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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
22:43 16th February 2010

YORK CITY 0-0 LUTON TOWN

The Hatters had goalkeeper Mark Tyler and the woodwork to thank as they stretched their remarkable run of clean sheets away from home to eight games. In an end-to-end clash between two sides occupying third and fifth place in the table, the Town almost fell behind on 53 minutes when the Minstermen's James Meredith saw his left-foot thunderbolt from 25 yards rebound back off the crossbar. Nine minutes later Neil Barrett should have given the hosts the lead when blazing a shot high over the crossbar from 12 yards with the goal gaping. With three minutes left on the clock and scores still goalless Alex Lawless, who had been a threat all night for City, saw his shot at the back-post deflected onto the post by Shane Blackett. The Hatters enjoyed long spells of possession, playing some top football in the process, especially in the first half. The closest the Town came to snatching the points came before half-time when Rossi Jarvis saw a well-hit drive turned around the post by York goalkeeper Michael Ingham after a fantastic move involving Adam Newton, Keith Keane and Fred Murray, An even contest that could have gone either way but the Hatters' held on to record a valuable point and clean sheet to ensure it's been 797 minutes since conceding a goal on their travels. Full report to follow. For minute-by-minute analysis see below. Result from Bootham Crescent York City 0 Luton Town 0 Final score FULL-TIME YORK CITY 0-0 LUTON TOWN. A well earned point that extends the run of clean sheets away from home. All the reaction and action to come. 90 mins - Three additional minutes for the Town to hang on to a point... 87 mins - Hearts in mouth time for the Town as Lawless sees his shot deflected onto to the post by Blackett after the Hatters had failed to pick the midfielder up and leave him free at the back post unmarked. That was extremely close. Bad marking from the Town. All City now. 84 mins - No chances of note but still very exicting as the Hatters press for a late winner. 80 mins - Both sides are really going for this now and I'm expecting it to be end-to-end and chance a plenty in the final 10 minutes. Can we do it? COYH. By the way, Keane has must have covered every blade of grass tonight, he's been superb. 77 mins - Half chance for MBH as Town continue to press. The ball breaks free to the substitute eight yards out but he can only poke the ball wide of the target. Anyone's game this. 76 mins - More good play from Craddock as he sees a shot blocked by McGurk. The Hatters on top now but York are always looking menacing coming forward themselves. 73 mins - Great chance for the Hatters as they break on the counter. Keane finds Barnes-Homer who in turns lays the ball of to Newton rushing forward from right back. He in turn finds Craddock - now playing down the middle - with a super pass. The striker takes a wonder touch to beat his marker but the ball runs away from him and Ingham is able to gather the ball. Unlucky. 72 mins - Town coming into this more now as Gnakpa fires over from 25 yards after running at the home defence. 71 mins - Chance for York again as Gash sees a goal-bound shot well blocked by a combination of Kovacs and Pilkington after Lawless' nice dummy from Carruthers' left-wing cross. 70 mins - The attendance at Bootham Cresent is 3,316 which includes 492 shouting for the Town. 68 mins  It's a double change as Nicholls is withdrawn for Blackett while Barnes-Homer comes onto replace Hatch. Pilkington takes over the captain's armband as Nico applauds the travelling Town fans. 67 mins - Activity on the Town bench below us just as Carruthers sends a shot well wide of the target for the hosts. 64 mins - The game is threatening to boil over as the Minstermen up their game. Barrett goes in hard on Keane leaving the Town man poleaxed which sparks a mini-brawl and sees Barrett and Carruthers booked as Keane limps off the field. He's staying on though, he'll run that off. 62 mins - York really should be ahead now as Barrett misses with the goal gaping. Fine play from right to left saw Carruthers head back across goal to an unmarked Barrett 12 yards out but the midfielder could only hit an effort over the bar. What a let off. 60 mins - An hour played and the Hatters are indebted again to Tyler as he pulls of a fine save with his feet to stop McGurk's near post header from finding the net following Carruthers' dangerous corner. York upping the ante now. 55 mins - Hatch is down after receiving a hefty challenge 35 yards from goal. He's eventually on his feet as he is helped off the pitch. He looks fine to continue though. 54 mins - York turning the screw now as Tyler is again tested with a shot from outside the box as Rankine fires a low shot into the hands of the Town stopper. 