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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:24 18th October 2011

TOWN 0-1 WREXHAM - REPORT & ANALYSIS

The Town sunk to their second home defeat of the season against the league leaders. With 17 minutes left on the clock Andy Morrell's side stole all three points when Mathias Pogba finished from eight yards to break the deadlock. The Hatters had their chances: James Dance went close with shots in either half but try as they might the Town could not find a way through and the Welsh side overcome four injury time minutes to stretch their lead over the Town to eight points. Gary Brabin was forced into one change following Saturday's 5-1 win over Gateshead. With top goalscorer Amari Morgan-Smith's back injury ruling him out, Aaron O'Connor joined Stuart Fleetwood in attack. New signing Tommy Wright was named on a strong substitutes' bench. The Town started brightly and Dance came close to breaking the deadlock on five minutes when he turned well away from his man to drive a low right-foot shot goalwards from 20 yards towards the bottom corner that was saved by Joslain Mayebi in the visitors' goal. However, back came the visitors on 13 minutes when the Town were caught down their left when Mark Creighton's pass found Curtis Obeng inside the penalty area but with his team-mates screaming for a square pass the right-back's shot was awry. The game developing into a scrappy affair but the Hatters were shading possession and Brabin's men had half a sight of goal on 24 minutes when Stuart Fleetwood drove a shot wide of the post from 22 yards. If any Town player was taking the game to the visitors it was Keith Keane whose 28th-minute run epitomised his display - a battling run through two Wrexham challenges resulted in the number four driving a shot at goal that was blocked. Wrexham countered; minutes later Pogba and Jake Speight forced a corner that was cleared before Shane Blackett headed wide on the half-hour for the Town. The Hatters were getting on top as half-time approached but it was Wrexham that came close to forcing the opening goal on 38 minutes when Adrian Cieslewicz broke down the right but dragged his low effort wide from just inside the penalty area. Clear cut chances were at real premium but an excellent block from Janos Kovacs prevented Speight's hooked shot from testing Mark Tyler two minutes before the break. The visitors threatened in the first of two added minutes at the end of the first half when Obeng did well to skip into the box and send a dangerous pass across goal that no man in green could turn goalwards. All of a sudden the game sprung to life in the second half. Dance drew a save from Mayebi after turning in the box when meeting a Fleetwood pass on 49 minutes. The Hatters wasted a good opportunity on the break on 51 minutes when Dance and O'Connor surged forward, before Wrexham almost broke the deadlock 30 seconds later when Tyler produced a great save to prevent Pogba's shot on the turn from finding the bottom corner. Back came the Town on 54 minutes when Robbie Willmott teed up Keane to arrow a shot goalwards from 25 yards that Mayebi could only parry before pouncing on the loose ball and the Hatters had a great chance to go ahead on 59 minutes when Kovacs headed over a Jake Howells corner when unmarked in the six yard box. Wrexham filed back after that let off and it wasn't until the 68th minute that Mayebi was tested when he stopped Howells' angled shot. However the Town were made to pay on 73 minutes when the Dragons took the lead. A long ball over the top of the defence caught at George Pilkington and Pogba strode through to confidently tuck the ball past the advancing Tyler. Tempers flared two minutes later when Dance and Dean Keates clashed which saw both players booked and the visitors, feeling the home side's frustration, could sense another one on the break but failed to test Tyler whereas the Town flooded forward in search of an equaliser. It should have been curtains for the Hatters in the final minute. Jamie Tolley fought his way between Kovas and Pilkington to fire at goal but saw his effort well-saved by Tyler before Pogba ballooned the rebound way over the crossbar. That was the last chance and while the Town huffed and puffed in search of a late equaliser one never came and the euphoria of Saturday's victory was quickly replaced by dejection and disappointment from the biggest crowd of the season. Full minute-by-minute analysis, see below. Luton Town 0 Wrexham 1 (Pogba 73) FULL-TIME - All over here, reaction, report and photographs to come. 90 mins + 3 - Almost a chance, Blackett high and wide after a Kissock pass. 90 mins - Four added minutes here. 90 mins - Time ticking now for the Hatters and it should be curtains as Wrexham break, Tolley fighting through to draw a fantastic save from Tyler before Pogba balloons the ball over the crossbar. 