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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
12:26 2th March 2011

HATTERS 1-3 FLEETWOOD TOWN

The Hatters crashed to their first defeat in 11 games as Fleetwood came from behind to stun Kenilworth Road and end the run of seven home games with a disappointing defeat. All seemed to be going to plan for the Town as early as the seventh minute when Lloyd Owusu pounced on Matthew Barnes-Homer's right wing cross to put them in front. But no sooner were they front were they back level again when Gareth Seddon ghosted behind the Hatters defence to slot confidently past the advancing Mark Tyler on nine minutes. Micky Mellon's side almost make it 2-1 three minutes later when leading goalscorer Magno Vieira found space in the Town penalty area but was denied by a last ditch block by George Pilkington. Dan Gleeson and Claude Gnakpa both came close to restoring the Town's lead with half-chances before the visitors, looking menacing every time they attacked, twice came close in a 30-second spell on 25 minutes through Jamie McGuire. It was end-to-stuff as the half-time whistle approached. Gleeson had to be alert to deny Sean Clancy a tap-in on 37 minutes before Nathan Pond headed a guilt-edged chance over the bar moments later. Back came the Town and Alex Lawless saw a stunning drive from 25 yards rebound off the crossbar as the hosts upped the ante before Barnes-Homer swept a shot wide in first-half injury time. The half-time whistle probably came at the wrong time for the Town and all of a sudden the game turned on its head eight minutes into the second half in sensational style when Anthony Barry fired home an unstoppable right-foot shot into the top corner from 30 yards. Buoyed by that the Cod Army then silenced the home faithful even further two minutes later when Seddon was given time and space in behind the Hatters defence to round Tyler and tap home from two yards for his second of the afternoon to make it 3-1. The Town huffed and puffed in search of a route back into the game but the closest they came to finding a goal was when substitute Luke Graham saw a header cleared off the line. Fleetwood closed ranks putting 11 men behind the ball to ensure the Hatters were left contemplating a second home defeat of the campaign. For minute-by-minute analysis, see below. Result from Kenilworth Road Luton Town 1 (Owusu 7) Fleetwood Town 3 (Seddon 9, 55, Barry 53) FULL-TIME It's all over here and the Town succumb to their second home defeat of the campaign. Reaction, photographs, report and analysis to come. 90 mins + 4 - Time almost up here, this famous old ground emptying by the minute. 90 mins - We've got a minimum of five added minutes. 89 mins - A minute left on the clock now as Kenilworth Road begins to empty. 87 mins - I'd love to be telling you how the Town had pulled one back to make it an interesting final few minutes but I can't because in truth, nothing has happened. We're three minutes from full-time now, plus stoppages. 84 mins - Time running out for the Hatters here, any comeback here will be of extraordinary proportions. Then, from a Lawless corner, Pilkington heads over. Fleetwood gettting 11 behind the ball pretty much at every opportunity. 80 mins - 10 left now and in truth Davies in the visitors goal hasn't been tested. Time for the Town to go route one. 76 mins Third and final change for the Hatters as Jason Walker replaces Gnakpa. 72 mins - Almost a sniff for 4-1 to the visitors as Mullan cuts in from the left and sends a dangerous low shot into the box that Kroca clears, via a deflection. 70 mins - 20 left now, can the Hatters salvage anything from this? Howells' departure has meant Gleeson is playing down the left, Pilks is at right-back with Graham and Kroca at centre-half. The prospects here look pretty grim. 68 mins We're set again now as Howells heads down the tunnel and on comes Poku. 67 mins - Jake is still down the doctor has been called and the stretcher is out and a leg brace looks to be being prepared. It was a high challenge, above the knee.  Godfrey Poku looks like he's coming on. 66 mins - A booking for the visitors and Pond is in the book for a horrible challenge on Howells, who is now receiving treatment. 63 mins - Oh chance and it's almost 2-3 as Will Haining hacks a goal-bound header from substitute Graham off the line. That would have made things interesting. End-to-end stuff but the Town aren't helping themselves, giving the ball away and frustrating the home faithful. 61 mins - That chances has seen Graham slot in as one of three centre-backs, Howells and Gleeson are playing at wing-back, Keane and Lawless in central midfield, Barnes-Homer on the left, Gnakpa on the right with Owusu the focal point up top. 60 mins - Plenty of shocked faces around Kenilworth Road. The attendance is 6,227 including 76 from Fleetwood. 59 mins First change of the day for the Town as Luke Graham replaces Morgan-Smith. 