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12:44 31st March 2010


The Town took their tally to 21 goals in their last four games and made it seven wins in a row with a comfortable four-goal success against Salisbury City at Kenilworth Road. And it was the men in-form that got the goals as first half strikes from Claude Gnakpa and Tom Craddock were added to by second-half efforts from Jake Howells and Simon Heslop as the Town leapfrogged Oxford in the table to go second. After a frustrating opening half-an-hour the Hatters could have gone behind on four minutes when Chris Flood's left-wing cross was almost turned home by Matt Tubbs but Freddie Murray was on hand to clear the ball off the line. However the Town upped the tempo and it was the Frenchman who notched his sixth goal in three games to put the hosts ahead on 35 minutes. The midfielder, enjoying such a hot streak in front of goal, jumped highest between two City defenders to power a magnificent header past Ryan Pryce from the edge of the penalty area following George Pilkington's fine deep right-wing cross. Craddock had inexplicably spurned two fantastic chances when the score was still goalless but eight minutes after Gnakpa's goal the striker did get his name on the scoresheet. A fantastic flowing one and two-touch move down the left-flank saw Murray surge into the penalty area and square the ball to an unmarked Craddock waiting two yards out to tap home his 18th goal of the season and his eighth in seven matches. As confidence grew and Salisbury's challenge weakened, the Hatters found themselves in cruise control and it took them nine minutes into the second half to further extend their lead. Craddock raced onto a raking pass from Keith Keane to beat Pryce to the ball but with the City goalkeeper stranded in no man's land, and with the home crowd urging the striker to shoot, he squared the ball to an unmarked Howells who fired in his third goal in four games. And on 74 minutes, as the Town continued to press, Heslop netted his first goal in Luton colours when bursting into the penalty box like an express train at the back post. The Hatters went in search of a fifth but substitute Liam Hatch saw a point-blank header well-saved by Pryce on 77 minutes and Craddock fired into the side netting two minutes from time. Up next? Stevenage away. 2,800 Hatters will be there. If you're not, make sure you log onto for all the build-up starting on Friday. Saturday should be interesting. Keep believing. For minute-by-minute anaylsis see below. Result from Kenilworth Road Luton Town 4 (Gnakpa 35, Craddock 43, Howells 54, Heslop 74) Salisbury City 0 Final score FULL-TIME LUTON TOWN 4-0 SALISBURY CITY - Another game, another win. A full report plus all the action, reaction and highlights to come. 90 mins - As the rain lashes down we've got four additional minutes to find that fifth. 88 mins - It almost is five as Craddock crashes a left-foot shot into the side netting after latching onto Hatch's intelligent flick following Nelthorpe's driven left-wing cross. Some of the crowd thought that in. Me included. Seconds later Gnakpa is named as the match sponsor's man-of-the-match. 87 mins - Three minutes to find a fifth and gaps continue to appear in the Salisbury defence. 84 mins - Keep ball from the Hatters now but still plenty of ethic from the hosts with Hatch and Nelthorpe all keen to impress. Hatch is at his typical workmanlike best while Nelthorpe has sent in a lovely cross and is keen to show a step-over or three. 81 mins Third and final change for the Town as Gnakpa is replaced by Nelthorpe. 77 mins - Oh it should be five. Craddock dances past defenders in the box and stands up a brilliant cross onto the head of Hatch who sees his point-black effort parried by Pryce. The ball is sent high ito to the sky and with the goal gaping, Gnakpa can only head inches over. Incredible misses. 77 mins Second change from Richard Money as Gallen is replaced by Hatch. 75 mins After minutes of waiting Newton is finally on for Howells. 74 mins  HATTERS 4-0 Salisbury - This goal lark is easy. Craddock latches onto Asafu-Adjaye's pass, he takes it past Pryce and squares to Gallen. The goal is gaping but can only screw a shot with the outside of his boot wide. But before it spins out of play there's the on-rushing Heslop, charging like an express train to power the ball home at the back-post. Superb. 70 mins - Activity on the Town bench with Newton ready for action. 