88 mins - And now two left... 85 mins - Five minutes left... 83 mins - Time ticking down for the Hatters here, Wrexham now looking menancing on the break. 79 mins Second change for Town, Kissock on for O'Connor. 75 mins - Stoppage in play after some handbags outside the Wrexham penalty area which eventually results in booking for Keates and Dance. 73 mins GOAL! Town 0-1 WREXHAM (Pogba) Disaster for Town, a long ball catches Pilkington out which allows MATHIAS POGBA to run through and tuck past Tyler. 68 mins - Wright wins a great header in the end, and the Town fashion a chance, Howells is found down the left and he blasts goalwards that Mayebi is equal to. 67 mins First change for the Town tonight, new boy Tommy Wright on for Fleetwood. 65 mins - Penalty appeal from the Kenilworth Road end, Pilkington going down in the box but the referee's having none of it. 60 mins - Biggest crowd of the season: 7,270 which includes 239 from North Wales. 59 mins - CHANCE. And a great one at that as Kovacs heads over unmarked following Howells' right-wing corner. 54 mins - This game is coming to life now as the Town win the ball back, Willmott does well down the left to tee up Keane who belts a shot goalwards that Mayebi drops before pouncing on the loose ball. 51 mins - Real chance, their best so far, for Wrexham. Obeng flies down the right and picks out Pogba who turns well and fires a low shot at goal that Tyler does well to keep out, diving to his left. 51 mins - Town attack with gusto, momentarily three-versus-three but Dance's pass to O'Connor is over-hit and the move breaks down. 49 mins - Decent chance for the Town from a set-piece Keane finds Fleetwood who cuts the ball back for Dance who turns his marker and sees a low shot gathered by Mayebi. 46 mins -  No changes for either side at the break. 46 mins Annnnnnd we're off for the second half as the Town kick-off shooting towards the Kenny End. COYH. HALF-TIME That's the end of the first 45 minutes here and it's goalless. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half. 45 mins - We've got two added minutes at the end of this first half. 43 mins - Half a sniff for the visitors, Kovacs blocking a shot from Speight. 40 mins - Five minutes to the break here and still goalless. 36 mins - Wrexham break down the right with Cieslewicz but he can only drag his shot wide of the post from 18 yards. 35 mins - Town pressure rising here. 10 minutes to the break. 30 mins - Another half chance. O'Connor does well to win a corner down the right which is swung in by Howells but Blackett doesn't connect properly with his header which drops wide. 28 mins - More decent stuff from the Hatters as they look to break the deadlock. Keane wins the ball in the centre of midfield and goes on a driving run, battling through two Wrexham challenges before seeing a shot blocked from the edge of the area. He's been excellent so far tonight. 24 mins - Half a sniff for the Town as Fleetwood drives a shot from 25 yards that isn't troubling Mayebi. 20 mins - Getting a bit scrappy at the minute but Keith Keane is everywhere for the Town tonight. 13 mins - Real chance for the visitors as Creighton's ball down the right catches the Town cold and right-back Obeng races through by hits a shot from 10 yards well wide with his team-mates screaming for a cut-back. 10 mins - That Dance chance the only real action so far inside these first 10 minutes. 5 mins - Five minutes gone, Town marginally on top, and then there's a chance, James Dance turning well away from his man to drive shot from 20 yards that Joslain Mayebi gets down to prevent it from creeping into the bottom corner. 