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12:34 18th December 2011


Tamworth 1
Mills 76 Town 3
Crow 38, 53, Dance 56 The Town gave themselves the perfect early Christmas present by recording their fifth away victory of the season against nine-man Tamworth to move into the play-off places. Striker Danny Crow put the Hatters in front seven minutes before the break and notched his second eight minutes into the second half. James Dance bagged a fine goal to make it 3-0 three minutes after Crow's second before Crow spurned the chance to hit a hat-trick when missing a penalty. The Lambs scored a scrappy consolation but the Town were full value for all three points to lift them into fifth place in the Blue Square Bet Premier. Gary Brabin made seven changes to the side that beat Swindon Supermarine in the FA Trophy last Saturday. From the last fixture in the Blue Square Bet Premier against Lincoln City, there were two changes. There was no Aaron O'Connor or Jamie Hand and there were starts for Dance and Greg Taylor. On a bitterly cold afternoon it was the Hatters that began on the front foot with the boss choosing to pick an attacking 4-3-3 formation. Dance was at the heart of things early on down the right flank - shooting wide on five minutes. The Town were looking good going forward and they thought they should have had a penalty on 13 minutes when a neat passing move down the left resulted Danny Crow having a shot blocked by Patrick Kanyuka inside the box. The striker appealed in vain for a penalty for handball but referee Joyce waved away the Hatters' claims. Three minutes later and the man in the middle was at the heart of another controversial decision when he enraged the home side by giving skipper Green his marching orders for a high tackle on Gleeson. Undeterred by that set-back the hosts almost took the lead on 20 minutes when a deep right-wing corner was header over by Kanyuka from close range. However after that near miss the Town stepped it up a gear as they began to make their numerical advantage count. Crow sliced wide of the right-hand post on 27 minutes after good build-up play down the left involving Gleeson whilst Taylor fired wide of the left-hand post two minutes later. It was becoming one way traffic with the Town flooding forward in a bid to break the deadlock and a deflected cross from Dance on the half-hour needed to be cleared off the line by Kanyuka with Crow sniffing for a tap-in. The Hatters forced home stopper Jonathon Hedge into his first meaningful save on 32 minutes when he got vital fingertips onto a fierce drive from Dance after more patient football engineered by Adam Watkins and Alex Lawless. As half-time approached you felt the Town needed to score to make their dominance count and they duly obliged on 38 minutes. It came after Hedge had done extremely well to keep out Jake Howells left-foot shot from the edge of the area. From the resultant corner whipped in by Howells, Janos Kovacs' towering header was met at the back post by Crow, acrobatically turning the ball home from the tightest of angles. Buoyed by that goal the Hatters poured forward in search of a quick double and they almost made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when Watkins blazed over from 10 yards after meeting a low cross from Dance following more good play from Lawless and Gleeson. Tamworth came out for the second half strongly but after failing to call Kevin Pilkington into action inside the first five minutes following the restart the Hatters effectively put the game to bed by scoring twice in a clinical four-minute spell. Firstly Crow pounced following hesitant defending from the hosts after good pressure from Dance to make it 2-0 on 53 minutes before Dance finished superbly three minutes later lashing home following another fine flowing move after good work from Lawless and Howells. The Town's football was a joy to watch at times as they continued to push forward against the hosts whose confidence was evidently beginning to flag. Hedge had to be alert on 62 minutes when turning away Greg Taylor's low cross with Watkins lurking for what would have been an easy tap in. Crow was in the hunt for his hat-trick and he was given the perfect opportunity to grab the matchball on 74 minutes when Keith Keane was brought down by Francino Francis in the box. The home defender was given a straight red card, reducing the hosts to nine men, but Crow saw his tame spot-kick saved by Hedge, diving to his right. The striker ballooned a shot seconds later but the chance for four had gone. Lifted by that let-off Tamworth scraped a goal back two minutes later when substitute Mills saw his shot take a huge deflection off George Pilkington and roll agonisingly past namesake Kevin. The Hatters continued to push in search of a fourth late on but in the end they settled for three to secure a vital three points and earn them their first ever win at the Lamb ground. It left 622 loyal supporters with smiles on their faces at the end. The Town host Kettering Town on Boxing Day - until then have a very Merry Christmas. For minute-by-minute analysis see below Tamworth 1 (Mills 76) Luton Town 3 (Crow 38, 53, Dance 56) Result  FULL-TIME All over here and the Town secure all three points. Reaction, report and pictures to come. COYH 90 mins + 2  Third and final sub, Tommy Wright on for Dance. 90 mins - Into the last minute here. Three further ones added... 85 mins - Fleetwood in behind for a chance to make it 4-1, stopped well by Hedge, the home keeper, who's had a good game. 83 mins Second change, Crow off for Stuart Fleetwood. 81 mins - Almost a chance for 4-1 the Town break 3 v 1, Kissock threading the ball through to Howells to shoots straight at Hedge with a right-foot shot. 76 mins  TAMWORTH 1-3 Town (Mills) - Scrappy, scrappy and nine man Tamworth have a goal back to make it interestingt. Subs DANNY MILLS hits a shot goalwards that takes a huge deflection off of George Pilkington which rolls past his namesake Kevin. 76 mins First Town sub, John Paul Kissock replaces Watkins. 