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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:55 9th December 2010

HATTERS 1-3 CHARLTON ATHLETIC

The Town's dream of a FA Cup third round meeting with Tottenham Hotspur was ended as League 1 Charlton came from a goal down to progress at a cold Kenilworth Road. After dominating the opening exchanges the Hatters deservedly took the on 38 minutes when Zdenek Kroca smashed home after a melee in the Charlton penalty area following Andy Drury's corner. Earlier Keith Keane has seen a free-kick tipped over by Rob Elliott in the Addicks goal before Danny Crow rattled the bar with a fantastic shot on 22 minutes. But a goal up and the half-time break approaching it was against the run of play that the visitors equalised when Scott Wagstaff nodded home Simon Francis' right-wing cross on 44 minutes. The Hatters started the second half well and Elliott again came to the Addicks' rescue on 52 minutes when tipping over George Pilkington's header from 12 yards. That saved proved crucial and on 66 minutes Charlton completed the turnaround when Joe Anyinsah touched home a low drive from Matt Fry to put them ahead for the first time on the night. Still the Town saw plenty of the ball but the sucker punch arrived with 10 minutes to go when Johnnie Jackson saw his free-kick from the edge of the area take a huge deflection and the ball landed up unfortunately in the back of Mark Tyler's net. The Hatters huffed and puffed in search of a reply but Elliott wasn't seriously tested and come the final whistle it was the Londoners celebrating victory and a trip to White Hart Lane. Full report to follow. For minute-by-minute analysis see below. Luton Town 1 (Kroca 38) Charlton Athletic 3 (Wagstaff 44, Anyinsah 66, Jackon 80) Result FULL-TIME HATTERS 1-3 CHARLTON - All the reaction, interviews and action to come. 90 mins - Three added minutes here. 89 mins - One minute left, the Town have had plenty of the ball but Elliott hasn't been troubled in the past 15 minutes. 85 mins - Sorry another five minutes without an update but not much to report here, other than the vocal Hatters support whose spirits are still high despite the scoreline. 80 mins  GOAL! Town 1-3 CHARLTON - Any dreams of White Hart Lane can be forgetten now because Charlton have a two-goal cushion. Poku concedes a free-kick that is taken by JOHNNIE JACKSON who sees his curling effort take a huge deflection and drop past a flat-footed Tyler. Game over, surely. 79 mins - 11 left now as the Town look like they've run out of ideas at the minute. Have they got a granstand finish in them to force extra time. 76 mins - By the way at change with Poku on the pitch has seen Drury switch to the left flank with the substitute in tandem with Keane in the middle of the park. 75 mins  Second change from Richard Money as Taiwo Atienon replaces Crow. 75 mins - 15 left for the Town to take this to another 30 minutes as the attendance of 5,914 is announced including 409 from South London. 71 mins - The Hatters need to be careful now as Charlton sense a third to put the tie beyond doubt. Anyinsah does well to latch onto Abbott's flick on to drive a well-hit half volley goalwards that Tyler does well to stop. 70 mins  First change for the Town with 20 left on the clock as Morgan-Smith is replaced by Godfrey Poku. 69 mins - So just over 20 minutes to find an equaliser for the Town. They've done it twice in the first game. Now they have to do it again. 66 mins  GOAL! Town 1-2 CHARLTON - After Pilkington had done well to turn behind a dangerous Charlton breakaway, from the resulting corner the Addicks take the lead. The ball falls to Fry 20 yards out who sends a low drive back into the box which is eventually turned home by the slighest of touches by JOE ANYINSAH to make it 2-1. 63 mins - Almost an immediate impact from Addicks sub Abbott as he hits a snap-shot volley from 20 yards that catches Tyler by surprise by the Town keeper saves at the second attempt. Decent effort by a comfortable save in the end. 62 mins - It seems to me that this game is flying by and as the Town go up the other end and force a corner, Morgan-Smithn booms a volley high and wide after the flag-kick is half-cleared. 61 mins - Great chance for Charlton to take the lead as Racon heads straight at Tyler from eight yards when left unmarked to attack a right-wing cross. Sighs of relief all round there. Still 1-1. 60 mins First change on the hour is for the Addicks as Phil Parkinson replaces Benson with Pawel Abbott. A striker for a striker. 57 mins - Five minutes without an update, I'm sorry but in truth there's not a lot to tell you. The Town have had plenty of the ball but not done much with it. Still one a-piece. 52 mins - End to end now and a wonderful full-stretch stop from Elliott denies a great punching header from Pilkington after he'd got on the end of  two mis-placed headers from Charlton defenders following Keane's long throw down the right. The pressure is rising once more. 51 mins - Back come the Addicks as Tyler has the simple task to catch a header from Benson from 10 yards. No worries there. 