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12:46 16th October 2011


The Hatters scored five goals at Kenilworth Road for the second game running as they cruised to victory over promotion rivals Gateshead. Two goals from Jake Howells put them in charge by half-time and Aaron O'Connor's header made it 3-0 20 minutes from the end. Jon Shaw's header made it 3-1 but a brace from Jamie Hand in the final 11 minutes sealed the victory and moved Gary Brabin's side up to third in the Blue Square Bet Premier. Brabin made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday. Howells returned from international duty, Keith Keane came back after a one-match ban and Stuart Fleetwood joined top-goalscorer Amari Morgan-Smith in attack. O'Connor and Jamie Hand dropped to the bench and Paul Carden dropped out of the squad altogether. In a very low key first 15 minutes it was captain George Pilkington who was most involved: a crucial seventh-minute intervention to deny Josh Gillies a sight of goal was followed by a side-foot shot two minutes later that was cleared off the line. The Hatters had begun proceedings playing 4-4-2 but that was soon to change just 11 minutes in when Morgan-Smith was forced to leave the field with an injury and was replaced by Aaron O'Connor. Gateshead were slowly creeping into a game that had offered little in its billing of two promotion contenders and Jon Shaw, a target of the Town earlier in the campaign, drew a comfortable save from Mark Tyler on 23 minutes with a snap-shot on the turn. All of a sudden the visitors sprung into life against a Town side struggling to find their rhythm going forward and Ian Bogie's side went mighty close to breaking the deadlock on 26 minutes. James Curtis broke down the right to hang up a cross into the box that Micky Cummins headed against the crossbar. The ball broke to Yemi Odubade and his shot was saved well by Tyler. That near miss sparked the Hatters into action and on the half-hour they came close not once but twice to breaking the deadlock. Firstly a left-foot shot from Curtis Osano that looked to be heading into the bottom corner was tipped around the post by Paul Farman's outstretched hand. From the resultant corner Keith Keane saw his piledriver from 18 yards parried by Farman and, with the danger still not over for the visitors, Stuart Fleetwood skied Robbie Willmott's cut back. However the Hatters needed had worried because on 34 minutes they were in front. Farman picked up a back-pass from Carruthers and from the resulting free-kick 10 yards out Howells belted the ball past the mass of white shirts on the line. Tyler's earlier reactions had prevented the visitors from taking the lead and the Town stopper again came to his side's rescue on 43 minutes which eventually led to the Hatters doubling their lead. With ball pinballing in the Town penalty area Shaw's shot on the turn from eight yards was brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper and before Gateshead knew it the ball was in the back of their net as Howells celebrated his second of the afternoon, sweeping home a lovely first-time shot following O'Connor's cut-back. The second half was showing similarities to the first: a low key beginning with neither goalkeeper being forced into action. The introduction of John Paul Kissock livened up things, however, and it was his corner on 70 minutes that led to the Hatters' third goal of the afternoon that was headed home by O'Connor at the near post for his first goal in Luton colours. Gateshead reduced arrears on 77 minutes when Shaw sent a towering header arching past Tyler but two minutes later the three goal advantage was restored with a sublime goal. Kissock, wowing the crowd at every opportunity, played a low ball into the box that found Fleetwood and the striker's cushioned pass into the path of substitute Hand was finished expertly by the midfielder for his first goal for the club. The oles continued to echo around the ground Hand supplied the coup de gras in the second minute of stoppage time when thundering a first-time volley past the motionless Farman. Three points and up to third in the table the disappointment of Tuesday's draw are long forgotten. Next up are leaders Wrexham on Tuesday. BE THERE For minute-by-minute analysis below. Luton Town 5 (Howells 34, 43, O'Connor 70, Hand 79, 90) Gateshead 1 (Shaw 77) Result FULL-TIME - Report, analysis, reaction and photographs to come. Get in! 90 mins + 2 GOAL! TOWN 5-1 Gateshead (Hand) 90 mins - Three minutes added... 89 mins - Into the last few minutes here. 84 mins - Six minutes left, time for five? 79 mins GOAL! TOWN 4-1 Gateshead (Hand) - Lovely goal this, superb in fact. Kissock's pass into the box is perfectly weighted for Stuart Fleetwood but substitute JAMIE HAND keeps running and Fleetwood cushions a lovely pass into the path of the midfielder who tucks a great finish past Farman. 77 mins GOAL! Town 3-1 GATESHEAD (Shaw) 76 mins - Third and final change for the Town as the sub is subbed, goalscorer O'Connor, on a booking, is withdrawn for Jamie Hand. 70 mins GOAL! TOWN 3-0 Gateshead (O'Connor) - It's been a low key start to this second half but we're back again and the Hatters have a third goal to celebrate. Kissock curls a left-wing corner to the near post at up jumps AARON O'CONNOR too head his first goal for the club. 67 mins - Second change for the visitors as Martin Brittain replaces Cummings. 65 mins - Tyler easy save from Shaw header following a deep cross. Nothing doing though. 61 mins - Second change of the afternoon for the Town with John Paul Kissock replacing Willmott. 60 mins - Persistent stuff from Dance, battling through two Gateshead challenges to blaze over a left-foot shot from the edge of the area. 58 mins - Sub for the visitors, Gillies, leaving the pitch with a head wound, is replaced by Nathan Fisher. 57 mins - Not a lot to tell you about in truth at the start of this season half. I can tell you there are 6,285 people inside Kenilworth Road this afternoon including 104 backing Gateshead. 