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03 February 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 EXETER CITY

2 February 2018

The Hatters host in-form Exeter City tomorrow as Nathan Jones' team look to get back to winning ways after the midweek defeat against Wycombe Wanderers.

The 3-2 win for the Chairboys cut the Town's lead at the top of League Two to eight points – with the Grecians nine points behind in fourth place.

Paul Tisdale's side go into the game having won five of their last seven games, including the 2-0 win over Forest Green Rovers on Wednesday evening – a result that means should things go their way elsewhere, they could rise into the automatic promotion spots with a victory at Kenilworth Road.

A win for the Hatters could put them as many as 12 points clear, as they look to make February their third consecutive month of being at the summit of the fourth tier.

Tomorrow will see the logo of the club's charity of the year, Transitions UK, take the main sponsor of the Town home shirt for the game against the Grecians - a space that normal shirt sponsor SsangYong have kindly given up for the day. Today has seen LTFC members of staff walking around the pitch to raise money and awareness for the charity, which you can read more on by clicking here.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On getting back to winning ways: "We've had chances and not taken them in the past. It's a chance for us to get back on track first and foremost, to get our performance level back on track.

"Tuesday night attacking wise we were excellent, it's just defensively we were poor because we conceded from two counter attacks and a set-play. Defensively that's where we do the most work – we work solidly on defending set-plays, we work solidly on defending the counter attacks because we know we have a proactive structure. So that was a disappointing thing.

"Going forward though I thought we were excellent, because we caused a good League Two team a lot of problems and their keeper has made some outstanding saves."

On Exeter posing different threats to Wycombe: "That's the thing with this League, you look at the Championship, you see how people build in their play, it's just who does it better.

"But here there are contrasts from week-to-week. What we try to do is get a real equilibrium in our play and if our performances are at a high level, then that's all we can affect and that's what we have got to get back to doing."

WHO?

Paul Tisdale took over at St James Park in 2006 and has overseen two promotions – from the Conference to League One through two consecutive promotions in 2008 and '09 – and one relegation, back down to League Two in 2012.

They went close to going up again last season, reaching the play-off final after overcoming Carlisle United in the semis – which saw a certain Jack Stacey net an absolutely tremendous goal in the dying moments of the second leg to help them win 6-5 on aggregate. That set up the final against Blackpool, but the Grecians lost 2-1 at Wembley.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 3rd February at Kenilworth Road.

TICKET INFORMATION

Ticket for the game are still on sale from the Ticket Office in person, over the phone on 011582 416976 and online by clicking here.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Our meeting earlier on this season at St James Park saw arguably the most devastating nine minutes from the Hatters this campaign – as goals from Dan Potts, Danny Hylton and Harry Cornick in a superb second half showing helped the Town on their way to a 4-1 win.

Of the 67 meetings between us and the Grecians, we have won 35, drawn 15 and been defeated 17 times.

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 an Exeter 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 1 EXETER CITY 0

Cornick's fifth goal of the season enough to sink Grecians

3 February 2018

Harry Cornick scored the only goal to cap a terrific individual and team performance as the Hatters bounced back immediately from the disappointment of midweek defeat to beat high- Exeter this afternoon.

The Town made it 12 home wins for the season to maintain their eight-point lead over Wycombe, who went second with their win at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night, and ten-point advantage over fourth place with just under a third of the campaign to go.

Cornick struck his fifth goal of the season seven minutes before the break, although it could – and should – have been several more during a dominant display from Nathan Jones’ side against a promotion rival, who drop to sixth.

Jones made three changes, with two of his three deadline day signings making their debuts; Flynn Downes, who arrived on loan from Ipswich until the end of the season, and forward Jake Jervis, who signed late on Wednesday night from Plymouth Argyle for an undisclosed fee, coming into the starting line-up, with Lloyd Jones on the bench.

The other change saw Cornick return from the off, after appearing as a sub in midweek, while Danny Hylton was back on the bench after missing the last two matches with a hamstring injury.

With Rea playing centre-half and Flynn anchoring the midfield in a 4-3-3 formation that had Jervis and Cornick up front with James Collins, the Town started brightly.

Cornick collected a smart fifth-minute pass from Downes before turning to crack a 20-yard left-foot drive against the foot of the post, before Jervis carried the ball from deep inside his own half and letting fly with a 25-yarder that flew just wide.

Downes was impressing with his range of passing in the early stages – and continued right through to the end of a magnificent debut – but it was his fellow new-boy Jervis who was getting plenty of attempts in on goal.

