Skip to main content


22:12 13th February 2010


The Hatters made it eight wins from their last nine games away from home and kept their seventh straight away clean sheet on the road to boot with a 1-0 victory at Eastbourne Borough. It was Asa Hall's ninth-minute strike that was the difference on a bitterly cold afternoon in Sussex that keeps up the Town's chances of promotion from the Blue Square Premier. And it was no more than the visitors deserved after another solid performance crowned by the midfielder's early strike. The Hatters had come close to opening the scoring before Hall's goal with home goalkeeper Danny Knowles keeping out a close-range shot from eventual goalscorer on two minutes before making a smart save three minutes later to claw out Tom Craddock's goal-bound header. Hall drove what turned out to be the winner just four minutes later when left unmarked on the edge of the penalty area to shoot beyond Knowles. Chances continued to rain down on the hosts' goal as the Town looked to put the game beyond doubt but despite further chances from Craddock, Hall and Matthew Barnes-Homer they couldn't extend the lead. In the second period the Hatters were still well in charge and in truth should have extended their lead. However they were almost made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal on 78 minutes when they had to thank goalkeeper Mark Tyler for pulling off a wonderful reflex save to prevent Liam Enver-Marum's shot from levelling things up. But that closest the hosts came to threatening Tyler's goal again which meant the Town have yet to concede in 707 minutes of football on their travels. Another satisfying victory more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. After the Ebbsfleet defeat that's three crucial wins on the spin. That should make the trip to third placed York City all the more interesting on Tuesday. For minute-by-minute analysis, see below. Result from Priory Lane Eastbourne Borough 0 Luton Town 1 (Hall 9) Final score FULL-TIME EASTBOURNE BOROUGH 0-1 LUTON TOWN - Eight wins in the last nine away from successive clean sheets on the road. And three points today. All the reaction to come: stay tuned. 90 + 2 mins  Second change for the Town as Howells comes on for Claude. 90 mins - Three additional minutes have been added by the fourth official. Can the Town see it out? 89 mins - Time running out for the hosts as the Hatters continue to press. Good play from Jarvis, Hall and Craddock sets up the latter for a chance but Knowles is quick off his line to snuff out the danger. 87 mins - Half a chance for 2-0 as Nwokeji heads over a dug-out Craddock cross from the left. 84 mins - Having not conceded until this point the Town have now gone 700 minutes without letting a goal on the road... 83 mins - Back come the Hatters as super control from Gnakpa to bring the ball down on a six-pence tight on the right-touchline but as the ball eventually is crossed by Nicholls the bounce beats Craddock to the ball and a decent chance to put the game beyond doubt goes begging. 82 mins - Another close call for the Town as Borough search in vain for a leveller. Tyler is again on hand to pluck the ball out of the air to stop Elphick's hooked shot from hitting the back of the net. 80 mins First change for the Hatters of the afternoon as Nwokeji replaces Barnes-Homer in attack. 78 mins - Almost...almost one a piece as the Town have Tyler to thank for a super palm around the post to prevent Enver-Marum's shot from nestling in the top right-hand corner. What a save. From the resulting corner, in the ensuing melee, the hosts have a penalty claim turned down by referee Cooper. 76 mins - There's another ball out of the ground as Craddock skys a volley way, way, way over the crossbar after Nico's right-wing corner had been flicked on by Kovacs. 73 mins - Back come the Town and Gary Elphick has to do well to divert a dangerous right-wing cross from Gnakpa over his own crossbar with Hall and MBH sniffing for a tap-in. 72 mins - Eastbourne have really faded since their opening flurry at the start of this half but back they come on the counter-attack as Johnson runs unchallenged through the middle of the park and finds Enver-Marum but the big striker fluffs his shot and a good chance goes begging. 67 mins - Halfway through the second half and the Hatters subs continue to warm-up on the touchline on front of us. Plenty of options there too with Nwokeji, Gallen, Howells and Asafu-Adjaye available to call on. 65 mins - And still the pressure mounts. All Luton now. Come on Luton, Come on Luton cry the Town fans behind the goal as they force a succession of corners. 63 mins - Pressure continues to build for the Town with Nicholls, Hall, MBH, Craddock and Jarvis seeing plenty of the ball as the latter curls a harmless shot wide of Knowles' left-hand post after slaloming through the Eastbourne defence. 61 mins - More Hatters pressure but Knowles hasn't had his fingers warmed for a while now as Jarvis skys a shot well over the crossbar. 58 mins - Half chance for Town as Hall screws a volley well wide after taking a square pass from Gnakpa. 57 mins - We've just spotted that Barnes-Homer has changed his boots at half-time. Gone have those yellow numbers and replaced by something more reserved: traditional black ones. 56 mins - Another fine attack from the Hatters as MBH and Craddock combine to set Murray racing away upfield. He squares the ball back to Craddock but he can't find Gnakpa and eventually a promising move breaks down. Unlucky. 