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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:37 21st August 2010

FLEETWOOD 0-3 HATTERS

The Hatters remain top of the Blue Square Bet Premier and preserved their 100% start to the season with an impressive and comfortable victory against 10-man Fleetwood. Man of the moment Matthew Barnes-Homer turned home his fifth goal in three games to put the Town ahead on 14 minutes after fine wing play from Claude Gnakpa. With Richard Money's men well on top Gnakpa went from creator to scorer when thumping home from 10 yards after he had capitalised on a slip from Fleetwood centre-back Paul Linwood on 22 minutes. It got worse for Lindwood seven minutes before the break when the home defender was shown a second yellow card following an altercation with Danny Crow. Fleetwood huffed and puffed in the second half but the Town were in such control Mark Tyler was rarely troubled. And, as the visitors continued to dominate, another goal was always on the cards and the third duly arrived two minutes from time when substitute Tom Craddock headed home Andy Drury's cross from close range to seal a fine awayday display. Full report to follow. For minute-by-minute analysis, see below.   Live from Highbury Fleetwood Town 0 Luton Town 3 (Barnes-Homer 14, Gnakpa 22, Craddock 88) Latest score - press F5 or refresh for updates FULL-TIME FLEETWOOD TOWN 0-3 LUTON TOWN - Three goals, three points, three wins for the season. Match action and reaction to come. Get in! COYH! 90 mins - Three added minutes here as the local begin to talk about Blackpool losing 6-0 at Arsenal... 88 mins  GOAL! Fleetwood 0-3 HATTERS - It's that man Tom Haddock! Off the bench, Craddock makes it 3-0 and all over here. Persistance from MBH tees up Drury who tip-toes down the right and clips the ball to the back stick to the unmarked Town sub who dives to head home from close range for his first of the season. Get in! 85 mins - The attendance at Highbury is 2,821, no official number from Bedfordshire yet. 84 mins - Two chances in for the Town in the space of 30 seconds as firstly MBH sees fierce shot deflected behind after Kroca's lay-off before, from the resulting corner, Pilkington has a looping back post header tipped over by Hurst. 79 mins - More link-up play between MBH and Drury but this time the latter can only scuff a shot wide of Hurst's right-hand post. 76 mins - Half-hearted Hatters appeals for a pen are waved away as Murray goes down under Beeley's challenge but the ref's not interested. 75 mins - Money's men have upped it now and Besta breaks forward unchallenged and finds the overlapping Drury down the right whose cross-cum-shot is clawed away by Hurst. 74 mins - Back come the Town though and Craddock forces Hurst into a decent save, pawing away the striker's shot from the edge of the area after being found by Barnes-Homer. Is there a third goal here for the Hatters? 71 mins - Still the chances keep falling their way but it's nothing to worry about for the Town. Curtis races onto a throughball which Tyler clears. The ball reaches Vieira 30 yards out. With the home crowd baying for him to shoot, he does but he doesn't connect properly, hitting it first time and the ball rolls harmlessly wide. 67 mins - Fleetwood still aren't out of this but they need to take their chances when they come to make a game of it. Crainey finds Vieira down the left who cuts it back to his team-mate but the Cods' number 8 doesn't connect properly and his shot spins disappointly over the crossbar. 64 mins - A bit of pressure from the hosts but they waste their chance to test the Town as Crainey's left-wing corner eludes everyone including McNulty who doesn't even make an attempt to jump for it. 62 mins Change for the Hatters as Crow is replaced by Tom Craddock who receives a warm reception from the visiting supporters. 60 mins - Still the Hatters remain in control with Barnes-Homer again the tormentor. Running down the right he hangs up a deep cross that Hurst does well to cling on to. 58 mins - More good football from the Town and Hurst is called into action, diving low to his right to keep out Drury's daisycutter from 18 yards having taken a neat backheel from MBH into his stride. Unlucky. 57 mins - After a flurry of Fleetwood attacks the Town break as MBH pings a cross-field pass to Crow who keep it in play. He plays a simple ball to Keane on the left-hand edge of the penalty area who looks up and rifles a shot over Hurst's crossbar. 54 mins - Jake's been superb since his introduction at the break and he again impresses when sending a cheeky nutmeg past Miles down the left. However he runs into McNulty - the giant Cod skipper - and the chance is lost. 51 mins - Comfortable possession football and still plenty of endeavour and invention out there. Surely more goals here. Surely that's jinxed that, however. 