The 26-year-old combined well with Dan Potts down the left in the 15th minute before sending a shot wide after the full-back’s cross was headed back into his path by Daniel Seaborne.

Four minutes later, Downes chipped a ball into the box looking for Collins, and centre-half Jordan Storey’s header went only as far as Jervis on the edge of the box, but he couldn’t keep his volley down.

Exeter had their first shot in the 20th minute, Hiram Boateng’s tame effort from distance saved comfortably, low to his left, by Stech.

Town were dominating possession and Stacey was making inroads down the right. It was from the former Grecian’s 27th-minute cross that Berry found space at the back post to fire a shot straight at Christy Pym in the Exeter goal.

Then, a minute later, Cornick’s slide-rule pass in to Collins had the striker looking to pick out Jervis in the six-yard box, but his cross was deflected onto the top of the crossbar and out for a corner.

Cornick was full of running, and after beating his man on halfway in the 32nd minute, he raced through the middle and had options either side of him, and maybe took the wrong one as he tried to slip Olly Lee in to his right, with Collins free and screaming for the ball to his left, and the promising move came to nothing.

Town were playing some excellent football, dominating the ball with the excellent Downes proving his Championship class as he dictated the play, and the deserved breakthrough came in the 38th minute when Berry fed Potts out on the left flank.

The full-back looked as if he was going to take Kane Wilson on to the byline, but instead drove inside the box and laid it back for Cornick to smash the ball into the top corner, with the aid of a deflection, from 18 yards to record his second goal against Exeter this term.

The lead might have been doubled within a minute, when Olly Lee let a 20-yard piledriver go, but Pym saved well, flying to his left.

It was a first half display that oozed class and control, without the conviction in front of goal that should have brought a second to make the half-time break a little more comfortable.

The Hatters came out after the interval in much the same mode they’d played for the first though – on the front foot.

After Pym had gathered a header from Collins, Sheehan played a ball down the left for Berry to nudge into Jervis’ path, but the ex-Plymouth man’s 20-yarder flew just wide of the visiting keeper’s left post.

Cornick was still revelling in the space given him down the right, and after trading passes with Stacey, the former Bournemouth flyer’s cross fizzed across the six-yard box, just ahead of Collins, and Wilson did well to clear just as Jervis was about to force it home.

In the 57th minute, the Hatters threatened again, Potts combining with Jervis to storm into the box, but his shot was deflected behind for a corner.

It was one-way traffic and Berry was the next to have a go, cutting in from the left only to see his 66th-minute shot go just past the post, before – completely unmarked – meeting a Sheehan corner two minutes later with a downward header that bounced up tamely into Pym’s arms.

At the other end, Sheehan and Glen Rea were comfortably nullifying the threat of Jayden Stockley, with Stech barely troubled between the Town sticks.

Jones made his first change in the 76th minute, bringing Hylton on for Jervis, who left the pitch to a deserved ovation – but predictably not as loud as the one reserved for the top scorer’s return from injury!

Hylton almost had an immediate impact, retrieving Cornick’s over-hit cross and nutmegging his man into Collins’ feet. The ex-Crawley striker spun and hit a shot on the turn that didn’t quite have enough curl on it to creep inside the far post.

Jones introduced his third new boy, namesake Lloyd Jones, in the 84th minute with Cornick – who had been a livewire all afternoon – forced off by a knock.

Straight after the restart following the substitution and Cornick’s treatment, Sheehan whipped in a right-wing corner that Hylton met with a header from two yards out, but couldn’t keep it down.

Exeter had the ball in the back of the net in the 87th minute, but the linesman had long since had his flag in the air for a foul on Stech, and the Town defence held firm against a volley of high balls into the box to see out the victory with a 15th league clean sheet in 31 games.

Next up is a trip to Stevenage, who were on the wrong end of one of the Hatters’ emphatic wins here earlier in the season, in a week's time.

This one might not have had the goals of that 7-1 – or the 8-2 or 7-0 – but the performance was just as impressive and another massive win secured in the bid to secure promotion to League One.

 

TOWN: Stech, Stacey, Rea, Sheehan (c), Potts, Downes, Berry, O Lee, Collins, Cornick (Jones 84), Jervis (Hylton 76). Subs: Justin, Shinnie, Mpanzu, D'Ath, Shea (GK)

Goal: Cornick 38

EXETER: Pym, Wilson, Storey, Seaborne (McAlinden 72), Moxey, Taylor ©, James (Holmes 55), Tillson, Edwards, Boateng, Stockley. Subs: Sweeney, Simpson, Jones (GK), Jay, Byrne.

REFEREE: Andy Woolmer

ATT: 8,788 (464 away)

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