced one with Andy Burgess suffering a hamstring injury at Rockingham Road he is replaced by Claude Gnakpa. Asa Hall is back in the Town squad and is named amongst the substitutes. Luton Town: Tyler, Gnakpa, White, Pilkington, Murray, Nicholls, Keane, Jarvis, Craddock, Gallen, Newton. Substitutes: Gore, Blackett, Hall, Basham, Donnelly. Crawley Town: Jordan, Rents, Hutchinson, Broadhurst, Forrest, Louis, Pinault, Carruthers, Killeen, Collins, Djilali. Substitutes: Rayner, Malcolm, Cogan, Quinn, Barton.  
    Data provided by Press Association

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