2 mins - Town lining up with Tyler in goal, Osano right-back, Blackett left-back, Captain Pilkington and Kovacs centre-half, Howells, Keane and Dance in centre-mid, O'Connor on the right wing, Willmott on the left-wing and Fleetwood up top. 1 min Annnnnd we're off as Wrexham get us underway, the Town are kicking towards the Oak Road end. Enjoy the updates. 19:40 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides on the Kenilworth Road pitch which is looking in fantastic nick. Standby for updates. COYH! 19:30 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 3-0 Luton, Simon Pitts: 2-1 Luton, Mike Simmonds: 1-1, James Cunliffe: 1-0 Wrexham, Bill Cole: 2-2, Euan Duncan: 2-2, Gareth Owen: 3-1 Luton, Faye Carruthers: 1-0 Luton, Jon Desborough: 5-1 Luton. 19:15 ON THIS DAY The Town's record on this day, 18th October is: played 14, won five, drawn drawn, lost five, scored 23, conceded 21. It was 2008 when the Hatters last appeared on this date, going down 2-1 to Accrington Stanley at Kenilworth Road. The Hatters raced into a 4-0 half-time lead against Norwich City in 2005 in a 4-2 victory. In 1986 the Town were at Old Trafford where they went down 1-0 before a crowd of 39,927. How times change! 18:55 ONE CHANGE There's no Amari Morgan-Smith tonight for the Town. Aaron O'Connor starts instead. New signing Tommy Wright is on the bench. Town: Tyler; Osano, G. Pilkington, Kovacs, Blackett; Willmott, Howells, Keane, Dance; O'Connor, Fleetwood. Subs: Wright, Kissock, Watkins, Hand, K. Pilkington. Wrexham: Mayebi, Obeng, Ashton, Creighton, Harris, Cieslewicz, Speight, Keates, Tolley, Knight-Percival, Pogba. Subs: Wright, Morrell, Hunt, Clarke, Maxwell. 18:25 THANKS CLAUDE Former Town midfielder Claude Gnakpa on Facebook: "The best of luck for the Luton's lads tonight for their game against Wrexham. Hopefully you get a similar result as last season play-off home game." 17:58 CUP TICKET PRICES ANNOUNCED We're playing Hendon in the fourth qualifiying round at Kenilworth Road a week on Saturday. Click here for ticket prices. 17:23 LET'S BE HAVING YOU In the words of Delia Smith. Come and be a part it tonight as the Town welcome the league leaders. We're expecting a crowd of 7,000. With that in mind, get here a little early and why not pop into the Eric Morecambe Lounge too, where it's Happy Hour from 6.30 until kick-off. Not got a ticket? YOU could be here at Kenilworth Road this evening. If you know a season ticket holder bug them into getting you in for FREE. Click here for more information. 17:20 TWEET TWEET Striker Stuart Fleetwood on twitter @SFleets: "Expecting some serious atmosphere 2nite! Over 7,000 on a Tues night is some attendance. Roll on 7:45." 17:10 WEATHER WATCH In a word Autumnal. Crisp and bright. A lovely sunny but cold evening in LU4 at the moment. 16:30 BUSINESS AS USUAL Fingers crossed they'll be over 7,000 people inside Kenilworth Road tonight, all bursting with excitement ahead of one of the biggest games of the season. After successive 5-1 wins at home in the Blue Square Bet Premier the Town take on league leaders Wrexham under the floodlights full of confidence. It's nights like these that we savour. While the club and the supporters gear up for a night of drama manager Gary Brabin is keeping a lid on things - and rightly so. Wrexham are flying too - top of the pile, fresh from a 4-0 home victory over Stockport. But Brabs knows, as he said in his pre-match press conference, even a victory tonight won't put his side top of the table. Furthermore he also knows that the league isn't won or lost in October. After all, after 90 minutes tonight there's still 87 points left to the play for...a total which the Hatters didn't even obtain in last season's campaign. Talking of which, the last time the two sides met was for a highly-charged double-header in the play-offs. Admittedly the pressure cooker atmosphere won't be the same tonight, but it still promises to be one of those nights inside the famous old ground as two clubs steeped in tradition going head-to-head in the fifth tier of English football. It promises to be a cracker. 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 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
    Data provided by Press Association

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