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14 April 2018 Venue Kenilworth Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: LUTON TOWN V CREWE ALEXANDRA

13 April 2018

Town face Crewe Alexandra tomorrow at Kenilworth Road as Nathan Jones' team look to tighten their grip on their place in the automatic promotion spots in Sky Bet League Two.

Get down to Kenilworth Road nice and early as we host another Family Fun Day outside the Kenilworth Road End. You can find out more information about the event by clicking here.

The visitors have won three of their last five outings, including a 4-3 victory at Mansfield Town last Saturday. That was their sixth away win of the campaign, with the Railwaymen heading to the most difficult place in the league to get a point this season – as the Hatters boast the strongest home record in the fourth tier.

The Town head into the fixture having only suffered two defeats in the past two-and-a-half months, as well as picking up back-to-back victories against Mansfield and Yeovil. Danny Hylton's brace and Elliot Lee's goal last Saturday means the pair and fellow striker James Collins have now scored over 50 goals between them this season.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On his hopes for Saturday: "I hope that we all as a club turn up and perform like we can and get the result that we want. It'll be a difficult game, they beat Mansfield 4-3 after being 4-1 up the other day. It'll be a real, real tough game and one we need to treat with the upmost respect, which we do with every game anyway, so that's not going to change.

"We've got to get another home win and the crowd can play a part in that, the players are obviously going to play a part in that and god willing we will get those three points."

When asked if he'd prefer to win promotion home or away: "As long as we are promoted I don't care where it happens. There's lots of scenarios, but it's not done, we're not thinking like that. A lot can happen, but we can't see into the future.

"If we knew that 79 points got you promoted, then I'd be looking at other things. But we don't know that. All we can do is pick up as many points as we can and that's what we're going to do. That starts this weekend."

WHO?

A blend of youth products and experienced pros, Crewe have a decent mix throughout the team. The side that beat the Stags last weekend saw seven academy graduates turn out for the Railwaymen – including on-loan forward Shaun Miller, who has returned to the club where he started, joining from Carlisle United in January.

There is a spine of old heads though, with Michael Raynes at centre-back, Paul Green in the middle of the park and Chris Porter up top. The three combined have over 1,500 games under their belt, with Porter on 150 career goals.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 14th April at Kenilworth Road.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets are still available for purchase for the game in person and over the phone on 01582 416976 from the Ticket Office, as well as online which you can access by clicking here.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Our last meeting saw the Hatters run out 2-1 winners at Gresty Road with Danny Hylton and Luke Berry getting on the scoresheet for the Town. Johnny Mullins scored an own goal for Crewe's late consolation. Of our 25 meetings the Hatters have won 12 and lost nine.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

You can follow the Hatters' Twitter feed on @LutonTown, or stay up to date on the LTFC website in the match centre. iFollow Hatters subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts' match commentary, whilst international subscribers can watch the game live. You can subscribe to iFollow Hatters by clicking here... and supporters who are overseas can buy an individual match pass for the live video stream via the Match Centre.

AWAY SUPPORTERS' GUIDE

If you are a Crewe supporter heading to Kenilworth Road for this fixture, please check out our Away Supporters' Guide by clicking here, to make sure you get the most out of your trip to Luton!

CAR PARKING

Don't forget to take advantage of the car parking now available at Power Court, make sure you get your permit now by clicking here.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: LUTON TOWN 3 CREWE ALEXANDRA 1

Hylton, Elliot Lee and Pelly on target as Town move to within three points of promotion

14 April 2018

The Hatters moved to within one win of being certain of automatic promotion with a third straight win this afternoon with goals from Danny Hylton, Elliot Lee and a first of the season from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu sealing a 3-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.

As has become the norm at Kenilworth Road in recent weeks, Nathan Jones’ side had to come from behind, with Jordan Bowery putting the 17th-placed visitors in front against the run of play on 35 minutes.

But Hylton equalised with his 22nd of the season – and fifth in as many games – within four minutes, before Lee bent in his 12th of the campaign two minutes into first-half stoppage time.

Then, six minutes after the interval, Mpanzu hit an absolute corker into the top corner from 25 yards to effectively seal a win that could bring about promotion as early as Tuesday night, should Exeter lose at home to Chesterfield.

In reality, a draw down at St James Park would be enough for the Hatters to start planning for League One football bearing in mind the goal difference that is 25 better than the Grecians’.

Regardless of what goes on elsewhere, Jones and his Town squad have been going about their business in a thoroughly professional manner and, after a fourth win in five matches here, the same return at Carlisle next Saturday will seal promotion anyway.

Delighted by recent form, Jones named an unchanged side – including bench – from the one that won 3-0 at Yeovil last week, meaning James Shea was in goal behind a back four of Jack Stacey, Glen Rea, captain Alan Sheehan and Dan Potts.

Alan McCormack, Olly Lee and Mpanzu made up the midfield with Elliot Lee at the tip of the diamond behind Hylton and James Collins.

The Hatters started brightly, and after Olly Lee had fired an effort at goal after a one-two with Collins, the 20-goal striker cut back a ninth-minute cross for Stacey to get his head on, but it was straight at visiting keeper Ben Garratt.