50 mins - Plenty of chances now for the Hatters as they begin to make their man advantage count. Firstly Crow curls a shot high, wide and handsome from the edge of the box before Drury tries his luck from further out with a shot that arrows well wide. 48 mins - Almost 3-0. MBH scampers down the left, cuts inside and spots Howells 18 yards from goal. The pass is ahead of the Town sub but he slides to meet it, sticking out a leg. He makes a connection with a shot that crashes against the underside of the crossbar and away from safety. Unlucky. It was a difficult chance. 47 mins - Early sniffs for the hosts as they force an early corner that Tyler has to punch away before Curtis beats Gleeson but fails in his attempt to cross when well positioned down the left. 46 mins Change at the interval for the Town as Gnakpa is replaced by Jake Howells. He lines up down the left with Drury switching to the right. 46 mins  The hosts get  the second half under way shooting to their own supporters congregated on the terrace behind the goal. HALF-TIME: FLEETWOOD 0-2 HATTERS - Sorry, we've had some issues with our website maintainers, which should never happen on a matchday so our apologies. At the break it's 2-0 to the Town and Fleetwood are down to 10 men. See below for the first half updates that we kept going with. Our apologies once again. 20 mins - Since the goal it's been all the Town and it's confident play all over the pitch. 22 mins GOAL! Fleetwood 0-2 HATTERS - Too easy for the Hatters at the minute and Gnakpa, who has been a threat all afternoon and we're only 20 minutes in, who's got it. Fred Murray does well down the left to ping a right-foot cross to the feet of the Frenchman. The danger seems over but Cod defender Linwood slips allowing the winger to bare down on goal, round Hurst and smash the ball into the roof of the net for his first goal of the season. Get in! 23 mins - Back come Fleetwood and it's almost 2-1 as the Town have Tyler to thank for a smart save to prevent Curtis' snap-shot from creeping in. Good move, good save and a sign that the Cod still possess a real threat. 26 mins - All Fleetwood now as Pond heads a Miles cross narrowly over the top of the crossbar. 30 mins - Very good period of possession for the Cod Army now as another dangerous counter attack sees Curtis run along the edge of the six yard box before firing a shot into the legs of Murray. 34 mins - Referee Bankes has his book out again, this time to show a yellow to Lindwood for his mis-timed tackle on Crow. 35 mins - From the resulting free-kick by Drury that is headed on by Kroca, Pilkington sees a hooked volley from the edge of the area blocked by the back of Pond. 38 mins - Fleetwood down to 10 men as Lindwood - it hasn't been his day has been shown a second yellow for raising his hands into the face of Crow, after reacting to Gnakpa's scything challenge on Grand has earned the scorer of the Town's second goal a booking. 42 mins - Keep ball for the Hatters now with two goals and one man to good. MBH does well down the left, the ball breaking for Drury. The winger whips a first time ball dangerously looking for Crow but the striker can't meet the ball and move breaks down. Unlucky. 45 mins - Three additional minutes here for the Town to see out until the break. 45 + 1 mins - The book is out again but this time it's for a man in white as Kroca's name is taken. 14 mins - GOAL! Fleetwood 0-1 HATTERS - MBH 12 mins - And then a chance as the Town break. Claude robs Beeley of the ball and sprints down the right flank. He senses glory himself and, after reaching the edge of the area, he cuts in side and blasts a right-foot shot goalwards that whistles just over the crossbar. 9 mins  Meanwhile, on the pitch, it has been pretty quiet with the Hatters having the better of possession early doors. 8 mins - Once again our apologies if you missed any of the action. Scroll down for some the of the 'offline' updates, including our talk of fish puns and press box predictions. 6 mins - After Keane gets to his feet his plays a quick free-kick to Barnes-Homer to squares to the on-rushing Drury who smacks a firm shot from 25 yards against the back of Beeley. A good block and one that would have hurt, I'm sure. 5 mins - A quiet start is soon brought to an abrupt end as the Cods' Nathan Pond earns a booking for a crunching late challenge on Keane that leaves the Town number four wrighting in agony. 4 mins - Right, apologies, we're now here and live and trouble-free. For the time being. Enjoy, if you can, the updates. 