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21:59 8th December 2009


The Hatters put the disappointment of their recent league performances well and truly behind them as they earned a FA Cup third round trip to Southampton following a superb 3-0 victory over Rotherham United. After the Millers had come within a whisker of opening the scoring inside the first minute when Rossi Jarvis cleared Ian Sharps' shot off the line, the Town took control. Five minutes after their early scare, they took the lead when clever play between Kevin Gallen and Rossi Jarvis found Kevin Nicholls who found Adam Newton at the back-post to fire past Andy Warrington in the visitors' goal. The Town were playing some terrific stuff with Gallen, Claude Gnakpa and Nicholls pulling the strings. Chances continued to rain down - like the weather - on the Millers' goal and Newton missed a gilt-edged chanced to double the lead when he screwed a shot wide after being found by Gallen on 10 minutes. As the Hatters continued to press it was no surprise when they doubled their lead nine minutes later. Gnakpa was hauled down the right touchline after beating two defenders and from the resulting free-kick curled in by Nicholls, Alan White was first to get up amongst the crowd to guide a header past Warrington. Another fine move two minutes before the break almost made it 3-0 inside 45 minutes when Gallen lifted a close-range header over the crossbar after quick-thinking from Nicholls released Newton down the left. The second 45 minutes was much the same as the Town continued to dominate. Not as many chances were coming their way but they got the third got their play deserved when Gnakpa smashed home a rousing effort on 68 minutes when firing home from the edge of the box after good work from Keith Keane and Freddie Murray down the left. Rotherham failed to test Kevin Pilkington into any serious action but they almost reduced arrears on 81 minutes Drewe Broughton headed against the crossbar. With ol├ęs ringing around Kenilworth Road as the Town's top football continued to please the crowd, they almost got treated to a fourth goal three minutes from time when Newton saw a shot saved by Warrington and Sharps cleared Tom Craddock's follow-up off the line. Not a bad night's work. Full time from Kenilworth Road Luton Town 3 (Newton 6, White 19, Gnakpa 68) Rotherham United 0 Result FULL TIME - Luton Town 3-0 Rotherham United - We're off to St Mary's! All the reaction to come. Stay tuned. COYH! 90 mins - We've got three minutes of additional time... 89 mins - Third and final change from Richard Money as Jake Howells replaces Gallen as a chorus of "Wembley, Wembley" echoed around the ground. 87 mins - Almost 4-0 as Newton is twice denied by the reflexes of Warrington. Substitute Craddock wants to get in on the act, and as Warrington palms away he finds his goalbound shot cleared off the line by Sharps. Unlucky. 87 mins - We're winding down here at Kenilworth Road and it looks like we're off to St Mary's. Gnakpa is named the sponsors' man-of-the match. Well deserved. 84 mins - Second change for the Hatters as Asa Hall replaces Nicholls who hands the captain's armband to Keane. 81 mins - Close shave for the Town as the Millers hit the woodwork. Roberts does well to beat off the attentions of Gallen to deliver a cross onto the head of substitute Drewe Broughton but the striker can only head against the bar with Pilkington beat. Close one. Still 3-0...just. 79 mins - Rotherham are trying in vain to get back into this but are struggling to do so. Gary Roberts surges forward from the middle of the park to shoot from 25 yards but Pilkington is equal to it, diving down to his left. 75 mins - First change of the night for Richard Money as Gnakpa is withdrawn to a standing ovation from the Kenilworth Road crowd and is replaced by Tom Craddock. 74 mins - The gate tonight is 2,518, which includes 131 from South Yorkshire. 70 mins - There's no doubt the Town have been full value for this 3-0 lead. They've played some top quality football that Rotherham have had no answers too. Looking for a man-of-the-match at this stage? Take your pick. All we need now is a clean sheet. 68 mins GOAL! HATTERS 3-0 Rotherham - Lovely, lovely. Wait for the highlights to see this one. Gallen finds Keane who in turn spreads the ball into the path of Murray galloping down the left. He finds Gnakpa, who brushes off the challenge of two defenders, cuts inside and blasts a well-hit shot into the bottom corner of the net past Warrington. Fantastic. Get in! 65 mins - Gaps beginning to appear in the visitors defence now as they go in search of a route back into proceedings. The Town are still comfortably in charge and playing some super stuff, too. Nico is having a fine game. 60 mins - The thing about Gnakpa is you never quite know what you're going to get with him. This time he jumps the gun and is flagged offside but the Frenchman decides to go for goal anyway. The ball lands in the goal but the ref's not happy as he books him despite his protests. 