54 mins - And then there's a opportunity...the ball falls to Craddock 20 yards of goal in a central position and the striker hits it hard and true but it bobbles through a sea of bodies and through to Knowles who gathers well. 53 mins - A dearth of chances at the start of this half but the Town are slowly finding their feet, looking for that second goal that would surely put the game in their control. 48 mins - Hall and Barnes-Homer have caused the home side problems all afternoon and the two combine well for the former to almost play in Craddock but the striker gets the pass all wrong and the chance on the break goes begging. 46 mins - No changes for either side at the interval as Borough begin on the front as Benjamin pokes a shot with the outside of his boot well wide. 46 mins And we're underway again for the second half and it's getting colder here down in Sussex! Eastbourne kick-off with the Town now shooting towards where the travelling contingent are standing. COYH! 16:00 - The attendance has just been announced over the PA system: 2,018. No official figure on how many from Bedfordshire are here yet but we'll endeavour to find out. HALF-TIME Eastbourne Borough 0-1 Luton Town - Referee Cooper calls time on the opening and thoroughly entertaining first 45 minutes at Priory Lane that sees the Hatters in front thanks to Asa Hall's lovely ninth-minute strike. If it wasn't for the reflexes of the home goalkeeper then the Town could be a few more goals to the good. As it stands it's only 1-0. Check back in 15 minutes for all the second half updates. COYH! 45 mins - Back come Eastbourne and Tyler does well to keep the scores level. A Joe Benjamin cross is headed on by Taylor to the feet of Enver-Marum at the back-post whose shot his saved by the Town keeper, diving bravely at the striker's feet as the goal gaped. That was close. We've got two additional minutes here at Priory Lane. 42 mins - All Luton again. Money's side are playing some lovely football now and are oozing confidence as Newton, Barnes-Homer and Nicholls combine superbly to tee up Gnakpa down the right hand side. The Frenchman's eyes light up as he goes for a goal with a fierce shot from the edge of the 18 yard box that flys narrowly over Knowles' crossbar. Great effort. 39 mins - More pressure from the Town as they look to double their lead before the break. Firstly Newton finds Gnakpa down the right. He gets the better of Austin with a terrific piece of technique and finds himself alone in the penalty area but strangely goes down under a soft home tackle. Then, more good interplay between MBH, Craddock and Hall is cut out by a last-ditch tackle. Unlucky. 35 mins - Eastbourne are huffing and puffing to try and get back in this game but the Town are holding firm, like they always do away from home...that's 652 minutes now without conceding a goal on the road. There's a stoppage in play as Baker receives treatment for the hosts. At the minute the home side look a little bit out of ideas. 32 mins - Jarvis has just come off for a split second to get a bloody nose treated by Harry Scott-Stackman and needs to wear a new shirt as a result. He returns to action with tissue stuffed up his nostrils. 27 mins - Yet another opportunity for the Town as Claude does brilliantly to bulldoz his way through the Sports defence but as he pulls the trigger his shot is blocked and Knowles gathers to prevent a corner. 25 mins - Back come the Hatters with a chance of their own as they break three v three, Hall feeds Craddock on the left-hand side of the penalty area but his shot his bravely charged down by Ben Austin. 25 mins - Chance for Eastbourne. As the Hatters back off, Jamie Taylor runs through the defence beating three Luton men in the process. As the goal opens up his eyes light up but his shot from just outside the box eventually lands up off target. Encouraging play for the home side. 24 mins - Not a chance to comment on, just one to pick up the fact Freddie Murray has just been pulled up by then referee for a foul throw. 20 mins - Almost 2-0. And it's that man Hall again. Newton does well to win a corner down the right and after conceding another flag-kick, Nicholls swings in the ball right onto the head of the midfielder who sees his point-blank effort parried straight at the hands of Knowles. He's been a busy man already with three crucial saves already inside 20 minutes. 17 mins - The hosts are slowly getting back into this as their gaffer Garry Wilson barks out instructions from the dugout. Then a hint of a chance for the Hatters as Tyler's long pass down field almost finds Craddock but Knowles is first to it. 15 mins - The game has hit a lull all of a sudden as both sides take a breather after a 100-mph start. 11 mins - The Town have looked really comfortable so far. However, as Eastbourne look for an instant reply, Tyler has to stick out a foot to deny home centre-back Mark Pullan from scuffing holme an equaliser at the back post. Still 1-0. 