2 mins - First cries of "Are you Blackpool in disguise?" from the home supports. The pitch, as mentioned earlier, does look in terrific order. 1 min - The Hatters kick off shooting towards the home terraces. The Cod Army are kicking towards a similar stand that is housing 500 or so Town fans dressed in white and orange. 14:58 COLOURS The Town will be sporting their third choice strip of white shirts, blue shorts and white socks whilst the hosts are in their traditional red shirts, white shorts and red shirts. 14:55 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS: Andrew Barringer: 2-0 Luton, Ian Pearce: 3-0 Luton, Simon Pitts 2-1 Luton, Mark Wood: 3-0 Luton, Ian Ryan: 2-2. 14:52pm FAULT Apologies to all supporters, Perform, the company that run and maintain official websites of the clubs in the Football League Interactive agreement have emailed us to inform us of an issue which means we are unable to bring you live text commentary until further notice. 14:45 FISHY Reports love puns. That is fact. With Fleetwood known as the Cod Army, there are plenty of fish-related puns on offer today so don't be surprised that a few crop up online and in next week's papers. Two changes on the bench for the Town: HAKE Howells and Tom HADDOCK. Sorry. No, I really am. 14:25 THREE CHANGES Town boss Richard Money makes three changes to the side that beat Kettering Town at Rockingham Road on Tuesday. In come Mark Tyler, Pavel Besta and Danny Crow for Kevin Pilkington, Adam Murray and Kevin Gallen. Gallen misses out all together while Pilkington and Murray are on the bench alongside Adam Newton, Jake Howells and Tom Craddock. Mickey Mellon, the Fleetwood boss, names an unchanged side following their 3-0 win over Mansfield here on Tuesday. Hatters: Tyler, Gleeson, F. Murray, Keane, G. Pilkington, Barnes-Homer, Drury, Kroca, Besta, Gnakpa, Crow. Subs: Newton, Craddock, A. Murray, K. Pilkington, Howells. Fleetwood: Hurst, Beeley, Grand, Linwood, McNulty, Craney, Miles, Barry, Pond, Vieira, Curtis. Subs: McGuire, Cavangh, Davies, Thorpe, Beesley. 13:55 HIGHBURY BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT Good afternnoon and welcome back one and all to our text commentary service which today comes from Highbury. Yes, that's right folks, Highbury. The seats are red and the pitch looks perfect it's just not THE Highbury that Arsenal once graced before moving to their state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium, because today we're in Fleetwood, Lancashire, some eight miles north of Blackpool and north London. Currently under redevelopment which is almost complete, this Highbury is a tidy, smart affair with two covered terraces behind both goals and low Main Stand running one length of the pitch. The pitch, as already mentioned, looks in great nick, and the Hatters will be hoping their first visit to Highbury is a good 'un. The Town will certainly want to pick-up from where they left off following Tuesday night's impressive 3-1 victory at Kettering Town. That win put Richard Money's men top of the table and, early it maybe, but who doesn't love looking at the table with their team sitting top? Exactly. Elsewhere on Tuesday the Town's opponents this afternoon were also recording an impressive result: a 3-0 thumping of Mansfield to be precise. And although the Cod Army, as they are affectionally known, were only promoted to the BSBP this summer, forget thinking that today will be easy for the Hatters. Cod boss Mickey Mellon has assembled a very good side and a strong side, one of the strongest in the division, according to Money. The Hatters boss though must have confidence in his side after their last two encouraging displays and, of course, hoping that another three points today will keep all Town fans smiling. Well, whatever happens at Highbury this afternoon, and throughout the season, 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 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 still brought to you by Simon "Statto" Pitts but he's got company this time! The DiverseFM team have collaborated with BBC Three Counties radio and the Club to bring you the Luton Town Show. Following the final whistle we'll have all the reaction from the men that matter this after, bringing you exclusive video content from Richard Money and from the dressing room. We'll have plenty of content to keep you interested as we'll have all of the post-match reaction from Richard as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle. Be sure to check out www.hatterspics.co.uk - our online image library. Like a picture you see and fancy having that on a mug? Well, fancy no more - with Hatters Pics it's a reality. 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!
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