50 mins - Oh so close and again it comes from the boot of Morgan-Smith. As Charlton stand off, AMS glides past three defenders and into the box. He spots Elliott of his line and tries a delicious dinked shot that grazes the outside of post and bar with the visiting keeper only able to watch. Unlucky. 47 mins - Hatters on top in the early stages of this half and Charlton need to clear when Gnakpa is momentarily free inside the box, taking Drury's lofted pass. 46 mins - Oh and no changes for either side at the break. 46 mins Annnnnnnd we're off an underway for the second half as Charlton kick-off. The Town are now kicking towards the Kenny End. COYH! HALF-TIME Referee Tanner calls time on the first 45 minutes and once again, like the first game, it's been thoroughly entertaining. At 1-1 it's perfectly poised. The Hatters have dominated and to be level at the break is not a true reflection so far. Charlton's goal was against the run of the play but the Town can be pleased with their first half showing. Check back in 15 minutes. 45 mins - What a kick in the teeth that is. So we're all square again. We've got two added minutes at the end of this half. 44 mins  GOAL! Town 1-1 CHARLTON - Well, there's your answer...a goal before the break but the wrong way. Howells fails to cut out a raking pass and Simon Francis gallops up from right back to send a lovely cross onto the head of SCOTT WAGSTAFF who does the rest, neatly glancing a header past Tyler, in off the post. Damn. 43 mins - Two minutes to break and a goal up, I'll take that thank you very much. Another before the break? Yes please. 39 mins - That's the big Czech's fourth goal of the season. He looked absolutely delighted. So we are. For the first time in the two ties the Town lead. Can they hold it? 38 mins  GOOOOOOOAL! TOWN 1-0 Charlton - At last the pressure counts! Drury's right-wing corner causes confusion in the Chalrton penalty area and after a melee the ball breaks to ZDENEK KROCA to whack home from six yards. Cue pandemonium in the home ends. Get in! 35 mins - Another yellow, this time for Keane as he goes in late on Wagstaff. It looked worse that it was. 2-1 to Charlton in cautions now. 32 mins - Almost 1-0 to the Town as Charlton, not switched on, have Elliott to thank for tipping over a quick-thinking free-kick from Keane that was heading for the top corner. From the resulting corner from Drury, the ball is pinged high into the night sky which Gnakpa attacks powerfully but the Frenchman's header is straight down the throat of Elliott. Unlucky. 30 mins - Still the Hatters dominate possession but a good break is wasted by a deep cross by Gnakpa that was too deep for Morgan-Smith to latch on to on the left. 27 mins - Second Charlton player in the book as Racon gets his name taken by referee Tanner for giving the man in the black a bit too much lip. 25 mins - Actually talking to Mark earlier I jokingly asked him if he was wearing tracksuit bottoms tonight to protect his legs from the hard pitch. "Me? Tracky bottoms?" was the reply from the Town number 1. 24 mins - Halfway through the first half and the Town are still well on top. I don't think Tyler has had to meaningful touch yet. He's claimed one high mis-kicked ball in the air earlier but that's about it. Someone give him a cup of tea, he must be cold. 22 mins - CHANCE. And the decibel level goes up as Crow finds space in the area to thunder a right-foot shot onto the Charlton crossbar. It's still shaking. Great strike to dig it out, latching onto Gnakpa's low right-wing cross. Can the Town make this dominance count? 20 mins - More magical stuff from AMS but as he runs through the centre of the pitch he's cynically upended by ex-Hatter Doherty on the edge of the area and becomes the first man in referee Tanner's book. Free-kick - Drury curls over. 17 mins - Morgan-Smith is playing with a lot of confidence out there and he almost creates a superb opening goal. He takes Drury's half-cleared corner, beats two Charlton defenders and dinks a delightful pass to the back post that Kroca can't quite get on the end of with a tap in the right direction almost certain to result in a goal. Great play. 14 mins - Just as I was about to say that Charlton were getting into it a long ball by Howells from left back finds Crow in the channel. He's almost in on goal and as Elliott in the Addicks goal comes out to commit himself only a leg of Semedo denies the striker. From the corner, a Charlton player - obscured at the back post - mis-kicks it before clearing at the second attempt. 10 mins - There's no doubting the Hatters have started the better of the two sides and they're really getting into Charlton. Plenty of hassling. Good pressing from Morgan-Smith in the middle of the park enables Gnakpa to drive forward. He then finds Morgan-Smith who curls a shot from 22 yards high and wide. 7 mins - Also - sorry I'm only just catching up with everything - it's as you were as far as the Town are concerned following the first game: Tyler in goal, Howells and Gleeson full backs, Pilks and Kroca at centre half, Drury and Keane in centre mid, Gnakpa on the right flank, Morgan-Smith on the left and MBH and Crow up top. *deep breath* 6 mins - So a good start here and the Town faithful are in full voice. Charlton have brought only 300 which is a little bit disappointed. The pitch by the way, looks absolutely super. Hat off to the groundstaff. 