50 mins - Town pressure at the start of this season half but nothing doing really. A left wing corner is headed wide by Pilkington but he didn't know too much about it. 46 mins - And we're off for the second half, no changes for either side. 45 mins - HALF-TIME - The Town are two goals to the good here thanks to two Jake Howells goals. Mark Tyler has kept his side in it, making two great saves including a second one that led to Howells' second goal. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half. 43 mins GOAL! TOWN 2-0 Gateshead (Howells) Lovely, lovely stuff and the Town have firstly Tyler to thank for another brilliant save - this time to deny Tyler before the ball travels down the left with Willmott. He plays in O'Connor in the channel, he bides his time before laying the ball off to JAKE HOWELLS whose shot pings past Farman. Get in! 37 mins - Half a sniff for the visitors to make it 1-1 as Odubade turns on the edge of the box and fires a shot straight at Tyler. 34 mins GOAL! TOWN 1-0 Gateshead (Howells) Well, they had been pressing and the pressure has told. Chris Carruthers' back-pass to goakeeper Farman is picked up and the referee signals for a free-kick in the penalty area. Aaron O'Connor rolls into the path of JAKE HOWELLS and he blasts home. Get in! 30 mins - Back come the Hatters and this is better stuff from the hosts. Osano drives forward and with nothing on lets fly with a low left-foot shot that is turned around the post by Farman. From the corner the ball breaks to Keane on the edge of ther box and his low piledriver forces the keeper into action again. Still the visitors can't clear and from a Willmott cross Fleetwood spoons over at the near post. 26 mins - Hearts in mouths time for the Town as Micky Cummins' header comes off the underside of the crossbar. The loose ball falls to Odubade who's half-volley is well saved at point- blank range by Tyler. Fine save and a let off. 23 mins - Half a sniff for the visitors as the break down the right but Jon Shaw's snap-shot on the turn is easy for Tyler. Slim picking early doors here. 17 mins - That change has changed the formation and the Hatters are playing 4-3-3 now with Fleetwood central and Willmott and O'Connor on either flank; Dance, Howells and Keane in centre-mid. 11 mins - Bad news and the Town are forced into an early change and it's Morgan-Smith that has had to go off. He's been replaced by Aaron O'Connor. 9 mins - Half a sniff for the Town this time. From a Willmott left-wing corner Pilkington is first to it but he can only side-foot it goalwards that is cleared off the line. 7 mins - Pretty low key beginning here, Pilkington does well to deny Josh Gillies a sight of goal after a cross from the left. 3 mins - Quiet beginning here bu the Town are playing 442 but it's got that look that it can change to 4-3-3 at any time. Currently it's Keane and Howells in centre mid, Willmott left wing, Dance right wing with Morgan-Smith and Fleetwood in attack. 1 min - And we're off as the Town kick-off shooting towards the Kenilworth Road end. Enjoy the updates. COYH 14:55 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides... 14:50 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 2-0 Luton, Simon Pitts: 2-1 Luton, Justin Dealey: 2-0 Luton, Mike Simmonds: 2-2 draw, Mark Wood: 2-1 Luton, Bill Cole: 3-1 Luton, John Desborough: 5-1 Luton, Mark Bazeley: 3-2 Gateshead. 14:30 ON THIS DAY The Town don't have the greatest of records on this day: just five wins from 16 matches. Included in those games includes a 5-1 win over Middlesbrough at Kenilworth Road in 1994. Dwight Marshall scored twice, John Hartson, an own goal and David Preece got the Hatters goals. 14:15 THREE CHANGES Town boss Gary Brabin makes three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Ebbsfleet United. Stuart Fleetwood, Keith Keane and Jake Howells return to the starting XI. There's no place for Paul Carden, Aaron O'Connor or Jamie Hand - the latter two do, however, sit on the bench. Town: Tyler; Osano, G. Pilkington, Kovacs, Blackett; Willmott, Keane, Dance, Howells; Morgan-Smith, Fleetwood. Subs: K. Pilkington, Watkins, Kissock, O'Connor, Hand. Gateshead: Farman, Gate, Curtis, Turnbull, Shaw, Odubade, Cummins, Baxter, Gillies, Carruthers, Henderson. Subs: Odhiambo, Brittain, Fisher, Nix, Alnwick. 14:02 WEATHER WATCH It's an absolutely stonking Autumn afternoon in LU4. Barely a cloud in the sky. 13:50 VICTORY! One win already under the Hatters' belt today. The youth team have beaten Stevenage 4-1 in the Youth Alliance Cup this morning. 13:45 SORRY! I've had to attend to an IT issue in the control! 11:20 BOGOF! Remember non-season ticket holders who buy a ticket for today and for the game against Wrexham on Tuesday are entitled to a FREE ticket to another home league game. Click here for the full details. 11:15 NO FEAR As Gary Brabin told the media yesterday, he - and his players - have no fear. Whether it be Ebbsfleet, Wrexham or today's opponents Gateshead, the Hatters are confident no matter who they play. With the best home form in the division the Town entertain a Gateshead side currently third in the Blue Square Bet Premier (they were second up until Fleetwood's victory over Lincoln last night). Much has been said on Gateshead's start to the season. "The surprise package", apparently. Not to Ian Bogie and those on Tyneside. As Brabin also mentioned yesterday, this afternoon's visitors showed signs of potential last season. After all they took four points off the Hatters last term and thumped Wrexham for seven at the Racecourse. Wrexham have been the Heed's challengers at the top of the table this time round and the Dragons are the team the Hatters face next, this coming Tuesday. Understandably Brabin is taking each game as it comes as the Town enter, on paper, their most difficult spell of the season - after Wrexham a trip to Grimsby and a visit from Fleetwood. But for the time being it's Gateshead. A big game that calls for a big performance and a huge backing from the Kenilworth Road crowd. Remember we're in this together. No fear. Well, whatever happens today 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


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.