9 mins - GOAL  Eastbourne 0-1 HATTERS - Hall. Well it had be coming and Hall has started this game in really positive fashion. After patient build-up play from Newton, Nicholls and Gnakpa, the ball falls to the feet of the midfielder 20 yards from goal. He looks up and drives a low shot beyond the reach of Knowles and into the bottom corner of the net. Lovely finish. Get in! 6 mins - Back come Borough in their first foray forward, striker Liam Enver-Marum wins a corner off Pilkington but from the resulting corner the hosts can't force a chance home despite a goalmouth scramble. Really open game this. 5 mins - It's all Luton as the hosts thank Knowles between the sticks again to keep it 0-0. Nicholls crosses for Hall at the back post who heads back across goal to an ummarked Craddock whose close range header is kept out by the fingetips of the Sports goalkeeper. Great save. 3 mins - The Hatters are lining up as follows: Tyler in goal, a back four of Newton, Pilkington, Kovacs and Murray. A narrow central midfield trio of Nico, Hall and Jarvis are assisted by Craddock down the left and Claude down the right with MBH up front on his own. 2 mins - Almost a great start for the Town as the hosts are indebted to a great low save by Danny Knowles to keep out Asa Hall's placed side-footed shot from close range following good wing play from Tom Craddock down the left. Good start from the Hatters, great early save for the home keeper. 1 min And we're off as the Hatters get us underway with Eastbourne kicking towards the massed ranks of Town fans behind the goal. 14:58 HERE THEY COME Out come to the sides with the Town all in white with Eastbourne in red shirts, black shorts and red socks. As the teams shake hands the PA announcer thanks the volunteers for clearing the pitch of snow. One of those people was today's referee, Mr Cooper. Everyone gets a nice round of applause from both sets of supporters. 14:55 CULTURE SHOCK With the greatest respect to our hosts this afternoon, Priory Lane is decidely non-league with low covered terracing on three sided and a small main stand straddling the half-way line. There are plenty of Hatters fans inside the small stadium. 14:52 TOUNGE-TIED The Hatters fans are in good spirits, away to our right as they jokingly encourage the PA announcer to correctly pronounce Janos Kovacs, Claude Gnakpa, Ed Asafu-Adjaye and Mark Nwokeji. Easy for you to say... 14:50 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 3-1 Luton. Mark Wood: 2-0 Luton. Euan Duncan: 1-0 Luton. Simon Pitts: 3-0 Luton. 14:43 MOST PRESTIGIOUS The public address announcer has just welcomed all the supporters to the ground and describes the Town as the "most prestigious visitors to Priory Lane". Thank you. I must admit, in our short time in this corner of Sussex, we have been made to feel incredibly welcomed. What a lovely football club. 14:39 HATCH RESTED We've just asked first team coach Kevin Watson who tells us that Hatchy has been rested. He's been a real warrior leading the line for the Town over the past few matches and is taking time out with the fixtures coming thick and fast over the coming weeks. 14:35 TWO CHANGES Hatters boss Richard Money makes two changes to the side that started in the win over Oxford United on Tuesday. With Keith Keane serving a one-match ban in comes Claude Gnakpa who came on as a substitute in the week. Liam Hatch hasn't recovered from a knock that saw him withdrawn against the U's and his replacement on Tuesday - Matthew Barnes-Homer, comes in. There are places on the bench for Kevin Gallen and Mark Nwokeji. 14:00 REALITY CHECK Taken from the Eastbourne programme: "A decade ago, the Club was racing to the Sussex County League championship, with important games against the likes of Saltdean United, Selsey, Portfield and Rigmer. Who would have envisaged a series of matches against the likes of Cambridge United, Wrexham and Luton Town, famous clubs who were making their way in the upper echleons of the Football League at the time of Borough's Sussex title?" 13:25 COLD BUT CLEAR Arriving in Eastbourne it is very cold and the sun is out but thankfully there is no sign of any snow. 11:50 FORGET OXFORD Good morning...come down off the ceiling yet? Still rewinding and replaying the highlights of Keano's corner? There's no doubt that Tuesday's last-gasp 2-1 win over Oxford sent our part of Bedfordshire bonkers. But today, I've got some advice for you: forget it. As manager Richard Money said yesterday, today's game at Eastbourne is just as important as any other. And despite Garry Wilson's Sports lying in 19th position in the BSP, the Town boss is only too aware of the threat the Susse side possess. After all they took the lead at Kenilworth Road and played some decent stuff back in December before the Hatters' ruthlessness in front of goal saw them come back to earn a 4-1 victory. The game goes ahead despite the heavy snowfall earlier in the week with the big thaw and hard work from volunteers enabling the pitch and surrounding areas to be a snow-free zone. It means the Hatters can build on Tuesday victory and continue their fine form on the road that has seen them win seven and draw one of their last eight league games away from Kenilworth Road and keep six successive clean sheets in the process. It will be the Town's first visit to Priory Lane and plenty of supporters will be making the journey to the South Coast from Bedfordshire. But remember 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, 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. 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 has sent shockwaves through the local and national media and he has overnight become a cult hero! He's here as ever and let's hope he's got a voice left! Of course after the action has finished, Hatters Player will have all the post-match interviews from all the men that matter today. Whether on Hatters Player or not, 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.