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11:36 21st September 2011


The Hatters were held to a frustrating draw against nine-man Bath but the point was enough to lift Gary Brabin's men to the top of the table. Taking the lead through Amari Morgan-Smith's first half goal - knocking in the rebound after Stuart Fleetwood's shot came back off the post - the Town looked all set to take all three points after the hosts were reduced to 10 men. But to their credit Bath rallied and equalised on 72 minutes when Lee Phillips tapped home after Mark Tyler had saved Ben Swallow's shot. The Hatters pressed after that set-back but couldn't find a winner even after the Romans were reduced to nine men in the closing stages. Brabin made two changes to the side that beat Lincoln City 1-0 on Saturday with John Paul Kissock and new loan signing Janos Kovacs coming in for the suspended Dean Beckwith and Robbie Willmott, who lined-up on a strong substitutes' bench. In a very low beginning in the treacherous conditions it was the Hatters who had the first meaningful effort on goal when home goalkeeper Glyn Garner had to gather Stuart Fleetwood's low shot - the stopper doing well to hang onto the slippery ball. Two minutes later, as the Town began to find the passing game, Kissock wriggled into the box following Fleetwood's neat pass but the diminutive midfielder blazed a shot high and wide when well placed. On 16 minutes the hosts threatened when Adam Connolly drove a shot wide of the post from 20 yards before the Hatters reasserted themselves: Kissock dragging a free-kick wide before going close times from Morgan-Smith in the space of five minutes. Firstly on 22 minutes the former Ilkeston man dragged a shot wide following a lovely flowing Town move involving Jake Howells and Danny Crow. On 25 minutes the Hatters came even closer to breaking the deadlock when Morgan-Smith was thwarted by a fabulous save from Garner, flying away to his left to keep out Town man's free-kick from the edge of the box. Morgan-Smith warmed the gloves of Garner two minutes later in an almost identical opportunity - a free-kick from 25 yards after he was fouled again when looking to break into the penalty area. Bath's attacks were rare but they gave Town followers a cause for concern when Swallow cut inside down the left on 37 minutes and blasted a shot wide of the post. Three minutes later, however, it became an uphill struggle for the hosts as - for the fourth game running - there was a red card in a Town match when the Romans' Charlie Clough was sent-off for his second bookable offence. A man to the good the Hatters wasted little time to make their numerical advantage count when they took the lead a minute before half-time. Another fine passing move resulted in Fleetwood hitting the post with a wonderful curling shot from the edge of the box but the ball fell - not kindly, but on the bounce and difficult - for Morgan-Smith who guided the ball beyond the luckless Garner for his seventh goal of the season. A man to good maybe but it was the hosts that started the second half the better side, with Swallow again the tormentor down the left, shooting wide two minutes after the break. The Romans came close to equaliser six minutes later when Joe Burnell headed over a right-wing corner inches over Mark Tyler's crossbar. Back came the Town though and they should have had the chance to make it 2-0 on 62 minutes when substitute Aaron O'Connor blasted a cross across the face of goal after being found by Morgan-Smith. However the hosts punished the Town on 72 minutes when they hit back to level the scores. Swallow races through to force a decent stop from Tyler but Phillips was on hand to knock the ball home from six yards. Three minutes later Kissock's mazy run almost put the Hatters back in front, taking a pass from Howells to race down the left, cut inside and send a shot goalwards that was clawed away by Garner. The Hatters woke up in attempt to re-take the lead with Morgan-Smith heading wide a Robbie Willmott corner wide. Bath were working hard to frustrate the Town but Fleetwood created a chance from a goalmouth scramble on 87 minutes. The hosts had a second man sent-off when Paul Stonehouse was shown a second yellow card. It was all the Hatters and Garner continued to pull off heroics when keeping out Jamie Hand's shot that looked to be arrowing into the bottom corner. Try as they might the Town lay siege on the nine-man Romans but could not find a winner and it ended all square. For minute-by-minute analysis see below. Live from Twerton Park Bath City 1 (Phillips 72) Luton Town 1 (Morgan-Smith 44) Latest score FULL-TIME All over here at Twerton Park, stay tuned for photos, reaction, report and much more. 90 mins - Three added minutes... 90 mins - Into stoppage time, Morgan-Smith booked - his fifth of the season - and out for Saturday's trip to York. 89 mins - Garner to the rescue again as he does brilliantly to turn away Hand's goal-bound piledriver. 88 mins - Stonehouse has been a shown red card and Bath are down to nine men for the last few minutes. 