57 mins - Noise goes up from the Hatters' faithful, can they get back from here though. A big ask but with over half an hour to play, you wouldn't back against them. 55 mins  GOAL Town 1-3 FLEETWOOD - Uh-oh, two goals in two minutes and all of a sudden the visitors are 3-1 up. A long ball over the top eludes the Town defence which enables GARETH SEDDON to run through, round Tyler and tuck home his second of the afternoon. Oh dear. 53 mins  GOAL Town 1-2 FLEETWOOD - Well, well, well, that's the way to do it. Visiting midfielder ANTHONY BARRY looks up and whacks a superb goal into the top right hand corner from 25 yards to give the Cod Army the lead.Stunning goal. Kenilworth Road silenced. 49 mins - Almost a tad bit of controversy as the officials award the visitors a throw down the right and eventually Seddon drives an effort from the edge of the area that is comfortably held by Tyler. Fleetwood looking lively. 47 mins - Early chance for the visitors and it's close once more and Tyler needs to be at his best to dive away to his right to keep out Seddon's header from creeping into the bottom corner following Jamie Mullan's cross. 46 mins  Annnnnnnd we're off and underway as Fleetwood begin the second half. The Town are now attacking the Oak Road end. No chnages for either at the interval, either. HALF-TIME Referee Collins calls time on this opening 45 minutes and we go in all square following two goals in the space of two minutes. It's been a tad frustrating at times, the Town probably didn't want the half-time whistle to sound. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half updates. 46 mins - Almost, almost. Great stuff from the Town as Lawless lofts a cross to the back-stick that Morgan-Smith knocks down into the path Barnes-Homer who flashes a first-time shot wide of the post. Unlucky. 45 mins - A minimum of three minutes to play at the end of this half? Can the Town go in at the break ahead? 41 mins - WOW! How unlucky...with nothing on Lawless picks the ball up thumps a shot from 25 yards that home goalkeeper Davies watches rattle the crossbar. What a great hit. It swerved and deceived the keeper. A super effort. 37 mins - Excellent defending from Gleeson denies the visitors' Clancy from a tap-in before the Cod Army really should make it 2-1 as substitute Pond heads over well well placed six yards out. What a chance. 34 mins - Nice football from the Hatters involving AMS and Gnakpa but the end product isn't as good, Keith Keane slicing a shot well, well wide of the target from 22 yards. Keano has yet to score this season... 31 mins - That's it for McGuire, his game is over as he leaves to applause from the Town faithful on a stretcher. On comes Nathan Pond. 29 mins - Stoppage in play here as McGuire receives treatment...the stretchers have been called. 25 mins - Fleetwood still looking a threat going forward and the Hatters have Tyler to thank for tipping over McGuire's header. It was literally a finger from the stopper and it was vital - it was going to drop in. From the resultant corner, McGuire again gets up but his header is high and wide. 22 mins - First bookings arrive and there's one shown to a player on each side: Barnes-Homer for the Town and McGuire for the visitors for squaring up to each other. 18 mins - Rememeber we're backing Gleeson to get his first goal in Luton and he almost comes close to hitting a scorcher from distance...only the head of Sean Gregan gets in its way. From the corner swung in by Lawless, Owusu almost gets close to connecting at the near post before penalty claims are waved away by referee Collins after Morgan-Smith went down on the corner of the 18 yard box. 17 mins - Strange to think that the Town were ahead eight minutes ago and although it's 1-1 they could easily be behind. 15 mins - Another chance and this time it's for the Hatters as Lawless curls in a good-looking free-kick from the right that Gnakpa gets his head to but he can only glance it three yards wide of the target. 13 mins - After a slow start it's certainly livened up, two goals in two minutes with the visitors going close to grabbing the lead. 12 mins - Crickey, almost 2-1 to the visitors, Vieira is a real threat as he gets the better of Pilkington to drive a shot at goal but the Town skipper gets back to block the effort behind for a corner. 11 mins - All Fleetwood all of a sudden as Jamie Mullan gathers a Jamie Mullan shot at the second attempt. Phew. 9 mins  GOAL Town 1-1 FLEETWOOD - Talk about early goals, we've now got two of them and unfortunately it's now one for either side as GARETH SEDDON breaks into the Town box and with Magno Vieira square he decides to go alone and slots the ball past Mark Tyler. 1-1. 7 mins  GOOOOAL! TOWN 1-0 Fleetwood - I said to my colleagues in the press box before kick-off an early goal was necessary and the Hatters have just done that. Gnakpa sends MBH down the right, the striker outmuscles his marker and squares to LLOYD OWUSU who dives to divert the ball home for his fourth goal in Luton colours. GET IN! 4 mins - Very quiet beginning to proceedings here. Claude has shown some decent touches so far, that's all I can really tell you. 2 mins - So following that escapade in the Trophy last Friday, the seven changes mean it's Tyler in goal, Howells left-back, Gleeson right, Pilks and Kroca centre-halves, Lawless and Keane in centre mid, Gnakpa right wing, Morgan-Smith left wing and MBH and Owusu up top. 1 min Annnnd we're off as the Town kick-off and having swapped ends following the toss-up, they'll shoot towards the Kenilworth Road end in this first half. Enjoy the updates. COYH! 14:56 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides on the pitch, the Town in orange, led by Pilkington and Fleetwood in yellow and black stripes. Could be a bit of colour clash? 