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28 April 2018 Venue Kenilworth Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: LUTON TOWN V FOREST GREEN ROVERS

27 April 2018

Town will look to close the curtain on their campaign at Kenilworth Road with a title chasing win against Forest Green Rovers.

It's going to be a special occasion at Kenilworth Road tomorrow regardless of the result, with the club wanting to make it as enjoyable as possible for all supporters. With this in mind, we ask supporters not to go onto the pitch while a planned EFL presentation takes place and the players undertake a lap of honour. For more information on this, please click here.

The Hatters confirmed promotion to Sky Bet League One for next season with the draw at Carlisle United last Saturday, but could still win the title should Nathan Jones' team win both of their remaining fixtures and Accrington Stanley lose theirs.

Forest Green Rovers secured their place in Sky Bet League Two with a draw against Yeovil Town on Tuesday evening, which marks a remarkable turnaround by the Green Devils. After a difficult start to life in the fourth tier, Mark Cooper's team turned their fortunes around with strong home form – as they picked up ten of their 13 league wins on home turf.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On guiding the Hatters to promotion: "It's been brilliant, I remember every promotion that I had as a player and as a manager. It's even more special for me in terms of guiding the team to promotion especially with this special club that has waited so long. I know the heartache, I know what we had to go through last year and I went through it.

"That's been the driving force for me as much as getting promotion anyway, but to erase that memory from last year as well is fantastic. The way which we've done it has pleased me and I've been proud of it."

On the healthy position the Town find themselves in: "What has gone into it in terms of recruitment, in terms of the daily sacrifice we make, in terms of how we educate them and there's so much more than we've achieved than just a promotion.

"We're in such a good place, on and off the field, with the players we have in terms of how much better they are, how in demand they are, how many teams they could get into, as we've educated them."

On celebrating promotion as a manager: "I remember my promotions and I partied like it was 1999, now it's different for the staff. We've got a few young staff who enjoy it and party, but I went back, and me and my fiancée and Jared Roberts-Smith and his girlfriend, just opened up a bottle of champagne that we'd been given and just sat there.

"That was enough for me, but it was fantastic. We stopped to get food and all the fans were there, it was just nice little things that happened. I look at the fans – the fans are in tears because I know what it means to them as it means the same to me, and that's the affiliation we've had, so it's been a wonderful few days in terms of that."

WHO?

Mark Cooper's side have certainly been one of the more entertaining sides to watch this campaign, a fluid passing style of football has seen them receive plaudits across the division, but it hasn't necessarily yielded the results they might have hoped for. They arrived in the fourth tier having plied their trade in the National League for nearly two decades – the appointment of Cooper proving to be an inspired one, as he got them up via the play-offs in his first full campaign in charge. A tough start saw them pick up just one win in their opening 13 games and an immediate return to Non-League looked likely.

However, small bursts of form have seen them pull away from the bottom two places, especially at home, where they have had the knack of beating teams around them to ensure they keep pace.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 28th April at Kenilworth Road.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for this game have now sold out.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Of the 11 meetings between the teams, the Hatters have won seven and been defeated once. The last time the two met was back in December, when Alan Sheehan and Danny Hylton got on the scoresheet in a 2-0 victory for the Town.

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 Forest Green Rovers 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

REPORT: LUTON TOWN 3 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 1

Hylton nets his 50th goal for the Hatters before Olly and Pelly ice the promotion cake

28 April 2018

The Hatters rounded off a fine home campaign this afternoon with a 3-1 win over Forest Green Rovers as a sell-out Kenilworth Road crowd celebrated promotion from Sky Bet League Two in style.

Danny Hylton netted his 50th goal for the club in his 89th appearance to set the ball rolling in the 20th minute, before Christian Doidge equalised for Rovers after half-time.

Late goals from Olly Lee and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu put the icing on the promotion cake, and although Accrington Stanley’s 1-0 win over Lincoln put the title out of Town’s reach, Nathan Jones and his squad were cheered to the rafters as they were presented with the runners-up trophy and medals before going on a lap of honour after the game.

Jones had named an unchanged team for a fourth successive match as his side looked for a victory to keep the pressure on Accrington.