67 mins - Biggest cheer of the night so far and it's for a mis-kick from Pilkington! Gallen sees a free-kick blocked with the ball flying high into the night sky. As it falls, it looks all the world that Pilks will connect but he completely fluffs it. 64 mins - The ref continues to frustrate the Hatters as it looks like a Howells cross is handled in the box by Giles but the official says no pen. 62 mins - The attendance tonight at Kenilworth Road is another healthy one: 6,692. That includes 45 from Wiltshire. 59 mins - By the way that's three goals in four for Jake. 58 mins - Still over half-an-hour left here at Kenilworth Road. And the Hatters fancy a few more. A look at the subs bench - so much attacking talent there...Hope you're keeping up that's now 20 goals scored in the past four matches... 56 mins - The Town are in cruise control now as Claude gallops down the right and delivers a cross to the near post that Gallen meets first time but he can only just flick his shot narrowly wide. Unlucky. 54 mins  GOAL! HATTERS 3-0 Salisbury - Talking of players on a hot-streak...Keane lofts a superb crossfield pass to Craddock who beats Pryce to the ball, haring outside his penalty box. With the keeper stranded and out of his goal the home faithful urge him to shoot. Instead he squares the ball to the on-rushing Howells who blasts the ball home from 12 yards. Super finish. 51 mins - Then there's a chance for the Town. Gnakpa does well to win a corner down the right. It's taken short by Keane to Asafu-Adjaye who has time to measure a perfect cross for Gnakpa who gets up and punches a header goalwards that is well saved by Pryce, who gathers at the second attempt with Craddock sniffing for the rebound. 49 mins - It's been a quiet start to the second half but it's bad news at Stevenage as Boro have the lead against Oxford. 47 mins - Just to let you know how much of a hot streak Tom Craddock is on. That goal was his 18th of the season and his eighth in six-and-half games. No bad, eh? 46 mins No changes at the break for either side as Salisbury kick-off the second half. Can we get a few more? Let's hope so. Elsewhere in the BSP it's Stevenage 0-0 Oxford... 20:46 - Salisbury are out early for the second half. No doubt been given a few words of wisdom from their manager in the dressing room... HALF-TIME LUTON TOWN 2-0 SALISBURY CITY - The ref calls time on the first half here at Kenilworth Road and the Town are well in charge at the minute thanks to two goals in eight minutes from the men in form: Craddock and Claude. Let's hope for some more in the second half. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half updates. COYH! 45 mins - We've got an additional two minutes to play. The way the Hatters have upped this they wont want the half to end. It's all Luton. 43 mins  GOAL! HATTERS 2-0 Salisbury - As the song goes, Tom Craddock, whoooa...He's banished missing those two sitters by doubling the Town's lead two minutes before the break. As the Town continue to cut the visitors to ribbons at the back, Murrays surges down the left, into the box and squares the ball across the face of goal to an unmarked Craddock. To be fair he nearly missed it, the ball going in off the post. Get in! 41 mins - Two chances for the Town in the space of 60 seconds as firstly Craddock squares the ball across goal but nobody is on the end of it before Claude races through one-v-one against Pryce but the Frenchman can only hit a tame shot at the approaching goalkeeper. 40 mins - Penalty? No. Referee Merchant becomes very unpopular as he books Howells for diving in the penalty box after Giles' challenge. That looks a pen to me and that's seemingly a view shared by the Town players. As one fan behind us asks "why would he dive?" Indeed, he was about to strike the ball at goal. 37 mins - All the Town now, buoyed by that goal and it should be 2-0. Howells whips in a pin-point cross which is on a plate for Craddock but with goal at his mercy he heads the ball over. He can't believe, I can't believe it and neither can 6,500 others. 35 mins  GOAL! HATTERS 1-0 Salisbury - I want to try this man's mothers' cooking. Pilkington crosses deep from the right flank and there's Gnakpa rising between defenders to head powerfully beyond Pryce with the ball rebounding home in off the crossbar. Get in! That's the Frenchman's sixth in two and bit games! Unreal. 34 mins - Pryce gets his hands warm as Howells releases Craddock inside the level channel. The striker cuts inside and blasts a shot straight at the keeper. 