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17:11 20th March 2010


A superb volley from Jake Howells and a brace from Kevin Gallen earned the Hatters' their fourth straight victory in the Blue Square Premier to increase the pressure on the league's top two. The Town certainly didn't have it all their own way against Steve Burr's Kidderminster who came into the game fresh from an FA Trophy thumping at Stevenage. However, the Hatters got the ball rolling on 23 minutes and in some style when Howells finished brilliantly with a left-foot volley that bent and curled past Ross Atkins in the visitors goal, in off the post. Seven minutes later the Town doubled their lead when Gallen struck the first of his two goals when rifling a free-kick through a sea of bodies from inside the D despite the best efforts of Atkins to keep it out. Back came Harriers and they reduced the deficit just three minutes later when James Lawrie smashed a fine effort past Mark Tyler from 18 yards after the Town could only half-clear Brian Smikle's left-wing cross. As the visitors pressed the Hatters were indebted to Tyler on 41 minutes with a great stop to deny a goalbound Chris McPhee shot from creeping in. The Hatters dominated the second period and after peppering Atkins' goal Gallen scored his second of the night and his 11th of the season when taking a pass from Keith Keane and finishing with great confidence from a tight angle on 57 minutes. Harriers rarely threatened after going two goals behind again and the Town were able to hold onto a comfortable victory. Full report to follow. For minute-by-minute analysis, see below. Result from Kenilworth Road Luton Town 3 (Howells 23, Gallen 30, 57) Kidderminster Harriers 1 (Lawrie 33) Final score FULL-TIME LUTON TOWN 3-1 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS - And game, another win for the Town as they register win number four on the spin. Stay tuned for reaction, photographs and highlights all on Get in! 90 mins - Gallen has an opportunity to score his treble direct from a free-kick just outside the box but he flashes a fierce shot over the crossbar. We've got three additional minutes to play. 89 mins - We're inside the final minute...still 3-1. 87 mins  Make that two now as Hall replaces Keane. Tonight's match sponsors, NICEIC, have named two-goal Gallen as their man-of-the-match. 85 mins  First change of the tonight for the Town and it's Barnes-Homer on for Claude. Both players receive a tremendous ovation from the Kenilworth Road crowd. 81 mins - Great chance for 4-1 and Gallen's hat-trick as Asafu-Adjaye surges forward down the right and picks out an unmarked Gallen inside the penalty area. He should shoot first time but opts to come inside and by that time the visitors have funnelled back and close the striker down. Unlucky. 77 mins - Back come Harriers as Tyler is required to cherry pick another shot from range from the visitors as Lawrie looks for his and Kiddy's second. 75 mins - It's all the Town now as they look to put this bed. Keane sweeps a lovely cross-field pass out to Gnakpa down the right. He surges past Baker with ease and drills a low cross into the six yard box that Riley has to do really well to clear with Gallen sniffing for his hat-trick. All round good play. 70 mins - Harriers certainly aren't going down without a fight - and that's hardly surprising as Smikle - now playing down the right - centres a dangerous cross that Kovacs does well to head over his own crossbar with Matthews lurking. 68 mins - Murray's the second Luton man in referee Coote's book. Meanwhile, the attendance at Kenilworth Road is 5,908, which includes 79 from shouting for Kiddy. That's the second lowest of season. 64 mins - Gallen's second means the striker takes his tally to 11 for the season. That aint half bad is it? Question is, will he get a chance to grab a hat-trick? 62 mins - Tyler is called into action again as the Town are caught short at the back. Smikle feeds Byrne on the left-side of the penalty area but his attempted placed-finish is easily saved by the keeper. A good chance missed. 61 mins - Chance for the visitors direct from a set-piece. Referee Coote has given Harriers their fair-share of them tonight. From 20 yards Matthews blasts a shot goalwards, travelling at speed but its straight down Tyler's throat. Easy take. 57 mins  GOAL! HATTERS 3-1 Kidderminster - And something does happen. Harriers give the ball away, straight to Keane who finds Gallen racing through the left-hand channel. With Harriers looking for offside the striker worms his way past his marker before lashing an uber-confident shot straight past Atkins from an acute angle. No way the keeper could get to that. Class finish. Get in! 55 mins - Honestly, not much is happening out there as Howells and Craddock combine well down the left but the latters shot from the edge of the penalty is charged down. Still 2-1... 52 mins - Elsewhere in the BSP leaders Stevenage are a goal up against Histon while play-off rivals Mansfield and York are holding each other at a 0-0. Kettering are 2-0 down at Altrincham. 50 mins - Not much by way of incident has happened at the beginning of this half. Keano's in the book for a sycthing challenge on Courntey but that's about it. 46 mins - By the way, no changes at the break for either side. 46 mins And we're off again as the Town begin the second half  with Kidderminster shooting towards their band of fans behind in the Oak Road end. 45 important minutes left. COYH! HALF-TIME LUTON TOWN 2-1 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS - Referee Coote calls time on the first half at Kenilworth Road and it's the Town who have a first half lead. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half updates. COYH! 45 mins - We've got one additional minute to play at the end of the first 45. 44 mins - More pressure from the visitors as they look to go in at the break all square. Smikle sends a raking pass down the left-hand channel for Lawrie but the Harriers' goalscorer gets his shot all wrong and the ball lands up in row Z of the Kenny End, much to his disappointment. 41 mins - Harriers are taking the game to the Hatters at the moment and Tyler is called into serious for the first time to divert a goalbound McPhee shot from finding the bottom corner after the Kiddy captain had taken a pass from the sprightly Smikle. Watch this save later on Hatters Player. The Town stopper gets down brilliantly as the ball bounces right in front of him. Great save. 39 mins - Talking of close, it's heart in the mouth time for the Town as Matthews goes agonisingly close to levelling things up. He takes a pass, beats Pilkington before driving a shot that flashes past Tyler's left-hand post. All Kiddy at the minute. 37 mins - Inches from 3-1. Courtney concedes a corner under pressure from Craddock as he races onto Tyler's long punt downfield. From the resulting flag-kick from Keane, Kovacs rises highest at the back stick to power a head just wide of the post. That was close. 36 mins - Harriers growing in confidence again as Matthew fires a free-kick from fully 30 yards straight down Tyler's throat. 33 mins  Hatters 2-1 KIDDERMINSTER - No clean sheet this evening then as Lawrie reduces arrears for the visitors when shooting past Tyler from 18 yards with a great left foot shot after Smikle's left-wing cross was half-cleared by the Town defence. Game on again... 32 mins - Great wing play from Gnakpa as he robs Baker of the ball down the right and, seeing Atkins off his line, he goes for goal with an arching shot, but luckily for the visiting goalkeeper he gets back and although he doesn't catch it cleanly he's still kept it out. 30 mins  HATTERS 2-0 Kidderminster - There's that second goal...Heslop wins a free-kick on the edge of the visitors 18-yard box. The winner of the set-piece rolls the ball to Gallen who fires a low shot through the wall and beyond Atkins, who can only get a glove on the ball but it's back in the net. 2-0...get in! 29 mins - All the Hatters now as tenacious play from Keane results in the ball dropping for Craddock who sees a shot from 20 yards blocked. 25 mins - More great play from the Town now as they look to double their lead. Gnakpa squares for Craddock but - knowing Gallen is behind him - sends a Harriers defender a dummy which sees Gallen screws a low shot just wide. Great play and the home faithful are lapping it up. 23 mins  GOAL! HATTERS 1-0 Kidderminster - This time it is 1-0, and magical stuff it is too as Howells volleys a superb goal in off the post from outside the area. Wait for the highlights from this one. Awesome get in! 22 mins - Almost 1-0 as Claude's right-wing cross-cum-shot nearly catches Atkins by surprise at his near post. 21 mins - Two half chances for the Hatters in the space of 30 seconds as firstly battling midfield play from Heslop sees him barge through the challenge of two Kiddy defenders before shooting over the crossbar and then Gallen and Gnakpa combine to tee up Craddock in the six yard box for a header that is comfortable for Atkins. 20 mins - Harriers are more than in this game and clearly fancy their chances. Good defending alert defending from Asafu-Adjaye clears the danger as Baker and Smikle combine well down the left-flank. 16 mins - Half chance for the Town as they go up the other. Heslop finds a yard of space before trying his luck from 20 yards but the loanee can only find the midrift of Sharpe. 15 mins - Harriers come forward again as Goodfellow scampers down the right and sends a curling, dangerous ball into the six yard box that is always a pain to defend. Lawrie, the visiting midfielder, is first to it as he tries to flick the ball goalwards but the ball, thankfully, drifts just wide of the post. 13 mins - Smikle has looked lively down the left for the visitors as he cuts inside but his end product is disappointing as he scuffs a shot wide of Tyler's right-hand post. Not many clear cut chances here so far. 10 mins - There's a bit more noise in the ground now as the crowd murmur about a chance for Craddock. Howells expertly finds Heslop who in turn plays a sweeping ball forward to the striker who twists and turns now the left flank, gets into the penalty area but when it comes to pulling the trigger he gets his shot all wrong and the ball lands up miles wide. 7 mins - Very quiet around the ground at the minute - you could almost hear a pin drop. Anyway, I've just remembered that any "COYH" encouragment could be miscontrused as backing for Harriers. Let's make it clear now. It's not. That H stands for Hatters. 5 mins - And then Harriers do spring forward as Kovacs fails to deal with a ball he almost allows Matthews through on goal but the visiting striker can only inadvertendly poke the ball straight at Tyler. 3 mins - Very bright start from the Town - just like on Saturday. A second corner has already been forced as the hosts press for an early lead. Harriers unable to get out of their own half at the minute. 