The Town secured automatic promotion with a draw at Carlisle last week, but a win today coupled with defeat for Stanley at home to Lincoln would see the title race go down to the final day of the season.

They were looking to make it five matches unbeaten – with three wins in the last four – as they aimed to get the post-match promotion celebrations started with another impressive home performance.

An outrageous piece of skill by Elliot Lee by the right touchline led to Mpanzu whipping in a cross that Collins put in the back of the visitors’ net on eight minutes, only for the striker to be shown a yellow card for using his hand.

Dayle Grubb had a shot deflected wide at the other end two minutes later, before Sheehan brought the ball out of defence to trigger a move that ended with Mpanzu dragging his left-foot shot well wide as he entered the area.

Rovers keeper Cameron Belford pulled off an unbelievable save to prevent Potts’ header from Olly Lee’s right-wing cross finding the top corner.

The lead wasn’t long in coming, and it had to be that man Hylton who was there to finish off another fine move that started with Elliot Lee slicing open the visitors’ back four with an inch-perfect pass into Collins’ path.

The ex-Crawley man’s shot was half-saved by Belford, but Hylton was there to slot the loose ball over the line from inside the six-yard box for goal number 23 of the season – all of them from inside the penalty area.

Belford was soon making another good block to prevent Hylton adding to that tally from close range, just before the striker joined Collins in referee Lee Collins’ notepad for pulling back Reece Brown as he raced down the right.

Elliot Lee was running the show from the tip of the midfield diamond, and after another couple of drops of the shoulder, he arced a 20-yard shot that was destined for the bottom corner until Belford flew across his line to push it around the post on 27 minutes.

A lull in proceedings followed until Elliot Lee found Mpanzu and the midfielder played a slide-rule pass into Hylton’s path, but somehow the top scorer’s shot ricocheted between Belford’s legs and skipped across the six-yard box, before Mpanzu pierced the Rovers defence with another terrific pass, this time for Stacey, but the right-back’s cross just eluded Collins at the far post.

With 45 minutes on the clock Shea had to be alert to keep out Scott Laird’s left-footed piledriver, but it had been a half of Hatters’ dominance as they punched the ball around the wet surface with aplomb.

Rovers were back in the game eight minutes after half-time when Doidge took a pass from Iasiah Osbourne a yard inside the area and thumped a right-footed shot past Shea into the bottom corner for his 25th goal of the season.

The Town had started the second half in second gear, and a mix-up between McCormack, Sheehan and Rea almost presented Doidge with another opportunity on the hour, Rea blocking the striker’s eventual shot, before sub Tahvon Campbell fired an angled shot just wide of the post.

Shea was called into action once again by Brown, getting down low to his right to push the ball away, before Elliot Lee led a charge with 20 minutes to go after Mpanzu had won the ball in his own box, but referee Collins waved appeals for a penalty away as the 12-goal forward went down under a challenge from Farrend Rawson.

Forest Green had asked most of the second half questions, but with just over ten minutes to go the Hatters mounted a period of sustained pressure that ended with Elliot Lee firing into the side-netting, with the aid of a deflection, before Sheehan went down in the box as he prepared to shoot, but again ref Collins waved appeals away.

The Town regained the lead in the 86th minute when Cornick picked out Olly Lee with a low cross from the right and the midfielder lashed in his seventh goal of the season from 12 yards.

Then Mpanzu netted his second in as many home games, with the aid of deflection, from 25 yards to really get the party started in the 89th minute.

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Rea, Sheehan, Potts, McCormack (Cuthbert 90), Mpanzu, O Lee, E Lee, Hylton, Collins (Cornick 82). Subs: Justin, Jervis, Downes, Gambin, Stech (GK)

Yellows: Collins, Hylton, McCormack

Goals: Hylton 20, O Lee 86, Mpanzu 89

 

ROVERS: Belford, Laird, Collins ©, Grubb (Campbell 60), Doidge, Brown (Reid 85), Gunning, Rawson, Clements (Cooper 63), Hollis, Osbourne. Subs: Simpson, Wishart, Pickering (GK), Hendy

Yellows: Collins

Goals: Doidge 54

 

REFEREE: Lee Collins

ATT: 10,029 (117 away)

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