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22:52 29th September 2009


A goal five minutes from time from Stevenage's Scott Laird consigned the Hatters to their first defeat in the Blue Square Premier at Kenilworth Road.

The Boro left-back hit an unstoppable effort past Town goalkeeper Mark Tyler to give Graham Westley's side all three points.

It had looked as though the game was going end in a disappointing stalemate as neither side threatened to break the deadlock until Laird's late winner.

The Hatters came within a whisker of an earning a last-gasp point when substitute Claude Gnakpa saw a shot turned around the post in the fourth minute of injury time.

It could have been so different had George Pilkington's shot on 68 minutes that hit the post go the other side of the post.

In truth both sides failed to create any meaningful chances until Laird's late sucker punch.

For a minute-by-minute digest see below:

Result from Kenilworth Road

Luton Town 0

Stevenage Borough 1 (Laird 85)

Full time

FULL TIME whistleLuton Town 0-1 Stevenage Borough

90 mins + 4 - Oh that was nearly the equaliser but Day has pulled out all the stops to turn Gnakpa's shot around the post. Incredible save. That looked for all the world a goal.

90 mins - Wright's won his fair share of flick-ons and does so again but Craddock can't get on the end of another one as the Hatters try in vain to find something.

88 mins sub Last throw of the dice from Mick as Ryan Charles replaces Howells.

87 mins - Kenilworth Road has been stunned into silence. Can the Town find an equaliser from somewhere to claim a point?

85 mins - GOAL Hatters 0-1 STEVENAGE - Stevenage have broken Hatters hearts with a goal five minutes before the end. Substitute Odubade feeds Laird overlapping down the left-flank and the left-back drills an unstoppable shot beyond Tyler with the outside of his boot into the corner of the net.

80 mins sub Second change from Mick as Nico - on a booking - is taken off and is replaced by Ben Wright. He's a big lad and he's gone straight up-top to partner Craddock.

76 mins - There's 8,223 inside Kenilworth Road this evening - indeed the highest of the season so far aided by 793 backing Boro.

73 mins - Westley's made his second change bringing possibly their pick of their players on the night - Drury - off for Yemi Odubade.

68 mins - Oh it should be 1-0 to the Town as from Nicholls' deft free-kick from outside the area, Roberts mis-kick finds Craddock who heads the ball which falls to Pilkington whose shot on the turn strikes the outside of the post from six yards. So close!

66 mins sub Change for Town as Asafu-Adjaye is replaced by Claude Gnakpa.

64 mins - Great chance for Boro as the Hatters are indebted to Tyler and Asafu-Adjaye from preventing the visitors from taking the lead. Boro break down the right flank with Joel Byrom. Is cross is past Tyler but Ed is on hand to clear the danger. However the defender's clearance goes straight to Chris Beardsley who sees his fierce shot from close range superbly blocked by the Hatters' keeper.

62 mins - Tyler's again involved as he comfortably gets across to stop Michael Bostwick's downward header from creeping in following another corner from Drury.

61 mins - Change for the visitors as Westley makes his first move introducing Yemi Odubade for Cole.

58 mins - More encouraging play from the Hatters as they move the ball nicely from left-to-right. Newton runs goalwards and picks out Craddock on the edge of the Boro area. The striker takes one touch before firing the ball over the crossbar. That's better.

55 mins - Back come Boro and it's the first meaningful action for Tyler as he dives to his left to keep out Drury's curling shot from just outside the area.

53 mins - Good chance for the Town this time but Laird this time wins the battle against Newton as he bravely gets in the way to block the winger's shot from 12 yards.

52 mins - Last time out at Kenilworth Road the Town's win over Barrow came as a result of a fortunate cross-cum-shot from Newton. He beats Laird down the right to swing in a cross but his effort this time sails well over Day's bar.

50 mins - Back come the Hatters as firstly a strong run down the left by Howells sees his dangerous low cross turned behind by Roberts and from Nicholls' resulting corner, Howells hooks the ball over Day's crossbar from outside the penalty area.

47 mins - First chance of the second half falls to the visitors as Drury feeds Cole who drives a shot straight at Tyler from 12 yards.

46 mins - Both sides are ready and it's the Town that get the second period under way. Come on Luton!

21:01 - The Hatters are back on the pitch ready for the second half closely followed by Stevenage. There doesn't appear to be any changes for either side at the break...

HALF TIME whistleLuton Town 0-0 Stevenage Borough - Not the greatest of halves you are ever likely to see in the world let's hope the boys come out like they did in the second half at Cambridge. We'll be back in 15 minutes for the second-half updates. See you then.

45 mins + 1 - Decent bit of play between Nicholls and Craddock sees the latter attempt to find Newton but Boro are able to clear their lines.

45 mins - We've got two additional minutes at the end of this first half.

44 mins - Nico's in the book for the Hatters after the captain reacts to Darren Murphy's robust challenge on him in the centre-circle.

39 mins - Let off for the Hatters as it looks as though Ed sends Mitchell Cole tumbling in the box as Boro midfield rushed into the box down the left-flank. The visiting players can't believe it and after Hall has an effort at the other end for the Town they angrily surround referee Smedley and Cole is booked.

35 mins - Great defending from Brough for Boro as he heads away Nico's deft free-kick at the back post. Hall was waiting behind the Stevenage man for a simple tap-in.

31 mins - First real chance for the Town as Newton does well to cut inside into the penalty area. He misplaces his pass but it falls to Hall six yards out. He escapes the attentions of Chris Day in the visitors' goal, spins and tries a shot but Day is back on his feet and block's Hall's shot to win the Town's first corner of the night.