59 mins - More good football from the Town with Nicholls and Gallen again pulling the strings. No chance came of it but it was a lovely move full of quick, intricate passing. 53 mins - Great chance for the Millers to pull one back as Pilkington has to be on his toes to tip-over Sharps' header after Kevin Ellison had flicked on Law's right-wing corner. From the second flag-kick from Law, Tom Pope flashes a header across goal but it's not threatening Pilkington this time. Danger over. For now. 51 mins - White's sniffing for a second goal to put this beyond doubt but he can only head just high and wide of Warrington's goal following Nicholls' left-wing corner. Seconds later the visitors break upfield and Le Fondre fires the ball well over the bar with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. 49 mins - A quieter start to this half than the first but the Town are top. A third would surely see the Millers off. 46 mins - We're all set for the second 45 minutes. The Millers get the action underway as the rain continues to fall. There are no changes for either side at the break. HALF TIME - Luton Town 2-0 Rotherham United - A great first half comes to a conclusion with the Town well in command. They were 3-0 up at the break against Rochdale in the previous round. Let's hope there's not a repeat performance. Not that it looks likely. The Hatters are playing some great stuff. Check back 15 minutes for more updates. COYH. 45 mins - The fourth official indicated we've got an additional two minutes injury time...with bits of paper. 43 mins - Almost 3-0. Newton wins a free-kick down the left which a quick-thinking Nicholls touches to Newton who scampers down the flank and delivers a cross right onto the head of Gallen who can't guide the ball past Warrington as it instead drops over the crossbar. What a chance. 42 mins - Half chance for the Millers as Brogan runs down the left flank, cuts inside and squares for the on-rushing Harrison who lets fly with a shot that ends up well wide of the target. 37 mins - Sustained period of pressure from the Hatters who are well on top. Still 2-0 and very much in control. 33 mins - The rain is teeming down. It's not heavy but it's that fine stuff that is being carried around the pitch in a swirling wind. Rotherham are attempting to get back in this but the Hatters are holding firm at the back. 30 mins - Super play from the Town as the oles ring around Kenilworth Road. Terrific play between Keane, Jarvis, Nicholls and Newton results in Freddie Murray breaking from left back, surging forward to deliver a cross that lands up hitting the corner of the crossbar. Very impressive so far, the passing tonight has been top drawer. 28 mins - More good build-up play from the Hatters, as again Gallen and Gnakpa combine well to tee-up Jarvis. Urged to shoot by the crowd he does so but is left-foot shot is poor and doesn't trouble Warrington as the ball rolls wide. 24 mins - Was that a handball? Newton does well down the left flank to deliver a teasing cross towards Gnakpa eight yards out but as the Millers' clear their lines there looked like there was a hand in there somewhere. Nothing given. 20 mins - Oh so close. The Town are bossing this as Newton goes agonisingly close to making it 3-0 when taking a pass from Gallen and curling a shot just past Warrington's left-hand post. Unlucky. The Hatters are playing some really good stuff. 19 mins - GOAL! HATTERS 2-0 Rotherham - Claude is clearly in the mood to wreack havoc and he draws a foul from Brogan 35 yard from goal. From the resulting free-kick, Nicholls curls in a delighted ball straight onto the head of Alan White who is on hand to simply guide the ball past Warrington for 2-0. Get in! 15 mins - It hasn't taken the referee long to get his cards out as the visitors' Harrison is cautioned for a rash tackle on Claude Gnakpa. 13 mins - Chance for the Millers to equalise from dead-ball situation as Sharps - who isn't the player you want to leave unmarked - heads goalwards from Law's lef-wing corner that is pounced on by Pilkington, diving down bravely to his left through a sea of bodies. 10 mins - With one recognised striker in Gallen, Nicholls is playing in an advanced role behind him and it's paying dividends. He's at the heart of most things, pulling the strings. Then Newton should double his and Town's tally. Gallen latches onto a mistake from Stephen Brogan to spot the Hatters goalscorer 12 yards from goal but this time the winger can only screw his shot wide of the target. 