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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:52 2th December 2009

LUTON TOWN 0-1 KETTERING TOWN

A delightful goal from Kettering winger Ritchie Partridge ended Richard Money's unbeaten start as Hatters manager at a damp and ultimately disappointing night at Kenilworth Road. In a game of few chances the Poppies' winger broke the Town hearts on 64 minutes when cutting inside and letting fly from the corner of the penalty area to earn a visitors' side containing ex-Hatters Ian Roper and Sol Davis all three points. The nearest the Hatters got the finding the net came on 77 minutes when a deep cross from Claude Gnakpa was deflected onto the crossbar by visiting player/manager Lee Harper in the Kettering goal. Full report to follow. For minute-by-minute analysis, see below Result from Kenilworth Road Luton Town 0 Kettering Town 1 (Partridge 64) Final score FULL TIME Luton Town 0-1 Kettering Town. It's all over here. All the reaction to come. 90 mins + 2 - Half chance for the Town as Pilkington lofts the ball forward. Barnes-Homer's shot though comes off Craddock for a goal-kick to the visitors. 90 mins - We've got four additional minutes to trying and get one back to earn a point, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. 90 mins - We're into the last minute. Sol and Ropes are barking instructions to their team-mates. It looks like they're going to do enough to earn another win on their travels. 88 mins - Still not much to tell you about as the visitors continue to get men behind the ball. The pitch is heavy and getting more and more cut up which isn't helping. 85 mins - Time running out as Kettering begin to dig in now to protect their lead. Getting desperate now. 83 mins - Second change for the Hatters as Lewis Emanuel is introduced for Gallen. 80 mins - The Town have 10 minutes to save themselves and Richard Money's unbeaten start in charge. Meanwhile, activity on the bench... 79 mins - Almost 2-0. The Hatters have Pilkington to thank as he acrobatically tips over Taylor's terrific shot on the turn from 18 yards. 76 mins - Gnakpa produces a cross out of nothing deep in the right-hand corner which Barnes-Homer can't quite reach. Seconds later the Frenchman does it again. This one's even better but as Harper comes to claim the ball he can only divert the ball onto the post. With no Luton man unable to react first, the danger is cleared and the keeper gets away with it. 74 mins - The attendance tonight is another healthy one. 6,608 including 237 in Oak Road end. 72 mins - A close-call as Kettering almost make it 2-0. Keane concedes a free-kick on the edge of the area from which Heslop smashes goalwards. It takes a deflection off the wall. Thankfully. Pilkington was motionless. That may have been heading in. 70 mins - First change for the Hatters as Matthew Barnes-Homer comes on for his debut replacing Shane Blackett. The substitution sees Pilkington go to centre-half, Newton right-back, Craddock left-wing and MBH up top with Gallen. Can it have the desired effect? 68 mins - Better play from the Town as they look for an immediate equaliser. Craddock races down the left, finds Gallen who lays the ball on for Newton on the edge of the area. His shot looks good as it curls goalwards but the ball bounces agonisingly the wrong side of the post. It remains 1-0. 64 mins  GOAL Hatters 0-1 KETTERING - Bad news for Hatters as Partridge, who has been a threat all evening down the right-flank, cuts inside and curls a delightful left-foot shot that arches into the top corner of the net. 63 mins - Chance for the Town as the ball bobbles around in the boggy goalmouth as firstly Craddock mis-kicks and then sees a shot on turn blocked. 61 mins - Kevin Pilkington is booked as he cheekily throws the ball away after he concedes a throw as he races out of his area. Kettering want the ball to catch him off his line so its need must for the keeper. As the Town fail to deal with it, Taylor arrows a shot goalwards that goes just wide. 58 mins - Sustained pressure from the Town as they look to break the deadlock but a number of corners in succession are dealt with by the visitors. 54 mins - Wry smiles around Kenilworth Road as Sol is booked for a trademark tackle on Gnakpa. 53 mins - The ball is in the back of the Hatters net but don't worry it's not counting. Partridge curles in one from left and as Pilkington comes to claim the ball is barged out of the way by a posse of Kettering defenders and both the linesman and the ref are in agreement that doesn't count. 