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18:19 24th March 2012


Town 1
Gray 60 Grimsby Town 1
Hughes-Mason 87

A debut goal from striker Andre Gray wasn't enough as a goal three minutes from time denied the Town all three points against Grimsby. The Hatters' new signing fired home with a fine effort on the hour to break the deadlock and that point there looked to be only one winner. But the Mariners, themselves chasing a play-off spot, netted a late point when Kiernan Hughes-Mason equalised when firing past Mark Tyler. It was harsh on the Town who had bossed the game for long spells but a series of saves from Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown kept them at bay but the point wasn't enough and saw them drop to fifth in the Blue Square Bet Premier. Showing three changes to side that lost at Forest Green the Hatters started on top. Gray, in tandem with Danny Crow in attack began confidently, forcing a corner that led to their first chance on three minutes. Grimsby half-cleared Robbie Willmott's right-wing corner. The ball fell to the feet of Alex Lawless, playing on the right of a 4-4-2 formation, to hammer a shot at goal that was hurtling towards goal before the brave head of Craig Disley cleared the danger. Two minutes later Keith Keane tested McKeown with a 22-yard daisycutter as the Town continued to search for an early opener. No doubt out to right the wrongs of last Tuesday's defeat at Forest Green, the Hatters were playing some good stuff with Godfrey Poku doing a fine job in the centre of midfield to break up play. Keane won a free-kick on 11 minutes that eventually led to Janos Kovacs thumping a header against the crossbar but had in dropped home it wouldn't have counted as the giant Hungarian was penalised for climbing over Shaun Pearson. Grimsby's threat had been non-existent as the Town continued to boss possession and it was Keane again that tested McKeown when his well-hit first-time shot from the edge box was gathered by the Mariners' stopper. The visitors, without their leading marksman Liam Hearn through injury, had failed to test Tyler at all in the opening half-an-hour and it wasn't until the 33rd minute that the Town goalkeeper made a save of any note when he caught Craig Disley's header. The Town had threatened in patches and Gray headed over the next chance on 35 minutes following Jake Howells' deep cross. Grimsby had slowly crept back into things as the game became a turgid affair as time ticked towards the break but the Hatters almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Lawless darted into the six yard box to meet Willmott's low left-wing cross goalwards. But, as the ball travelled goalwards, McKeown stuck out a glove, diving to his left, to keep out the midfielder's effort. The Hatters started the second half well and came within inches of taking the lead six minutes after the restart. Gray did brilliantly to use his pace to chase a lost cause in the penalty box and hang up a high cross for Willmott at the back-post who saw a close-range shot cleared off the line by Disley. Still the Town pressed. Lawless warmed the fingertips of McKoewn on 52 minutes before Keane dragged a shot wide of the target four minutes later. But the moment the Hatters had been waiting for arrived on the hour. Howells won a corner down the left which was whipped in menacingly by Willmott and was then flapped half-clear by McKeown. The ball found Keane on the edge of the area and, after his shot was blocked and spun up, Gray capped his debut with a strike to remember, hooking an unstoppable volley past McKeown. It was a goal that the Town deserved given their superiority and, lifted by the goal, they went in search of a second, killer, goal. Willmott rifled a shot into the arms of McKeown with 14 minutes left having raced onto a lovely hooked pass from Crow and a minute later the Mariners' goalkeeper twice denied the Town, firstly from Gray's volley and then from Keane's long-range header than almost found the top corner. On 78 minutes Crow almost doubled the advantage when robbing Gary Silk, the Grimsby right-back, before floating an effort goalwards with McKeown off his line, but his strike dropped agonisingly wide of the target. Grimsby's threat, like in the first half, was