32 mins - Tenacious wing play from Howells down the left results in the youngster whipping in a cross but there's no Town man there and the ball drifts out for a throw. 30 mins - Back come the visitors as central midfielder Shephard tries his luck with a shot from just outside the penalty area that Tyler has to get down well to save diving to his left. 28 mins - Still more Town pressure as firstly Howells sees a long-range effort blocked before Gnakpa surges down the right, into the box but his low cut-back is pounced on by Pryce with Craddock and Gallen waiting in the wings for a tap-in. 24 mins - The Town are slowly getting on top and look to have Salisbury working hard at the back. Asafu-Adjaye, playing against a side he used to play for, then tries a wild attempt from 25 yards that lands well wide of the goal endangering the fans in the Kenny end. 23 mins - What a miss! Oh, it should be 1-0 to the Hatters. Salisbury concede a corner after a good move involving Gallen and Gnakpa. From the resulting flag-kick viciously curled in by Keane, it looks like all Craddock has to do is head it home. But he gets it all wrong with the goal gaping and the in-form striker can only head it the other side of the post. Unbelievable. 20 mins - Salisbury are certainly out to frustrate the Hatters this evening as they continue to delay their taking of set-pieces. The Town also seem to be getting caught offside an awful lot so far too, adding to the frustration. 18 mins - Early observations: Pryce in the Salisbury goal is taking plenty of time to take his goal-kicks. Also I think we're in for the lowest away attendance of thre season. There must be about 20 odds Whites fans in the Oak Road. 16 mins - Claude is definitely in the mood to continue his hot streak. He's give in his last two games after all. He lines up a shot 25 yards out that trickles just past Pryce's left-hand post. 13 mins - As the rain teems down heavier than before we realise that at this stage on Saturday we were already 3-0 up... 12 mins - More good play from Craddock this time as he robs Ruddick of the ball down the right flank and squares to Heslop, unmarked 20 yards from goal. The on-loan midfielder gets a shot in and it looks to be heading goalwards until it's blocked by a Salisbury defender (not quite sure who). 10 mins - Chance for the Hatters this time. Craddock dribbles the ball into the box and lays it off to Gallen. He twists and sends in a devlish pass across the face of goal that neither Craddock or Howells, at the back stick, can turn home. This is better as the noise around the ground goes up a level. 7 mins - Very stop-start beginning to this game already and I don't think the heavy pitch is helping much. I think the Hatters' fitness will be a major key to success tonight. 6 mins - A stoppage in play but I've noticed we haven't given you any press box predictions. So here they are: Andrew Barringer: 2-0 Luton. Mark Wood: 3-1 Luton. James Cunliffe: 16-0 Luton. Bill Cole: 4-2 Luton. Nice one, James... 4 mins - Great chance for the Salisbury. Flood bursts down the left flank and sends in a clever ball which confuses Pilkington and Tyler. Tubbs gets a toe to the ball but as it rolls goalwards the Hatters are thankful to Murray to clear off the line. That was close. 2 mins - The Hatters are already on top it's been all Gnakpa so far. He's full of confidence at the moment as has the beating of Ruddick his unfortunate marker at left-back. 1 mins  And we're off, eventually, a slight false start from the Town and we're away. The Hatters are kicking towards the Kenilworth Road end while the visitors are kicking towards the very sparsly populated Oak Road end. 19:45 ALMOST SET The teams are swapping ends and it will be the Hatters to kick-off. We're almost set. Enjoy the updates. COYH! 19:42 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides on the Kenilworth Road turf with the Town led by George Pilkington. As ever at home the Hatters are in orange, while the visitors are in their traditional colours of white shirts and black shorts. 19:40 FILLING UP NICELY It's Kids for 2020 tonight and plenty of youngster are inside Kenilworth Road looking forward to another massive game at the old ground in the BSP. 19:36 THE ANIMAL We've also just been chatting to Janos Kovacs in the tunnel. The big Hungarian is in good spirits, wishing good luck to his team-mates. It appears that he's sitting the game out because he's walking that disciplinary tight-rope of nine yellow cards. 