1 min - The Hatters are immediately on the front foot as Craddock wins a corner down the right which Howells takes but the visitors are able to clear. 1 min And we're off as the visitors get us underway, kicking towards the hundred or so Harriers fans who have made the journey south from Worcestershire. 19:47 RUNNING LATE Don't worry, we're not late, the players are still limbering up ready as both sets of fans give Matthew Barnes-Homer a lovely round of applause. We're almost set. COYH! Enjoy the updates. 19:44 HERE THEY COME Here come the two teams on to the Kenilworth Road turf with the Town led by George Pilkington. Harriers are in their all royal blue away strip with the Town, of course, in their now traditional orange shirts and white shorts. 19:41 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 2-0 Luton. Mark Wood: 2-1 Luton. Bill Cole: 3-1 Luton. Euan Duncan: 4-1 Luton. James Cunliffe: 1-0 Luton. 19:40 PITCH PERFECT The Kenilworth Road pitch is once again looking in a much more healthy condition. It's improving every week. Good work boys - you know who you are. 19:20 ALL CHANGE FOR HARRIERS We've spoken to our media colleagues from Aggborough and they inform us that boss Steve Burr has made five challenges following their weekend thumping by Stevenage. Marc Goodfellow, Tom Sharpe, Robbie Matthews, James Lawrie and Jack Byrne all find themselves thrown in at Kenilworth Road this evening. 19:10 UNCHANGED Hatters boss Richard Money keeps the faith with the same side that put Wrexham to the sword by a single Tom Craddock goal on Saturday. However, there are two changes on the bench with Asa Hall and Matthew Barnes-Homer in for Mark Nwokeji and Craig Nelthorpe. MBH returns after compassionate leave to be involved in the squad against the club from whom he left in December. Hatters: Tyler, Asafu-Adjaye, Keane, Kovacs, Pilkington, Craddock, Howells, Gnakpa, Gallen, Murray, Heslop. Substitutes: Blackett, Gore, Hall, Jarvis, Barnes-Homer. Kidderminster: Atkins, Courtney, Barker, Riley, McPhee, Goodfellow, Smikle, Sharpe, Matthews, Lawrie, Byrne. Substitues: Knights, Singh, Hadley, Hayward, Bignot. 18:50 ON THIS DAY A quarter of century ago to the day - 16th March 1985 - the Hatters held Sheffield Wednesday to a 1-1 draw at Hillsbrough with Mick Harford scoring our goal before a crowd of 18,856. The Town team that day was: Sealey, Breaker, Thomas, Nicholas, Foster, Donaghy, Hill, Stein, Harford, Nwajiobi, Preece. And, ironically enough eight years ago to the day, in 2002, we beat tonight's visitors Kidderminster were on the receiving end of a 1-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road thanks to Paul Hughes' strike. He later got sent-off as both sides finished the game with 10 men. 18:00 30 POINTS Hmmm. 30 points. An interesting figure isn't it? Those two words together will live long in the memory of Hatters fans I'm sure. Last season the Town were strangled by the deduction of said number of points which ultimately led to their relegation to the Blue Square Premier. Now, with that period in the Club's history well and truly behind them, that's exactly the number of points left to play for this season as the Hatters look to bounce back to the Football League at the first attempt. Ten games, 30 points. Collect all them and who knows what will happen. A tilt at the title? Who knows. All Richard Money's men can do is continue to do what they have been recently: putting pressure on the top two sides and hope both slip-up. Three wins on the bounce - at Hayes and at home to Forest Green and Wrexham - have helped, and tonight, the Town go in search of a fourth against a Kidderminster Harriers side licking their wounds following a 5-1 hammering at home to current BSP leaders Stevenage in the FA Trophy on Saturday. Beware the wounded animal then. Harriers are no pushovers so anyone expecting a routine home victory tonight should think again. Despite the defeat at the weekend, Steve Burr still holds an unbeaten league record with the Aggborough outfit and, with play-off aspirations themselves, they will be intent on getting a result tonight... Well, whatever happens this evening your official website will have everything covered: every step of the way. If you can't make the match then we'll have all the goals and incidents as it happens live with the usual news in the run-up to kick-off with team line-ups and plenty of chat as your official website has, as ever, 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. On Hatters Player you all have access to our live commentary. Remember, Player is available as ever which means you all have access to our live commentary. If you haven't heard it yet then where you have been? It's brought to you by Simon "Statto" Pitts - who is quickly making a name for himself with commentary that is the envy of all the competition. His commentary in injury time against Oxford last month has made international radio while groups in his honour have sprouted up on social networking site Facebook. As always we'll have plenty of content to keep you interested as we'll have all of the post-match reaction as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle. Be sure to check out - our brand new online image library. Remember, we want you to get in touch. Join the updates and get in touch! Email and we'll pick the best comments to go live on the site during our live updates. Don't forget we're also on twitter and Facebook so feel free to interact with your fellow fans online. Enjoy the game. COYH!
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.