sporadic at best, but they should have levelled it up with 10 minutes left when Hughes-Mason flashed a shot wide of the target from six yards. Lifted by that near-miss the Mariners' confidence grew. Anthony Elding saw a goal-bound shot blocked by substitute Shane Blackett a minute later. The Hatters were still in the hunt for a second goal but their chances took a huge blow three minutes from time when the Mariners netted an equaliser. The Town failed to clear their lines and Hughes-Mason wriggled into the box and placed a left-shot past Tyler. Four minutes of time were added at the end of the 90 but a winner never materialised for either side and the points were shared. For minute-by-minute analysis see below. Live from Kenilworth Road Luton Town 1 (Gray 60) Grimsby Town 1 (Hughes-Mason 87) Result FULL-TIME - All over here, reaction, report and photos to follow. 90 mins - Four added minutes now to find a late winner. 90 mins Change for the Town, Howells off for Fleetwood. 89 mins - A minute left to find a winner. 87 mins GOAL! Town 1-1 GRIMSBY (Hughes-Mason) - Disaster for Town as KIERNAN HUGHES-MASON does well in the box to wriggle past the challenge of Kovacs and Osano to plant a left-foot finish past Tyler. 85 mins - Five left here... 84 mins - Back come the Town, Lawless slips in Howells down the left on the counter but his cross is too high for Gray to get a head to. 83 mins - Almost sniff for 1-1 as Blackett blocks Elding's effort from 12 yards. 80 mins First change of the afternoon for the Town as Shane Blackett replaces Willmott. Howells now operating further forward. 80 mins - Best chance of the game for Grimsby, Hughes-Mason, flashes a shot wide. 78 mins - Almost 2-0, Crow robs Silk, McKeown is out of goal so the striker attempt to loft a delicate effort over him and doesn't miss by much. Decent effort. 77 mins - Two chances in the space of 30 seconds as, from a corner from the right, Gray hooks a shot at goal that is pawed away by McKeown before Keane then heads an effort destined for the top corner that the Mariners' keeper plucks it out of the sky. 76 mins - Almost a chance for 2-0 as Crow does brilliantly to hook a pass out wide to the left  to Willmott. He cuts past Silk, the Grimsby right-back, before firing straight at McKeown at the near post. 71 mins - Don't worry still here, Town pushing for a second. 62 mins - Double change for the visitors, Elding and Soares on. 60 mins  GOAL! TOWN 1-0 Grimsby (Gray) Seconds ago he looked as though he's picked up a knock but now he's off celebrating his debut goal as ANDRE GRAY fires the Town head. Howells win a corner down the left, McKeown flaps clear Willmott's flag-kick and the ball drops to Keane. He rifles a low shot that is blocked, bounces up perfectly for the striker who spins and hooks a terrific finish past the Grimsby keeper. Get in! 56 mins - I think Keano's been told to shoot this afternoon as he goes for glory again from range, this time dragging a shot wide from the edge of the box, untroubling McKeown. 52 mins - Another chance for the Hatters, Lawless eyeing a spectacular effort from 25 yards, held at the second attempt by McKeown. 51 mins - Off the line as the Town press....Gray doesn't give up what seems a lot cause and he does well to cross to Willmott at the back post who sees his side-foot effort from six yards cleared off the line by Disley. 46 mins Annnnnd we're off for the second half here as the Town kick-off, now shooting towards the Kenilworth Road end. No changes at the break for either side. HALF-TIME And that's the break. Goalless here. Come back in 15 minutes for the second half. 45 mins + 1 - Best save of the half and the Town are unlucky not be ahead at the break as Willmott's low cross from the left is flicked goalwards by Lawless but McKeown gets a glove out to turn the ball away. 45 mins - And the big defender is back on, gingerly. Two added minutes. 44 mins - Concern for the Hatters here, Kovacs is hobbling. 42 mins - Three minutes to the break. After a bright start it's got a bit turgid out there. 35 mins - Gray's been bright and has looked confident on his debut. He then heads over the Town's next chance following Howells' driven left-wing cross. 33 mins - First effort on target for the visitors, Bradley Wood's right-wing cross headed straight at Tyler by Disley. 