53 mins - Almost 1-0 to the hosts as Meredith smashes a super effort from outside the area that rebounds back off the crossbar. Not sure if Tyler got a glove on that or not, we'll have to ask him afterwards. If he did that was an incredible save to prevent the hosts from taking the lead. From the resulting corner from Barrett, Nicholls almost sends a diving header past Tyler but thankfully the Hatters can clear. That was close. 52 mins There's the substitution and it's Hall that makes way for the Frenchman. 49 mins - Could be an early change in this half for the Hatters as Gnakpa is primed to come on. 47 mins - Decent start to the half by the Town as Hatch has an ambitious shot from 25 yard charged down as the visitors press for an early opener. 46 mins York get us underway for the second half with both sides kicking towards their own supporters behind each goal. There are no changes at the break. Can the Town do it? Come on Luton! HALF-TIME YORK CITY 0-0 LUTON TOWN - Referee Khatib calls time on the opening half at Bootham Crescent and it's goalless. It's been an entertaining half with chances for both sides with Jarvis coming the closest of anyone. Another 45 minutes without conceding on the road...can the Town keep it up and go one better at the other end? Find out in 15 minutes. COYH! 45 mins - We've got one additional minute of time added on at the end of this first half. 40 mins - Then back come the Minstermen and the Town have Keane to thank to concede a corner after Rankine had ghosted past Murray down the right to send a low cross towards Gash lurking at the back post for a simple tap-in. Great defending from Keano. Good game this. 39 mins - Move of the match so far from the Hatters and it should be 1-0. Jarvis, Keane, Newton and Murray are all involved as Jarvis shoots goalwards with a well-hit shot from 18 yards that Ingham in the home goal does brilliantly to turn around the post. The ball just runs behind too quiclkly for a corner before Hatch could tap home the rebound. 37 mins - And then a chance at the other end as Rankine mis-kicks following Barrett's left-wing corner before the same player sees a shot charged down and into the hands of Tyler. 35 mins - It's been a good last five minute for the Town but can they make it count? They are playing some lovely stuff at the minute, with Keane, Nicholls and Jarvis impressing in particular. 33 min - Another close call from a Hatters set-piece as Nico swings in a dangerous inswinging corner from the left that is met at the near post by Kovacs but header is narrowly off target. Unlucky. 30 mins - All the Town now as they flood forward looking for the opener. Keane is pulling the strings while Craddock is looking a right menace down the left-flank up against Parslow. 28 mins - The thing with the Hatters is they are always a threat from set pieces and a scrappy one from Nico almost results in the opening goal. It's eventually flicked goalwards by Hatch to Kovacs waiting at the back post but the centre-half can't guide the ball home under the attentions of two markers. 25 mins - The Town are slowly creeping back into this but still no chances of note to report on in the last five minutes. 20 mins - York have enjoyed the last 10 minutes and are on top now but back come the Town on the counter and after cutting inside and beating two defenders, Craddock sends a low wide of Ingham's left-hand post. 18 mins - The City midfielder is definitely got his eye in now as he tries yet another shot from 20 yards that flashes over the top. 17 mins - Lawless is clearing sensing a goal as he just flashes another effort over Tyler's crossbar from the edge of the area. 16 mins - Almost 1-0 to the hosts. Good build-up play down the right eventually sees Gash and Rankine combine to tee up Lawless who bends a shot from 20 yards inches wide of Tyler's left-hand post. Great effort and very, very close. 9 mins - Half chance for the Hatters as Nicholls sends in a deep free-kick into the heart of the City penalty area but as the falls to Hatch he can only screw a shot wide of the target whilst on his backside. 7 mins - A bright start from both sides as back come the Minstermen who look a threat going forward. Firstly Tyler has to be quick to rush out to deny Rankine, kicking the ball to safety before the ball is back before he knows it as Macklin sends a shot arrowing over the crossbar. 6 mins - From the resulting corner whipped in by Nicholls, the ball again falls to Hall down the right flank. He sends a cross to the back post in search of Kovacs but the big Hungarian can only head wide of the target. 