50 mins - It's been a quiet Kenilworth Road this evening but the home fans are trying to rouse their side on to three points. 48 mins - A lack of urgency in attack from the Town at the moment but Gallen feeds Murray busting a gut down the left. He plays it back to Gallen but his shot on the turn from an acute angle is stopped by Harper who needs a second chance to catch the ball properly. 46 mins - We're off for the second half as Marna and Partridge get the Poppies underway. Goalless at the minute so let's get an early one! COYH! HALF TIME Luton Town 0-0 Kettering Town - Goalless at the break as the rain continues to fall. After a slow start the Town have got back into this. Let's hope there's some goal action in the second 45. Check back in 15 for more updates. COYH. 45 mins - Best bit of football of the half from the Town as Gallen and Craddock combine brilliant with one-touch stuff. Gallen plays his strike-partner in on goal but after shrugging off his marker Harper closes him down and is shot is straight at the visiting goalkeeper before the ball spins away to safety with Craddock down hurt. 43 mins - Pilkington gets his knees dirty again when getting down well to stop a shot from Simon Heslop breaking the deadlock. Straight down the keeper's throat. 40 mins - Great chance for the visitors as Elding beats the offside trap. With the Hatters still funnelling back Elding has plenty of options but decides to be greedy and go for goal. With his team-mates screaming at him he still goes for it and his hesitance means White gets back in time to put in a super block. As the rain begins to fall again, the Hatters counter-attack with Newton down the left. He lays it on plate for Craddock but his touch is poor and Roper is on hand to whack the danger clear. 39 mins - A couple of dangerous corners from Nicholls and close control from Craddock fail to produce a chance. 36 mins - A dearth of chances for a good period of play ends when Dempster plants a firm header narrowly wide of the post following Partridge's right-wing corner. That was close. 29 mins - Another good chance for the Town as Newton scampers down the left he finds Gallen. There's not space to move with defenders converging on him but he still gets a left-foot shot away that Harper does well to parry. Craddock's sniffing for the rebound, which falls for him but the flag's gone up off for offside as he's brought to the deck by a Kettering challenge. 28 mins - Craddock's scored in each of this last three matches and clearly is in the mood for another. He tries his luck from distance this time, some 25 yards out, but it bounces wide. 27 mins - First time Kettering have threatened for a while but it's easy for Pilkington as he scrambles to keep a deflected effort from John-Paul Marna from causing him any undue worry. 24 mins - Oh dear Ropes. He concedes a corner as he thinks it's taken a nick of a Luton player. It hadn't so Nico drifts in a corner that finds its way to White at the backpost. With everyone urging him to shoot the defender does exactly that. But it's on his left-foot and with players on the line he goes for power and as a result the ball zooms high over the crossbar. 20 mins - All the Hatters now as Craddock does well to turn the ball inside from the right flank into the path of an on-rushing Gnakpa galloping forward who tries to pick out Gallen lurking for a tap-in but the ball is cleared behind by Greg Taylor for a corner. 17 mins - The Town are coming into this more now and after Gallen heads square to Newton, the midfielder in turn lays the ball on to Craddock. He drives past Dempster but takes the ball slightly wider onto his left foot and can only drag a shot wide of Harper's left-hand post. 12 mins - That's better from the Hatters as Murray and Newton combine to set Tom Craddock racing away. He twists and turns well in the box and squares for Kevin Gallen but before the striker can turn the ball home Dempster is there to intercept well and the chance is gone. Encouraging. 8 mins - Another huge let-off for the Hatters as Elding catches the defence cold, beating Alan White to the ball. The striker notices that Pilkington is off his line and tries a delicate chip. Everyone inside the ground holds their breath as the ball drops wide of the target to most people's relief. Shaky start from the hosts. The visitors look up for this. 6 mins - Partridge is keen to get on the ball and this time and this time delivers a free-kick from right to the back-post but centre-half John Dempster can only whack the ball well, well over the crossbar. 