87 mins - Hearts in Bath mouths as the Hatters keep pressing, a Willmott cross finds Fleetwood whose header cannons off a home defender. 86 mins - Almost, a sniff for 2-1 as Morgan-Smith heads a left-wing corner from Willmott just wide. 85 mins - Five left... 83 mins - Still the Hatters press, O'Connor doing well to lift a cross from the right but no man in orange can turn the ball home. 80 mins - 10 minutes left for the Town to find a winner. 77 mins - 1,158 inside Twerton Park which includes 442 shouting for the Town. 76 mins Double change for the Town, Crow and Kissock off for Collin Samuel and Robbie Willmott. 75 mins - Almost 2-1 as Kissock shows his skills, racing down the left and jinking past the defenders and letting fly from the edge of the area with a shot destined for the top corner that Garner turns around the post. 72 mins  GOAL! BATH 1-1 Town (Phillips) No doubt about it Bath deserve this. Hogg feeds Swallow racing through the Town defence but Tyler saves well from the midfielder's shot. However the ball breaks free to LEE PHILLIPS who is on hand to tap home from six yards. 71 mins - Chance as the Town press. Kissock sends Howells gallopping down the left and he finds Fleetwood with his back to goal on the edge of the penalty area he turns and shoots that Garner graps at the second attempt. 62 mins - It's been a very low key second half, no the updates haven't stopped. Bath have been on top but the Town should be 2-0 up. O'Connor and Morgan-Smith do well down the right enabling the former to ghost into the box unmarked and blast a cross looking for Fleetwood and Kissock but it's hit too hard and Bath can clear. 54 mins First change of the game for the Town as Dance is replaced by Aaron O'Connor who slots in at right back. 54 mins - Oh, that's close as the hosts go within a whisker of equalising as Burnell heads inches off Tyler's crossbar following Canham's right-wing corner. 48 mins - Half a sniff for the hosts as Swallow, a loanee from Bristol Rovers, tries an effort from the left-hand edge of the area that bounces wide of Tyler's left hand post. 46 mins And we're off again for the second half and the hosts have made a change at the interval as Lewis Hogg replaces Torbjorn Agdestein. HALF-TIME And that's half-time here at Twerton Park and the Hatters are deservely in front here thanks to Amari Morgan-Smith's seventh goal of the season. Bath are down to 10 men and Gary Brabin's men will hope to maintain their advantage in the second half. Join us in 15 minutes. 45 mins - Two added minutes here... 44 mins  GOAL! Bath 0-1 TOWN (Morgan-Smith) - Bath will be kicking themselves, probably wanting to get to half-time with the scores goalless but the Town have other ideas. Fleetwood does brilliantly to curl a shot goalwards from 20 yards that comes back off the post. The ball however drops to AMARI MORGAN-SMITH who does really well to knock the ball home on the bounce. Get in! 44 mins - Town pressure now, inevitably, as Kissock plays a one-two with Fleetwood but a deflection on the midfielder's shot takes the sting out of it and it's easy for Garner. 40 mins - Another red involving the Town but it's a dismissal for a Bath player as Clough gets a second yellow for hauling down Howells. From the resultant free-kick Fleetwood handles Kissock's pass. 10v11 again. 37 mins - Time has flown since the last chance but Bath then break well down the left, Swallow in space cuts inside at lets fly with a decent looking effort. The home crowd this side of the pitch think it's heading in but thankfully it drifts well wide. 27 mins - Another minute, another chance and another opportunity from a free-kick from 20 yards out, Morgan-Smith getting fouled again on the edge of the box. An easier effort for Garner to stop this time though from another AMS effort. 25 mins - Ooooooh, and the Hatters go close once more and the hosts have goalkeeper Garner to thank for keeping out Morgan-Smith's fantastic free-kick hit from 18 yards after Morgan-Smith was originally fouled on the edge of the box, looking to burst through. 22 mins - Oh, close as lovely play from the Town sees Howells play a low pass into the box that Crow dummies, fooling the home defence. AMS takes a touch and spins towards goal but drags a left-foot shot wide of the target. 19 mins - Town are almost in as Morgan-Smith disposseses home captain Gethin Jones who tugs him back. From the resultant free-kick Kissock tries a low shot trying to deceive the keeper but the effort goes wide. 16 mins - Half a sniff for the hosts as Connolly seizes on the ball 25 yards out. His eyes light up and he whacks a shot goalwards that Tyler watches flash wide. 14 mins - Kissock's been a busy bee early doors here and he isn't too far off as the Bath goal comes under more Town pressure. Another decent move as the Hatters find space, Fleetwood playing in the midfielder down the left and into the area, he cuts inside and tries to bend a shot into the top corner but the ball bounces high and wide of Glyn Garner's goal. 12 mins - First shot of the night and it's a chance for the Town as Fleetwood tries his luck from just outside the box as Hand, Kissock and Howells combine well. On this wet, greasy surface, having a dig from range could pay off. 9 mins - And then there is a bit of action to report as Stuart Fleetwood is upended by Charlie Clough who gets a booking for his trouble. The Hatters striker wasn't happy, fuming at the referee. He's told to calm down by skipper Alex Lawless. 