30 mins - Surge forward from Curtis Osano...Town corner...cleared. 27 mins - First yellow card of the afternoon, Tyler booked for dissent... 25 mins - Over half-way through this first-half, Town still dominating possession. 20 mins - More work for McKeown and again it's from Keane, catching it well from 22-ish yards that the Grimsby stopper gets down well to his right to keep out. 19 mins - Almost a chance for the Town, Howells floats in a cross, Grimsby half-clear but both Poku and Lawless get in each other's way when about to pull the trigger and the chance is lost. 15 mins - Bit of a lull here but the Hatters are still on top. Mark Tyler not had a meaningful touch yet. 11 mins - Town still pressing as Keane wins a free-kick that Willmott floats into the box. Kovacs gets to hit and directs a header goalwards that comes back off the crossbar. However, it wouldn't have counted...the referee had spotted a foul by the big defender. 9 mins - Hatters still on top here. A sea of orange around the ground. It's t-shirt weather. 5 mins - Another effort for the Town, this is definitely target as Keane attempts a shot from 25 yards that at first looks speculative but it bounces awkwardly for visiting goalkeeper James McKeown and he needs to tip it behind for a corner. Positive start from the men in orange. 3 mins - Early sighter for the Hatters. Gray wins a corner, which Grimsby half-clear to Alex Lawless who sees a drive from 12 yards headed away by Craig Disley. Looked on target from here. 2  mins - Town on top early doors. It's 442 by the way, Gray and Crow up top with Lawless right-wing, Willmott left-wing, Keane and Poku in central midfield. 1 min After a huddle from the Town we're off and underway, good atmosphere as the visitors kick-off. Hatters shooting towards the Oak Road end in this first half. COYH. 14:55 HERE THEY COME Out come the two sides onto the Kenilworth Road pitch. Glorious weather. 14:45 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 3-0 Luton, Mark Wood: 2-1 Luton, Mike Simmonds: 1-0 Luton, Lauren Archell: 1-1 draw, Simon Pitts: 2-1, Simon Oxley: 3-1 Luton, Bill Cole: 3-1 Luton. 14:10 GRAY STARTS New signing Andre Gray makes is Town debut in attack for the Town in one of three changes that Gary Brabin makes. There's no Stuart Fleetwood, Adam Watkins or Aaron O'Connor as Gray, Danny Crow and Godfrey Poku start. 14:00 THE TEAMS Three changes for Town. Town: Tyler, Osano, Kovacs, Pilkington, Howells, Willmott, Lawless, Poku, Keane, Crow, Gray. Subs: Blackett, Fleetwood, Boucaud, Watkins, McAllister. Grimsby: McKeown, Silk, Coulson, Disley, Duffy, Pearson, Wood, Townsend, Miller, Wright, Winn. Subs: Thanoj, I'Anson, Hughes-Mason, Elding, Soares. 13:55 TEAM NEWS COMING SOON In the next five minutes... 13:40 ON AIR WITH KB Kingsley Black, mentioned below scoring on this date in 1990, is here at Kenilworth Road today. The former Town and Grimsby man is in the press box co-commentating for BBC Radio Humberside this afternoon. 13:30 ON THIS DAY The Town are hoping to record their first win on this day since 1990 - a 2-1 win at home to Millwall. Mick McCarthy - with an own goal - and Kingsley Black scored the Hatters' goals in front of a crowd of 9,027. That victory in 1990 was also the first in a long time - since 1956. That day the Town also triumphed 2-1 at home as two goals from Reg Pearce saw off Aston Villa in the top flight. 13:00 WEATHER WATCH In a word: lovely. Sunshine, blue skies, nice and mild. Perfect. 12:00 THE MESSAGE IS SIMPLE Town manager Gary Brabin yesterday: "We can't afford to throw away our season based on the last couple of weeks. We've come this far, it would be criminal to throw it all away when we're in a healthy position." And: "The support between now and then of the season can be a massive tool for us. Power in numbers and power in voice. All I ask is for the fans to keep supporting us and to keep believing - we've got a group of players here who are giving their absolute all." So, no waffle from me to open up these live updates today, the boss has done it for me. Come along and get behind the Club against Grimsby Town this afternoon. COYH.
    Data provided by Press Association


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