75 mins - Crow, on a hat-trick, misses, Hedge makes the save, diving to to his right. 74 mins - PENALTY TO TOWN - Keane fouled. Francino Francis is sent-off. 65 mins - Half a chance for the visitors, but nothing to worry about as right-back Tait's shot dribbles wide. 62 mins - Still all the Hatters, looking dangerous everytime they get the ball in the Tamworth half. Taylor then finds space down the left and drills a low cross that Hedge has to parry away and the ball can't quite drop for Watkins. 3-0 it stays. 56 mins GOAL! Tamworth 0-3 TOWN (Dance) - Surely this game is over now? Lovely sweeping move forward involving Lawless and Howells sees the latter slide through JAMES DANCE who sears through and finishes with aplomb past Hedge. Two goals in three minutes. Get in! 53 mins  GOAL! Tamworth 0-2 TOWN (Crow) - Tamworth may have begun well in this second half but now they have a mountain to climb as the Hatters double their lead. Dance puts pressure on the home defence and as they dally on the ball on the edge of the area DANNY CROW nips in and tucks home well his second of the game. Get in! 50 mins - First five minutes into the second half and Tamworth have began the brighter of the two sides. It's lashing it down with rain here now. 46 mins And we're off for the second half here. Tamworth get us back underway in the pouring rain. The Town are now shooting towards their 622 supporters who make up an attendance of 1,467. HALF-TIME That's the break and the Hatters have themselves a half-time lead thanks to Danny Crow's goal. It's been deserved here against a Tamworth side down to 10 men following the dismissal of their captain Paul Green on 16 minutes. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half updates. COYH. 45 mins - Two added minutes and then almost a sniff for 2-0 as Gleeson slips in Lawless who cuts back for Dance who's cross was met by Watkins who fired over first time from 10 yards. 43 mins - By the way that's Crow's sixth goal of the season. And that's three in the last three away games following goals at Newport and Lincoln. 40 mins - It's attack v defence at the minute, the Town completely dominating here. The Hatters full value for their lead. 38 mins  GOAL! Tamworth 0-1 TOWN (Crow) - Well there's no doubt it had been becoming. It comes after Hedge had done well to turn a lovely effort from Howells around the post and from the resulting corner was headed on by Kovacs DANNY CROW is there to send an acrobatic volley home at the back post. Get in! 34 mins - Getting a bit spicy out there now, still the Town bossing things here but Crow becomes the first visiting player in the book for a foul on the far touchline. 32 mins - And again, exclusively all the Hatters now, Watkins does well to dig a cross out from the right that almost drops in and is cleared off the line before Lawless does brilliantly to slide in Dance into the box and his firm shot is really well tipped over by Hedge. 30 mins - Almost a sniff for the Hatters as they begin to dominate, Dance's right-wing cross is deflected and it looks as though it's going to dip in but that man Kanyuka is there to head clear. 29 mins - Pressure rising now from the men in white, as Taylor is found down the left in space but his drilled shot goes well wide. 27 mins - Then a chance is fashioned, Gleeson poking through a pass to Crow who slices wide inside the box. 25 mins - Still goalless here, Town probing. 20 mins - Chance for the Lambs. From a right-wing corner swung in deep to the far post, Patrick Kanyuka heads over when well placed. He knows it too, kicking the advertising hoarding in frustration. 16 mins - We're played just over a quarter-of-an-hour and the Town will have the final 75 minutes to play with a man advantage. Gleeson and home captain Paul Green collide with the latter going in too strong and referee Joyce flashes the red card. 10 v 11. 13 mins - Penalty appeals turned down for the Town as Taylor raced down the left and found Watkins. His touch into the path of Crow was met by a shot from the striker that looked to hit the hand of Patrick Kanyuka. Nothing given. The shot was heading towards goal. 5 mins - Bright start from the Hatters here with Dance seeing a lot of the ball down the right flank. The Town's number 19 then has the first effort of the game, shooting wide from just inside the box. 2 mins - The Hatters are lining up 433 with Taylor, Pilkington, Kovacs and Gleeson across the back, Lawless, Keane and Watkins in a middle three, Howells on the left, Dance on the right and Crow down the middle. 1 min And we're off, as the Town kick-off shooting away from their 600 or so support behind the goal. 14:56 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides onto the pitch, Tamworth in red, the Town in white shirts, orange shorts to Fanfare for the Common Man. 14:50 PRESS PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 2-0 Luton, Simon Pitts: 1-1, Andy Burgess: 2-1 Luton, Mike Simmonds: 1-1 draw, Lauren Archell: 2-2 draw. 14:45 ON THIS DAY The Town's record on 17th December reads Played 13, Won 4, Drawn 4, Lost 5, Scored 15, Conceded 17. The last fixture played on this date was a 3-2 home defeat to Stoke City in the Championship in 2005. 14:40 WEATHER WATCH It's brightening up here in this part of Staffordshire but it's bitterly cold. 14:30 EX-HATTER ON AIR Joining Simon Pitts for live commentary this afternoon is former Town winger Andy Burgess. 14:22 SEVEN CHANGES Town: K. Pilkington, Gleeson, Taylor, G. Pilkington, Kovacs, Howells, Lawless, Keane, Watkins, Dance, Crow. Subs: Tyler, Willmott, Fleetwood, Kissock, Wright. Tamworth: Hedge, Tait, Habergham, Courtney, Francis, St Aimie, Thomas, Patterson, Green, Barrow, Kanyuka. Subs: Mills, McDonald, Reynolds, Shariff, Christie. 13:30 LIVE! Sorry we haven't given you your usual opening to our updates but we're now live at the Lamb Ground ahead of today's Blue Square Bet Premier action. Tweet us on Twitter @LTFC_Official or find us on Facebook to join in the discussion.
    Data provided by Press Association


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