6 mins - Nothing of note to talk about as yet. 2 mins - Town lining up with Tyler in goal, Howells left-back, Dance right-back, Kovacs and Antwi centre-halves, Kissock left-wing, Morgan-Smith right-wing, Lawless, the captain, and Hand in centre mid and Fleetwood and Crow up top. 1 min Annnnnnnnnd we're off as the hosts kick off. Enjoy the updates. 19:41 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides, Town in orange shirts and shorts and white socks, Bath in black and white shirts, black shorts and black socks. 19:38 NO MORE ROOM The Hatters fans that have bought seat tickets are looking smug, that little stand is full - plenty of umbrellas on that away terrace. 19:32 WET WET WET It is absolutely pouring down with rain here at Twerton Park. The poor Hatters fans who have chosen to stand are getting drenched on the open terrace away to our right. 19:25 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 2-0 Luton, Simon Pitts: 2-0 Luton, Mike Simmonds: 1-0 Luton, Bill Cole: 2-0 Luton, James Cunliffe: 4-0 Luton. 19:10 TWO CHANGES In come Janos Kovacs and John Paul Kissock for the Hatters who are missing Dean Beckwith and Robbie Willmott, the latter of whom drops to the bench. Town: Tyler, Howells, Antwi, Kovacs, Dance, Kissock, Hand, Lawless, Morgan-Smith, Crow, Fleetwood. Subs: Samuel, Watkins, Willmott, O'Connor, K. Pilkington. Bath: Garner, Simpson, Stonehouse, Jones, Clough, Canham, Connolly, Swallow, Burnell, Agdestein, Phillips. Subs: Murray, Russell, Preece, Hogg, Rollo. 18:55 0-0 ANYONE? Bath haven't kept a clean sheet this season, the Town haven't failed to score so far this term...odds on a goalless draw? Well the last time Bath drew 0-0 was 30 games ago... ...against Luton Town, here last January. 17:50 WET WET WET A lovely city, is Bath. The weather isn't though. Rain galore here. I hope the Hatters fans standing up have brought their umbrellas. 16:30 99 AND COUNTING At times it's been painful, at others delightful. The Hatters' tenure in the Blue Square Bet Premier has had its fair share of ups and downs though, admittedly, that one 'up' we crave so much has yet to be achieved. Tonight the Town travel to Bath City for their 100th match in non-league's top flight, hoping to extend their unbeaten start in their third season in the division to 10 games. Victory, or even a point, could take Gary Brabin's side to the top of the league tonight which would be a fitting achievement to mark the milestone. 54 wins, 29 draws and 16 defeats later the Hatters will be hoping for win number 55 and they will be out to do so against a Bath side who have yet to win in their first nine games this season. Adie Britton's side enjoyed a terrific campaign last season following their promotion from the Blue Square Bet South, finishing in 10th place. At first the Romans struggled but Britton pin-pointed their 3-1 defeat against the Hatters in October last year as the moment they turned the corner, and their stealthy progress up the table saw them move away from the relegation zone into the top half of the table. Such progress saw City hold the Town to a goalless draw the last time the two sides met at Twerton Park in January. This time round, while the Hatters have enjoyed an unbeaten start, the Romans are still awaiting their first three-point haul of the campaign. But it's not for the want of trying. Britton's troops may have lost seven of their nine games so far but four of those have been by the odd goal. Brabin knows it won't be easy. The hosts are building the game up as their biggest of the season. Last term the Hatters entered the field of play to a fireworks display - the only occasion pyrotechnics were used in such circumstances at Twerton Park. Pressure and expectation will be on the Hatters to record their sixth victory of the season tonight but, after 99 games of pressure and expectation, the Town are used to it by now. A victory could put them well on the way of achieving that ultimate 'up'...   Well, whatever happens tonight, and throughout the season, your official website will have everything covered: every step of the way: live, on radio and via social media. 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 afternoon, bringing you exclusive video content from Gary Brabin 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 Brabs as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle. Be sure to check out - 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 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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