5 mins - Let off for the Town as a neat move down the left flank from the Poppies sees Partridge cross for an unmarked Anthony Elding but the striker can only side-foot an easy chance into the arms of Pilkington from six yards. A big miss. Kettering on top so far. 4 mins - First action in the Kettering penalty box as Shane Blackett heads Kevin Nicholls' free-kick goalwards but the ball drifts harmlessly wide. 3 mins - A very sedate opening from both sides. Harper in the visitors goal has yet to touch it, as Kevin Pilkington does really well to hold on to Ritchie Partridge's deep cross. 1 min  We're off as the Hatters get us underway kicking towards  the Oak Road end where a couple of hundred Kettering fans are sat. 19:47 ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOUR SOL The returning Sol Davis gets a warm round of applause from the Kenilworth Road crowd as his name is read out over the public address system. We're almost set...COYH!! 19:46 HERE THEY COME Both sides are out on the pitch, Kettering in their change strip of all yellow and the Town in their now traditional orange shirts, white shorts and socks. 19:44 IT'S BACK Yep, the rain, that is. 19:35 CLEAR SKIES ABOVE The rain has gone, the pitch looks fine and we're all set for a crucial match in the BSP against one of promotion rivals. With a big crowd expected it promises to be a fantastic night's football. Keep it lutontown.co.uk for text commentary or live commentary on Hatters Player. COYH! 19:15 STEADY AS SHE GOES It's raining but it's not as heavy as it was earlier. It's steadily coming down. That said I've popped back into the safety of my office and by the time I go back out there it will probably have got worse. English weather, eh? Don't you just love it? 19:05 UNCHANGED There's definitely a game going on as far as we're concerned as we're given the teams from both dressing rooms. Town boss Richard Money keeps the faith with the XI that drew at Rotherham United on Saturday. New signings Matthew Barnes-Homer and Ashley Cain are named among the substitutes. There are two familiar faces in the Kettering line-up named by player/manager Lee Harper. Defenders Ian Roper and Sol Davis are both included in the Poppies' back-line. Roper is named as their skipper. Luton Town: K. Pilkington; White, G. Pilkington, Blackett, Murray; Newton, Nicholls, Keane, Gnakpa; Gallen, Craddock. Substitutes: Gore, Emanuel, Jarvis, Cain, Barnes-Homer. Kettering Town: Harper, Taylor, Roper, Davis, Partridge, Heslop, Boucaud, Kelly, Marna, Elding. Substitutes: Cooper, Dance, Wrack, Thomas, Thelwell. 18:30 WET WET WET Back comes the rain... 17:50 EASING UP It's just spitting out there now. Only two of the floodlights are on and the ground and the pitch are a sight to behold. Everyone seems happy, including Richard Money, who I've just bumped into pitchside. He's giving it the thumbs-up. 17:40 CATS & DOGS The rain is tipping it down but - at the minute - the game is not in doubt. The pitch will be wet so expect some sliding tackles tonight. Sol will be pleased if he's picked... 17:35 WELCOME Good evening all supporters to lutontown.co.uk to our text updates service as the Hatters look to get back to winning ways in the Blue Square Premier against play-off rivals Kettering Town. Unbeaten in five games under Richard Money the Town although in the good form face a Poppies side fresh from earning a draw against League 1 leaders Leeds United in the FA Cup on Sunday. It's a cold and wet evening but hopefully the lads can ensure a performance to remember so stay tuned to your official website tonight if you can't make it. Over the course of the evening, and in the run-up to kick-off, be sure to keep an eye on lutontown.co.uk as we'll have team news, minute-by-minute updates, reaction and match action for you. On lutontown.co.uk 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. On Hatters Player you all have access to our live commentary. Simon "Statto" Pitts is once again here calling home the shots. He's got the best position in the house in the gods of the gantry. A safe haven and a commentator's paradise. Of course after the action has finished, Hatters Player will have all the post-match interviews from all the men that matter tonight. 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 www.hatterspics.co.uk - our brand new online image library. 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! Email andrew.barringer@2020mission.com during the game and we'll pick the best comments to go live on the site during our live updates. Enjoy the game. COYH!
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