19:34 WORSE THAN IT LOOKS We've just caught up with Richard the groundsman: "The pitch always looks worse than it is when it's had a bit of rain on it at midweek games. The floodlights give it a glaze that makes it appear wetter than it actually is." 19:22 STILL RAINING Fine rain continues to fall from the grey skies above. Plenty of sliding tackles no doubt. Club photographer Gareth Owen isn't too keen on the wet weather and has donned his waterproofs. 19:10 ONE CHANGE FOR TOWN Richard Money makes his first change to his starting XI since the Forest Green game at Kenilworth Road. After five games with the same side it's defender Shane Blackett that comes in for Janos Kovacs at the back. It's another strong substitutes bench where there is also another change. There is no goalkeeper as Shane Gore as Asa Hall and Craig Nelthorpe both come in. Salisbury meanwhile are down to the bare bones and can only name four subs, one of which is their manager Tommy Widdrington. Hatters: Tyler; Asafu-Adjaye, Pilkington, Blackett, Murray; Gnakpa, Keane, Heslop, Howells; Craddock, Gallen. Subs: Newton, Hatch, Hall, Nelthorpe, Barnes-Homer. Salisbury: Price, Clohessy, Ruddick, Clarke, Tubbs, Shephard, Adlesbury, Connolly, Flood, Giles, Martin. Subs: Anderson, Webb, Widdrington, Reid. 18:55 ON THIS DAY Your history lesson this evening: a record crowd for a match involving the Hatters on this day was 24,276 when Chelsea were the visitors to Kenilworth Road. The Town earned a point in a 2-2 draw with Roy Davies and Tony Gregory scoring. 18:10 WET WET WET It's tipping it down with rain at Kenilworth Road out the minute. We've had a little look at the pitch and it looks fine. What it will look like once 22 players have kicked a football around for 90 minutes is another matter. Groundsman Richard 'Dickie' Bird has been been putting his fork to good use all afternoon to allow the rain to seap through. He's taking a quick breather in the Kenilworth Road end before more hard work up until kick-off. 17:45 FACEBOOK THOUGHTS Over on our official Facebook page we've been besieged with predictions ahead of tonight's game. Some conservative, others clearly influenced by the Town's last two matches. Well after 14 goals in two games I guess you can excuse some for getting a little carried away...a few have gone for double figures. Andy Brett 4-0. Alex Haden 1-0. Daryl Fensome 3-1. Justine Alessandroni 6-2. Antony Allen 3-0. Jay Stackpole 6-0. Tim Buckley 5-1. Dave Bevan 6-0. Rahul Bajaj 3-1. Paul Vincent 3-1. Adam Roush 6-0. Sean Bangs 1-0. Plenty of talk of a third successive goal feast and plenty of chat from Hatters fans across the globe including Lodve Haugland from Norway. 17:00 WATCH YOUR STEP He didn't say it in his pre-match press conference yesterday but you could more or less gauge what manager Richard Money really meant. "Salisbury are dangerous," he said. Or to put it another way: tonight is a real banana skin. First things first, look closer at the league table and notice the asterisk next to Salisbury's name in 17th place which indicates the deduction of 10 points. Add those points on and you realise the Town take on a side that should be sitting comfortably in midtable in the BSP with one of the best away records in the division. Wins at Kidderminster, York, Kettering and Rushden are hugely impressive and a warning to Town fans that tonight's game will be anything like a walk in the park. Add the fact they possess the BSP's leading goalscorer Matt Tubbs and, well, you get the picture. Money is certainly under no illusions and expects a much tougher assignment this evening against Tommy Widdrington's side. After scoring 14 goals in their last two matches the Hatters are in flying form and it would be a brave man to back against a comfortable Hatters win on what's a hugely significant evening of action in the Blue Square Premier. I'm sure Town fans will be just as interested in matters at Broadhall Way as Stevenage play Oxford in a first versus second clash. "We're all Oxford fans on Tuesday," Money said yesterday. A victory for Chris Wilder's side would open-up the title race in further. And then on Saturday there's the small matter of a Town trip to Stevenage. But one game at a time, eh? Well, whatever happens at Kenilworth Road tonight 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. He's back up in the gantry this evening calling home the shots with the best view in the house. 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.