14:50 HARD WORK Ten minutes to kick-off, the players back in the dressing rooms, now it's time for the two groundsman to put some finishing touches to Kenilworth Road turf which has taken a right battering over the past 28 days, after today, thankfully for them, there's a break. Good work chaps. 14:46 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 3-1 Luton, Simon Pitts: 1-0 Luton, Ian Pearce: 3-1 Luton, Mike Simmonds: 2-1 Luton, Mark Wood: 2-0 Luton, Ian Ryan: 3-2 Luton. 14:42 MATCHDAY MUSIC Phil Collins - Easy Lover, currently belting out of the speakers around the stadium. 14:35 ON THIS DAY A mixed day for the Town, is 12th February, winning five, losing five and drawing four of 14 matches. Last time out? How about the last-gasp 1-0 victory over Hull City here at Kenilworth Road in 2005 thanks to Ahmet Brkovic's near post header. 14:27 TEAM NEWS ANALYSIS So, the Town make seven changes to the side that Gloucester City last Friday. It's the same XI that beat Darlington 4-0 last time out at Keniworth Road. Fleetwood have former Hatters loanee George Donnelly on the bench. 14:25 SEVENTH HEAVEN Today will be the Hatters' seventh consecutive home game a record beating the six managed twice in 1903/04 and 1926/27. 14:10 HERE YOU GO Town: Tyler, Gleeson, G. Pilkington, Kroca, Howells, Morgan-Smith, Keane, Lawless, Gnakpa, Barnes-Homer, Owusu. Subs: K. Pilkington, Poku, Crow, J. Walker, Graham. Fleetwood: Davies, Beeley, Wright, Barry, Clancy, Vieira, Mullan, McGuire, Seddon, Haining, Gregan. Subs: Hurst, Pond, Donnelly, Rowe, Milligan. 14:04 WEATHER WATCH Slight delay in the teamsheets here so let's talk about the weather: mild, with a slight breeze with the sun peering through the cloud. Nice. 13:42 TEAM NEWS ON THE WAY Stay tuned in 15 minutes... 13:36 UH-OH Fleetwood are the only team in the Blue Square Bet Premier not to have been awarded a penalty in the league this season. 13:28 GET ON GLEESON! Remember we're all getting behind right-back Dan Gleeson to score his first goal for the Town. He's been trying to find the onion bag in recent weeks but without success. He's 9/1 to score at anytime and a whopping 33/1 to score the first goal. Get behind Dan and earn yourself, and the club money. Click here to find out more and open an account with out betting partner Coral. 13:06 HOW TIMES CHANGE Visiting boss Micky Mellon: "If you'd said Fleetwood will be playing Luton in a league game five or ten years ago people would think you were barmy. But we deserve to be at the level we are at. Luton are now at the same level as us, so we need to go down there and give a good account of ourselves for the fans and the club." 12:00 MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Six down, one to go (and throw in an England C international in for good measure) the majority of staff at Kenilworth Road will breathe a sigh of relief when all is said and done this afternoon. Seven successive home fixtures is an unprecedented run in the history of the Hatters and the team on the pitch are certainly making the most of it. Five wins and one draw during the six games so far has pushed the Town right into contention for the Blue Square Bet Premier title and a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy. And entertainment has certainly been the name of the game: the Kenilworth Road faithful have celebrated 17 goals, seen just two conceded (in a game they trailed 2-0 to fightback to earn a point) and waved goodbye to three opposing players who earned red cards. This afternoon's seventh and final instalment of this Kenilworth Road boxset is arguably the most important on day that the league sponsors are billing as Super Saturday. Fleetwood Town are the highest placed side the Town have faced during this run - Micky Mellon's outfit currently sit fifth in the table and arrive in LU4 looking to avenge a 3-0 defeat the Town inflicted on the Cod Army way back in August. With leaders Wimbledon hosting York and Crawley entertaining a Wrexham side who have won their last seven league fixtures, today could, could, be a pivotal day in the promotion race. The Town are in tip-top shape, unbeaten in 10 league games they've only lost once in 16 games in all competitions. It's going to be a rollercoaster ride as usual so hold onto your hats... Well once more, as ever, win, lose or draw this afternoon lutontown.co.uk will be following every step of the way. As usual 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 fantastic mobile site. Check it out if you're on the move @ http://mobile.lutontown.co.uk 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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