30 mins - Half chance - if that - from Boro as Laird chances his luck from 25 yards with a left-footed shot that curls harmlessly away from Tyler's goal. A bit of a waste.

26 mins - Sorry folks, still here...but still very little to report. Stick with us.

22 mins - Another danger cross from Drury who is popping up all over the pitch for Boro. He delivers across from the left this time which Charlie Griffin gets a head to but it lacks the direction and power and it's comfortable for Tyler.

19 mins - Boro go up the other end and their fans think they've got a case for a penalty as left-back Scott Laird goes down under a challenge from Newton but the winger's tackle is timed to perfection to clear the danger. Super challenge.

18 mins - A bit of excitement for the Hatters as Murray finds Craddock who sets Jarvis haring down the right-wing at pace but his deep cross to the back stick finds Howells who can't control it properly and the chance goes begging. That's better.

16 mins - It's very low key. Stevenage have threatened from a few corners with Mark Roberts glancing a right-wing corner from Drury well wide of Tyler's right-hand post.

12 mins - Decent opening for the visitors as Drury shrugs off the challenge of White to drive goalwards but Pilkington's seen the danger well and quickly douses the the problem by conceding a corner.

9 mins - Still no chance of note report as Newton tries to wriggle free down the right. He finds Hall inside the Boro box but he can't quite pick out a man the visitors are able to clear the danger.

6 mins - It's been a quiet start here and Stevenage are probably about on top in the opening exchanges.

3 mins - It isn't the 4-4-2 we were expecting really as Asa Hall is playing much deeper. There's still plenty of width there with Newton and Howells on either wing. Asa will no doubt play behind Tom Craddock and use his height to an advantage - he's pretty good with his head that boy.

2 mins - Ed Asafu-Adjaye is back in the Hatters side for the first time this season and his first touch is a vital one as he clears the danger following Andy Drury's low right-wing cross.

1 min - We're off as the visitors get us under way kicking towards the Kenilworth Road end with the Town attack the Oak.

19:55 - The two sides enter the ground to a fanastic reception by both sets of fans with the Kenilworth Road end in good voice in particular. Both sides are sporting their usual colours, Town in orange and white and Boro in white and red. We're nearly all set as the two captains meet the mascots and the officials. The ground looks packed to the rafters! Come on you Hatters!

19:47 - The ground is filling up nicely and Stevenage a brought a decent crowd from Hertfordshire. It's will be largest attendance of the season so far at Kenilworth Road. It promises to be a top atmosphere.

19:38 - We've just been told the kick-off has been delayed here at Kenilworth Road to crowd congestion around the ground. So it's an 8pm start...Hopefully not influenced too heavily by me asking all of you to come along that hadn't previously thought about it!

19:20 - The ground is filling up nicely. It's a warm night here at Kenilworth Road as the Hatters hope to get their first back-to-back wins since August. If they play like they did at Cambridge then they have a great chance but Stevenage will be a test. The Herfordshire side have had a good season so far only losing once. As I've already mentioned, if you're sitting at home and you don't live to far away and still fancy coming down - now's the chance! Let's really get behind Mick and the boys!


Stevenage Borough: Day, Laird, Murphy, Griffin, Byrom, Roberts, Brough, Beardsley, Cole, Drury, Bostwick.

Substitutes: Bayes, Odhiambo, Albrighton, Odubade, Vicenti.


Hatters team news - It's three changes from Saturday and Kevin Gallen hasn't made it. Kevin Nicholls, Ed Asafu-Adjaye and Tom Craddock all come into the Hatters' starting XI for Gallen, Claude Gnakpa and the suspended Liam Hatch. We're thinking it's 4-4-2 with Asa up-front. New loan signing Ben Wright is named on the substitutes' bench.

Luton Town: Tyler, Asafu-Adjaye, White, Pilkington, Murray, Newton, Nicholls, Jarvis, Howells, Craddock, Hall.

Substitutes: Gore, Blackett, Charles, Wright, Gnakpa.

18:00 HatGood evening all supporters to to our text updates service as the Hatters are back in action looking to build on Saturday's epic 4-3 win over Cambridge United with another three points against near neighbours Stevenage Borough.

We're live at Kenilworth Road as Mick Harford's men look to continue their fine form at home this season as they aim for their fifth win in six matches in front of the Kenilworth Road faithful. A big crowd is expected so if you have a late change of heart and fancy coming down to back the lads - what are you waiting for? Tickets can still be bought on the night!

In the next hour keep an eye on the site as we'll have team news for you. Nico is back in the squad but is Kevin Gallen fit to pick up from where he left off following his double against Cambridge?

On tonight we'll have all the usual updates keeping you bang up-to-date with all the action - and in a number of ways.

There's none of those boring ball-by-ball "defensive thrown-in taken by Luton left-back" updates as we continue to try and bring you an updated and detailed text commentary. This is a great way to keep in touch and has been popular to those supporters not able to get to a computer or a radio as the service is also available and is updated live on our WAP site.

For those who can tune in, then Hatters Player subcribers should look no further than the live commentary. As ever the commentary is brought to you by Simon "Statto" Pitts who was - like us all - caught up in the absolute bedlam at the Abbey Stadium! A true fan on the mic you're not likely to hear anything like it anywhere else!

And after the action has finished Hatters Player subscribers will get to watch all the post-match interviews from all the men that matter tonight.

But for those without Hatters Player fear not: we'll have plenty of content to keep you interested as we'll have Mick's post-match thoughts as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle.

And if you want more and feel like interacting with us and fellow Town fans, don't forget we're also on twitter and Facebook so feel free to get involved! Join the updates and get in touch!

The lads are looking to bounce back with three points! Come on you Hatters!

Hatters Player

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