5 mins - Oh and another chance from the resulting corner from Drury on the left the ball falls momentarily to Keane but then to Kroca who scuffs a shot wide from six yards when well placed. Unlucky. 4 mins - Super move and almost a chance for the Town as Gnakpa, Morgan-Smith and Howells combine superly with one-touch football that is cleared by a Charlton man at the back stick with Crow lurking for a tap-in. Up goes the noise. Corner. 2 mins - As we're a little behind here's some press box predictions: Andrew Barringer 2-2 (Luton win aet), Simon Pitts: 1-1, Mark Wood: 3-0, Mike Simmonds: 1-1, James Cunliffe: Luton to win on penalties. 1 min - And we're off as the Town get this rip-roaring cup tie underway shooting towards the Oak Road. Enjoy the updates. COYH. 19:48 LEGEND A minute's applause for Wally Shanks who died last week. 19:45 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides, the Hatters in orange, Charlton in sky blue. 19:27 THE TEAMS Sorry it's been a bit of rush around here. The Town are unchanged from the first game: Tyler, Gleeson, Howells, Kroca, Pilkington, Drury, Gnakpa, Morgan-Smith, Barnes-Homer, Crow. Subs: Hinton, Atieno, Besta, Lacey, Poku, Walker, Kidd. Charlton: Elliott, Francis, Jackson, Semedo, Wagstaff, Racon, Doherty, Benson, Fry, Anyinsah, Fortune. Subs: Llera, Abbott, Reid, Sodje, Mambo, McCormack, Worner. 19:23 FAMILIAR FACE   David Pleat and Dean Kiely discuss pre-match on ESPN. 19:20 BUZZ Kenilworth Road is a hive of activity at the minute, the press box is full and ESPN are busy interviewing the two managers pre-match. "No fear" is the message from Town boss Richard Money. 19:00 HATTERS UNCHANGED Full team lines-up here. 18:05 WARM-UP! If you are attending tonight, don't forget there is new stock in the club shop to keep you warm. Gloves, hats, scarves and fleeces are now on offer. Click here for further details. 18:00 MATCHDAY MUSIC Testing out the public address system: Simply having a wonderful Christmas time by Sir Paul McCartney. 17:40 PAY ON THE NIGHT Still undecided? It's not that cold! If you haven't got your ticket yet there's still time. Get down to Kenilworth Road early. We're anticipating 7,000 plus tonight. For ticket prices - which are reduced by the way - click here. 16:45 COVERED UP The Kenilworth Road pitch is still undercover to keep the cold at bay. They'll be on for a few hours still yet so there's no problems. It's soft underfoot still and in complete darkness. A number of club staff are assisting groundsman Richard Bird to ensure everything is in place. 16:00 ACT 2, SCENE 2 - A PRIZE AWAITS Here we go again. 12 days after that equaliser from Andy Drury set-up tonight's replay, the Hatters have been looking forward to pitting their wits once again with the second best team in the competition. Charlton, second in League 1 and 49 places above the Town in the pyramid, visit a cold Kenilworth Road with the same ambition as Richard Money's men. That is, of course, is to get through by any means necessary because the prize for the winners doesn't come much bigger. Tottenham away. White Hart Lane. The Premier League big boys who finished fourth in the Premier League last season. "There's been no mention of Spurs from the players," Money told the press yesterday. Excuse us, Richard will you please, as we try and build it up a little. Spurs have beaten Inter Milan at the Lane already this season. From last season's Champions League winners to Luton Town of the Blue Square Bet Premier. The Hatters faithful are already dreaming. But without getting carried away there's a score to settle and only one team of course can make the short trip to North London on 9th January. Charlton will be buoyed by the return of three senior players that missed the first game while the Town have six - maybe seven - men out for one reason or another. Who do you pick as favourites? ESPN's cameras are at Kenilworth Road to witness what they hope - what we hope - is a cup upset. The general feeling, however, is that they are here to broadcast a cracker of a cup tie under the famous floodlights in LU4. "If we can reproduce the performance we put in at the Valley then we'll be very happy," Money said yesterday. Indeed if the game is half as good as it was 12 days ago then we're in for a treat. The pitch is perfect and playable and the cameras have been rigged. All we need now is one team to stand up and take the glory. Let's hope come 9.30 (or later) tonight it's the Hatters that are celebrating. Come along and be a part of it. What ever happens this evening 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 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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