5 mins - Then York zip into action and the Tyler gets his glove warm for the first time as he needs to get his body behind Michael Rankine's volley on the turn from the edge of the area, From the kick upfield by the Town keeper, the ball breaks to Jarvis who finds Hall 25 yards out and his driven shot is deflected behind for a corner by McGurk. There could be goals here. 3 mins - Solid start from the Hatters so far. Murray goes on a surging run forward and gets 20 yards out and tries to swap passs with Hatch but York close ranks and the chance is snuffed out. 2 mins - As the Hatters begin on the front foot, they line up as follows: Tyler in goal; a back four of (right-to-left) Newton, Pilkington, Kovacs, Murray; Keane, Nicholls and Hall in the middle of the park; Craddock wide left, Jarvis wide right and Hatch up top on his own. 1 min - The Hatters get us underway. 707 minutes since conceding a goal on their travels is put to the test. Sit back and enjoy the updates. Come on Luton! 19:42 HERE THEY COME Out come to the two sides on the Bootham Crescent pitch, the Town will be wearing all white while the Minstermen will be sporting their home shirt of navy blue and dark red shirts, red shirt and socks. We're nearly all set. COYH! 19:38 TOWN TRAVELLERS As the ground begins to fill up there are several hundred Luton fans behind the goal away to our left. No expect to much noise from them though as they are open to the Yorkshire night's sky. 19:34 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer (sticking the neck on the line): 3-0 Luton. Simon Pitts: 1-1. Steve Moore: 2-1 Luton. Ian Pearce: 1-0 Luton. Alec Swann: 1-1. 19:30 NO MORE KITKATS We've been reliably informed that Bootham Crescent dropped the KitKat sponsorship at the end of the January. So much for yesterday's headline... 19:20 CHIN WAG As both sets of players warm-up the two managers, Richard Money and Martin Foyle are deep in discussion on the half-way. No laughing and joking, all very serious. 19:15 TWO CHANGES As we thought, Hatters boss Richard Money makes to changes to the side that beat Eastbourne Borough on Saturday. Both Liam Hatch and Keith Keane come straight back into the Town starting XI at the expense of Matthew Barnes-Homer and Claude Gnakpa who both drop to the bench. It means it's the same side that started the game against Oxford seven days ago. The subs' bench is a very strong one with Money also placing Shane Blackett and Kevin Gallen alongside Shane Gore. Hatters: Tyler, Keane, Kovacs, Pilkington, Newton, Nicholls, Newton, Hatch, Craddock, Hall, Jarvis, Murray. Substitutes: Barnes-Homer, Gallen, Blackett, Gnakpa, Gore. York City: Ingham, Meredith, McGurk, Parslow, Gash, Lawless, Barrett, Rankine, Macklin, Carruthers, Graham, Substitutes: Purkiss, Pacquette, Sangare, Gall, Pitt. 19;05 TRAVELLERS CHECKS Always keen to have a look at the amount of visiting fans have made the journey to grounds this seson, we notice that Hinckley United have brought three fans to Bootham Crescent for an FA Trophy second round replay on a Tuesday night in November, Loyalty knows no bounds! 19:00 HATCH BACK More of the Town players have emerged from the tunnel including Liam Hatch and Keane Keane who both receive a smattering of applause from the few Luton fans already inside the ground. 18:30 COLD AND QUIET We're inside a freezing Bootham Crescent that is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The press box is on the intimate side. Not great for the 6ft plus amongst us. The pitch looks in very good nick as goalkeepers Mark Tyler and Shane Gore begin their warm-up with Dimi Kharine. 15:00 ON THE ROAD All these miles. All these motorways. All these new grounds. It certainly has been an enjoyable season following the Town away from home so far this season, especially in recent months. Unbeaten in their last nine away fixtures in the Blue Square Premier the Town are on the road again and tonight it's a toughie. York City. Third place. Unbeaten at home. Put that record up against 707 minutes without conceding an away goal and throw in the fact the home side will be without their 27-goal striker and you've got all the makings of a more-than-interest spectacle. Ok, it doesn't compare to Man Utd v Milan on the box tonight but boy this game is a crucial one. Having crept slowly back into promotion contention the Town are on the march with six wins from their last seven and have a fully-fit, confident squad now battled-hardened to dealing with the hurly-burly nature of the Blue Square. One thing for sure is that tonight is just as big as last Tuesday's dramatic win over Oxford. But please... Remember not to turn off that radio or PC until the final whistle has been blown... Not that you would of course 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 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. Remember, we want you to get in touch. Join the updates and get in touch! Email andrew.barringer@lutontown.co.uk 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

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