Skip to main content


13:05 8th March 2012


Wrexham 2
Wright 6, Keates 39 Town 0 The Hatters slipped to their second successive away defeat as their faint title hopes all but disappeared at the Racecourse. It was two first-half goals that did the damage. Danny Wright's sixth-minute header putting the Red Dragons in front before captain Dean Keates clipped home a fine effort six minutes before half-time. The Hatters huffed and puffed in an attempt to reduce arrears but their poor record in North Wales continued - it was the Town's 13th defeat in 19 games - and matters were made worse in stoppage time when substitute John Paul Kissock was sent-off for two-footed challenge on Jay Harris. The Town began showing two changes to the side that beat Bath City on Saturday. Andre Boucaud and Aaron O'Connor started in the place of Robbie Willmott and John Paul Kissock, who both dropped to the bench. Striker Stuart Fleetwood was absent due to an ankle injury sustained in training on Tuesday. The last time the Hatters visited the Racecourse they raced into an early lead on their way to a 3-0 success in the play-offs last season. However, this time, it was the hosts who made an early and clinical impact after just six minutes. Mathias Pogba, the match-winner the last time the two sides met at Kenilworth Road in October, centred from the right and Wright was on hand to nod into the top corner from six yards. It wasn't the start the Hatters would have had in mind at the home of their promotion rivals but they almost got a sniff of an equaliser on 10 minutes when Jake Howells beat Nat Knight-Percival for pace down the right to drive a low shot into the hands of goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi. The Wrexham goal was the only meaningful action in a mediocre first 20 minutes that the Town were beginning to dominate, even if they failed to stretch the home defence. On the half-hour Janos Kovacs headed over a right-wing corner from Howells before tidy play in the middle of the park from Boucaud almost saw the midfielder find O'Connor with a low searching pass three minutes later. The hosts had barely got near Mark Tyler's goal since the opening goal but they almost doubled their lead on 35 minutes when Jake Speight got the wrong side of Kovacs just inside the penalty area before driving a venomous shot at goal that was turned over well by the fingertips of Tyler. But that effort only served as a warning as, four minutes later, Wrexham did make it 2-0. A long throw into the penalty area caused confusion in the Town penalty area and, after failing several times to clear their lines the ball found its way to Keates who finished delightfully with a floated chip into the top corner. The Hatters had battled back from 2-0 down against Southport earlier in the season before reducing the deficit and, in a bid to do the same here, Crow saw an intelligent pass cause panic in the home six-yard box on 44 minutes before Mayebi unconvincingly pawed Boucaud's daisycutter around the post on the stroke of half-time. Trailing by two goals Gary Brabin made two changes at the break, introducing Craig McAllister and Willmott for O'Connor and Boucaud as the Town changed tact, going 442. With two minutes of the restart the Hatters thought they should have had a penalty when Greg Taylor, haring into the box up from left-back, was sent sprawling by Pogba's challenge but referee Harrington remained unmoved. Wrexham then broke immediately and only a clearance from Ed Asafu-Adjaye prevented the hosts making it 3-0 when Wright cut the ball back for Speight with the goal gaping. Tyler prevented the hosts from scoring a third on 53 minutes when he stopped Speight's first-time drive from 12 yards but real goalmouth action was at a real premium as the Town attempted to reduce arrears. The Hatters did have ball in the Wrexham net on 68 minutes but Alex Lawless' shot was ruled out for offside after the midfielder had latched onto McAllister's knock-down. Willmott's introduction had certainly given the Hatters a direct threat down the right flank and he almost fortuitously pulled a goal back with 11 minutes left when his cross-cum-shot was turned over by Mayebi before it dipped home. The Town tried in vain in the final 10 minutes to find a goal but failed to test Mayebi once more and, in stoppage time, their misery was complete when Kissock was sent-off for a foul on Harris. For minute-by-minute analysis see below. Wrexham 2 (Wright 6, Keates 39) Luton Town 0 Result FULL-TIME All over here, reaction, a full report and photographs to come. 90 mins + 1 - Kissock sent-off for foul on Harris. 90 mins - Into the 90 and we've got four addes minutes. 87 mins - Chance for 3-0, Cieslewicz sends Jamie Tolley through but he blasts high and does Keane for the Town moments later. 84 mins - 4,206 inside the Racecourse tonight, about 100 from Bedfordshire. No official figure given yet. 82 mins - Time ticking here. Town pressing for a goal back. Still 2-0. 79 mins - Almost a chance out of nothing for 2-1 as Willmott's looping cross-cum-shot looks like it's going to dip in but Mayebi sticks out a glove to turn it behind for a corner. 75 mins - Into the last 15 minutes here. 69 mins Third and final change for the Town as John Paul Kissock replaces Taylor. 68 mins - The ball is in the Wrexham net but it's not going to count as Lawless tucks past Mayebi following McAllister's knock-down but the midfielder is adjudged offside. 67 mins - Three-quarters of the game gone here and the Town need goal and quick if they're to save a point here. 60 mins - Hour gone and Keith Keane becomes the first Town man in the book. 53 mins - Almost 3-0. The Town fail to clear the danger and the ball pings to the feet of Speight who instantly powers a first-time shot at into the hands of Tyler. 48 mins - Penalty? Pogba challenges Taylor in the box but nowt's given before Wrexham race up the other end, Wright beating Kovacs to square for Speight but Asafu-Adjaye's clearance prevents it becoming 3-0. 47 mins - 442 for the Hatters now, McAllister and Crow up top, flat four in midfield, Howells, Lawless, Keane and Willmott. 