A minute later it was Hylton’s chance to have a go, Collins knocking Sheehan’s clip down for his strike partner to hit one from 20 yards, but this one went wide.

With quarter-of-an-hour gone, the Hatters striker was penalised for a foul on Eddie Nolan as Crewe took a corner, but Shea was equal to Harry Pickering’s free-kick from 20 yards out.

Hylton then led a 17th minute charge down the left, carrying the ball from deep inside his own half before slipping a pass inside to Elliot Lee to attempt a curler from 25 yards, that went just the wrong side of the post with Garratt at full stretch.

Crewe were enjoying plenty of possession in the Hatters’ half, however, and they almost grabbed a fortuitous lead when, after a goalmouth scramble, Rea’s attempted clearance hit Sheehan on the ground and rebounded just wide of the post.

The Town were asking plenty of questions of their own though, and Elliot Lee saw a powerful cross-shot tipped away by Garratt before directing a far post header from Collins’ cross straight at the Alex stopper.

Big brother Olly was next to have a go, meeting a Sheehan corner full on the volley from 25 yards – think Paul Scholes – and it was heading towards goal before being deflected wide for another corner.

But it was the visitors who took the lead in the 35th minute when Shaun Miller flicked a ball on from halfway, and Bowery burst past Sheehan to finish coolly past Shea from 15 yards.

Sheehan almost made amends immediately, curling a 37th-minute free-kick around the wall to force Garratt into another good save, and the Town were level by the 39th minute.

It had to be that man Hylton, controlling a header down by McCormack from another Sheehan corner and volleying past Garratt on the turn from three yards out for his 22nd goal of the season.

The leading scorer soon lured Paul Green into a foul on the edge of the box that earned the visitors their first yellow card, and gave Sheehan another chance to step up and call Garratt into action, this one straight at the keeper.

The Hatters were playing well, and Elliot Lee was denied by Garratt again three minutes before half-time after digging the ball out from a thicket of legs ten yards out.

He didn’t have to wait long for his 12th goal of the campaign, however, Mpanzu winning the ball on the edge of the Hatters’ area and triggering a counter-attack that saw Collins feed it to Lee wide on the left.

The Town forward used Potts’ overlap as a decoy and drove inside, pivoting to beat two men and then bending an absolute beauty around Garratt and inside the far post from 20 yards out to give the Hatters a deserved lead, taking his, Hylton and Collins’ combined tally to 54 for the season.

Within six minutes of the restart it was three, and what a strike it was as Mpanzu unleashed a piledriver from 25 yards – after another Sheehan corner had been headed half clear – that left Garratt helpless as it flew into top corner, still on the rise.

It was Pelly’s first goal of the season, meaning that every outfield player in the Hatters’ team had netted during the campaign – and he was keen to double it moments later, although this one from slightly closer was high and handsome.

Crewe tried to muster a reply, and sub Chris Porter hooked a low shot straight at Shea after Paul Green’s free-kick from halfway was flicked into his path.

The Hatters almost had a fourth in the 63rd minute when Stacey, Collins and Mpanzu linked up down the right for the full-back to race into the box and flash a shot in that flew across Garratt – and just past the far post.

Jones introduced Harry Cornick for Elliot Lee with 64 minutes gone, and the ex-Bournemouth forward immediately set pulses racing with a couple of lung-busting runs from deep to stretch the

Olly Lee thought he’d try his luck on the volley again with 72 minutes on the clock

With quarter-of-an-hour to go Cornick did well down the right to pick Green’s pocket and cross low for Collins, but the striker’s scuffed effort was deflected wide.

Stacey went close again in the 79th minute when Olly Lee and Cornick did well down the left to pick out Collins, whose cross-field ball to Hylton allowed Stacey the time to race past the striker and receive a pass that he struck first time, Garratt getting down low to his right to keep out.

Sheehan saw the woodwork deny him a goal two minutes later when another 20-yard free-kick struck the outside of the post, then – at the other end – a cross from the right just cleared his head and allowed Bowery another sight of goal, but Shea was equal to the former Aston Villa forward’s side-foot volley.

Jones brought Johnny Mullins on for Hylton with five minutes left to help weather the storm of Crewe throwing balls into the box aiming for Bowery, Porter and his fellow sub Chris Dagnall.

But within seconds of his arrival, Mpanzu was leading another surge through the middle to bring another chance about for Cornick, whose show was dragged wide of Garratt’s right post.

It mattered not. Another job well done as the Hatters inch closer to the finishing line!

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Rea, Sheehan ©, Potts, McCormack, Mpanzu, O Lee, E Lee (Cornick 64), Collins, Hylton (Mullins 85). Subs: Justin, Jervis, Downes, Gambin, Stech (GK)

Yellows: McCormack, Hylton

Goals: Hylton 39, E Lee 45+2, Mpanzu 51

 

CREWE: Garratt, Ng, Ray ©, Jones, Bowery, Nolan, Wintle, Pickering, Kirk (Ainley 57), Green (Dagnall 77), Miller (Porter 57). Subs: Walker, Richards (GK), Lowery, Sterry

Yellows: Green, Dagnall

Goals: Bowery 35

 

REFEREE: Ben Toner

ATT: 9,202 (189 away)

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