8 mins - Then rain is getting heavier now...should make for some interesting sliding tackles. 6 mins GOAL! HATTERS 1-0 Rotherham. They've been under the cosh in the opening exchanges but the Town go in front as Jarvis and Nicholls combine well down the right. Nico plays a deft pass to the back-post to Newton who twists and turns past his marker and fires a shot into the bottom corner past Andy Warrington. Get in! 4 mins - A bright from the hosts as Nicky Law surges down the right flank but Freddie Murray's aware of the danger and clears his lines well. Good defending. 2 mins - Almost a start to forget for the Town as the Millers twice go close in the space of a matter of seconds within the first minute. Firstly Rotherham captain Ian Sharps has a shot cleared off the line by Rossi Jarvis and then Danny Harrison sees a shot deflected high into the sky by Jarvis which is pushed away by Pilkington in the Town goal to safety. 1 min - We're off as the Town get us underway kicking towards the Kenilworth Road end. Sit back and enjoy the updates. 19:47 HERE THEY COME The two sides are out on the pitch with the Town in their now traditional orange shirts and white shorts and socks with Rotherham head-to-toe in their sky blue away strip. We're almost set as the teams change ends...COYH! 19:42 CUP FEVER Ok, so this replay hasn't caught the imaginaiton to supporters tonight but those that are here are gearing up for what has all the makings of a fantastic night's entertainment. Cup games under the floodlights with the prospect of extra-time and penalties. Let the game begin! 19:28 LIGHT DRIZZLE It's a bit miserable out there at the minute as fine wet stuff falls from the dark sky. Only half of the floodlights are on at the minute as both teams continue to warm-up. If you're still sitting at home and fancy coming along then please do. Not that I'm painting a particularly pretty picture or selling it to you that well... 19:20 PRESS PACK The press box has been a quiet place this season following our relegation but tonight we've attracted the likes of Sky, ITV and talkSport. Blimey. At this point in time I think there are more reports inside the ground than fans. 19:13 FOUR CHANGES The team news is in and Richard Money makes four changes to his side that drew 0-0 at Chester on Saturday. Matthew Barnes-Homer is cup-tied so he unavaialble while Tom Craddock and Asa Hall drop to the bench. Lewis Emanuel came off at the Deva Stadium and drops out the squad 18 altogether. That means there are places in the starting XI for captain Kevin Nicholls, Kevin Gallen, Rossi Jarvis and Claude Gnakpa who returns from serving a one-match ban. Luton Town: K. Pilkington, Keane, White, G. Pilkington, Newton, Nicholls, Blackett, Jarvis, Gnakpa, Gallen, Murray. Substitutes: Asafu-Adjaye, Craddock, Gore, Hall, Howells, Nwokeji, Watkins. Rotherham United: Warrington, Harrison, Sharps, Pope, Law, Brogan, Joseph, Lynch, Ellison, Roberts, Le Fondre. Substitutes: Green, Cummins, Taylor, Broughton, Nicholas, Mills, Annerson. 18:44 MISTY Unlike last Wednesday there is no rain lashing down on the Kenilworth Road turf tonight, but there is a distinct mist in the area...The pitch looks in terrific nick, too. Great credit to the ground staff. The last thing they want is the players to come out, as Kevin Pilkington, Shane Gore and Dmitri Kharine are the first to come out for the warm-up. 18:00 WELCOME Good evening and a warm welcome to to our text updates service as the Hatters take on Ronnie Moore's Rotherham United in a second round replay of the FA Cup with a place in the third round a trip to Southampton up for grabs. It might be tad cold out there but we are gearing up for what promises to be a cup cracker under the Kenilworth Road floodlights as Richard Money's side go ins search of a victory against a high-flying Millers side enjoying a superb season in League 2. The Town will be looking to put their last two results behind them so remember: stay tuned to your official website tonight if you can't make it. Over the course of the afternoon and in the run-up to kick-off, be sure to keep an eye on as we'll have team news, minute-by-minute updates, reaction and match action for you. On 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. 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! He'll be high above everyone in the ground with the best view in the house in the gantry. What more could you want? 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. 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 during the game and we'll pick the best comments to go live on the site during our live updates. 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.