46 mins  Town get us off and underway for the second half and there's two changes from Gary Brabin. Craig McAllister and Robbie Willmott are on for O'Connor and Boucaud. HALF-TIME And that my friends is half-time. Let's not beat around the bush, it's not been great. Here's hoping for a better second half. COYH. 45 mins - Three added minutes til the break...Town pushing for one back, Boucaud from distance, sees a shot pawed around the post by Mayebi. 44 mins - Almost a scrappy sniff for 2-1 as Wrexham this time fail to clear their lines. Crow tries to slide a pass square into the six yard box but Mayebi is first to the loose ball before he then spills it but the hosts do, eventually, clear. 42 mins - Uphill for the Town now, three minutes to the break. 39 mins  WREXHAM 2-0 Town (Keates) The Hatters had weathered the Wrexham storm and had looked like they were getting back into this but then they contrive to concede a messy goal. The Town fail to clear their lines following a long throw and eventually the ball lands to home skipper DEAN KEATES who lofts a super dinked finish into the top corner giving Tyler no chance. A love finish but given away too cheapily and punished. 35 mins - Wrexham haven't threatened Tyler's goal since the goal but then the Town stopper is called into action to turn over Jake Speight's venomous shot after the home striker had got the better of Kovacs. Great save. 33 mins - Better from the Town as Howells, who is impressing tonight, feeds Boucaud who drives through the middle of the pitch and almost slips in O'Connor with a defence-splitting pass. Mayebi is first to it but that's more encouraging. 30 mins - This game is very low on chances at the minute. The Town win a corner as Knight-Percival sliced behind but from the resultant flag-kick taken by Howells, a combination of Kovacs and Taylor head over at the back post. 23 mins - Apologies, no need to worry, we're still here...little action to report in truth. Hatters probin for a leveller. 15 mins - Town on top now here but the hosts are comfortably dealing with the threat. Still 1-0. 10 mins - Half a sniff for the Hatters as Howells races down the right, beating Knight-Percival for pace down the flank to burst into the box and hit a right-foot shot into the hands of Mayebi. Out of nothing but better. 8 mins - Aaron O'Connor down for the Town after challenging the home goalkeeper but it looks like he's going to be okay. 6 mins  GOAL! WREXHAM 1-0 Town (Wright) - The last time the two sides met here it was the Town that made a dream start but this time it's the host's turn as DANNY WRIGHT rises above the Hatters defence to nod home Mathias Pogba's inch-perfect right-wing cross. Not a good start. 3 mins - The Town are lining up 4-3-3 then with Ed AA, Pilks, Kovacs and Taylor across the back, Lawless, Keane and Boucaud in midfield with Howells on the left, O'Connor on the right and Crow down the middle. 1 min Annnnnnd we're off here at the Racecourse as the hosts get us off and underway. Enjoy the updates. COYH. 19:27 HERE THEY COME Both sides out here, Town in white, Wrexham in red. 19:26 ON FORM Wrexham have won 10 of their last 11 league games here at the Racecourse. And that one game was a draw. 19:25 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 1-1 draw, Mike Simmonds: 2-0 Wrexham. 19:20 CROWD Wrexham are expecting one of their largest gates of the season here at the Racecourse. Could be pushing 5,000. 19:00 THE TEAMS Wrexham: Mayebi, Ashton, Harris, Wright, Speight, Keates, Tolley, Knight-Percival, Westwood, Pogba, Wright. Subs: Maxwell, Ciezlewicz, Morrell, Clarke, Leslie. Town: Tyler, Asafu-Adjaye, Pilkington, Kovacs, Taylor, Lawless, Keane, Boucaud, O'Connor, Howells, Crow. Subs: McAllister, Willmott, Watkins, Kissock, Poku. 18:55 TWO CHANGES Aaron O'Connor and Andre Boucaud start for the Town. 18:30 WEATHER WATCH A cold and windy evening here in North Wales. 16:15 BIG FOR BOTH There's no doubt that Fleetwood Town's last-gasp 2-1 victory over Grimsby Town on Tuesday night will have implications on tonight's game at the Racecourse. The Cod Army's win has put them a huge 20 points clear of the Hatters, in third, and eight points clear of Wrexham in second. This evening it's second versus third and any slip for either side will only enhance the league leaders' title credentials. The Town's chances of that prize is slim at best (50/1 say Coral) whilst the Red Dragons are, realistically, the only side within striking distance that can catch the Cod Army. Indeed should Wrexham win tonight, win their game in hand and beat Fleetwood in their meeting in April then they'll be top. It's there's to lose. So it's a big game for both sides tonight and with the pressure heaped on them by Fleetwood's success 24 hours earlier it should - note should - make for a good game in front of the live Premier Sports Cameras as the Town and Red Dragons fight it out on the pitch for the three points. The Racecourse isn't a particularly happy hunting ground for the Hatters over the years given their record of 12 defeats in 18 games in North Wales but it has been the scene of two fine Town victories: one in 2004/05 which sealed the League 1 title, and the other, which happened last season, when the Hatters ran out 3-0 winners in the first leg of their play-off semi-final. That night last May was one of the most impressive away displays in recent seasons and was the platform for the Town to progress to the final and going into tonight's match boss Gary Brabin spoke confidently about his belief that his players could put in a repeat performance. The Hatters do not have the usual pressures of being expected to wallop a side four or five nil tonight. Instead it's Andy Morrell's side who face that task tonight (well, okay not the four or five nil bit.) But, like Brabin, all you have to do is believe... COYH Well, whatever happens tonight, and indeed throughout the season, your official website will have everything covered: every step of the way. 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 after, 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 Gary 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.