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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

06 January 2018 Venue St. James' Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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5 January 2018

The Hatters head to St James' Park tomorrow hoping to cause the 'Cup-set' of the third round as Nathan Jones' side take on Newcastle United.

Some of the biggest ever away following at the home of the Toon are already on their way there, with over 7,500 Luton fans expected at the game – something everyone at LTFC is incredibly proud of and we thank you for your unbelievable support.

The Town head into the fixture having only suffered two defeats in their last 25 matches in all competitions, and once in their last 14.

After defeating League One side Portsmouth in the first round 1-0, Town went about their business in a thoroughly professional manner by putting five past Gateshead without reply in the second round at the beginning of December.

After a slow start to life back in the top tier, the current Sky Bet Championship champions Newcastle now sit 13th, having picked up two wins in their last four games against Stoke City and West Ham United.


On facing the Magpies: "We'll have realistic ambitions. I'm not going to sit here and say we're going to beat a Premier League team, what we will do is we will be thoroughly prepared. We're in good form ourselves, so we'll go up there with no fear, but we'll have an element of realism about it.

"We won't go gung-ho, we won't try and think we're going to tear a Premier League side apart, because that's not going to be the case. We have to respect the fact that they're a Premier League side with internationals in their side, with a lot of good players who won the Championship last year, and to do that you have to be a fantastic side.

"Newcastle are in varied form if you like, without being disrespectful, or saying something that's not true. But it will be a difficult tie, because of where we are in the leagues.

"It will be a wonderful occasion in terms of pitting our wits against a Premier League outfit and it's the beauty of the Cup – the romance of the Cup. It's about time we had a real romantic one and it will be a fantastic occasion going up there.

"It's a wonderful stadium full of tradition and they're coming back to good times as well, so it's a great tie for us."

On the side Magpies boss Rafa Benitez could potentially play: "We change our side for some cup games and all those players come out with a real ambition and a real desire to do well, because they want to be in the side. So one, it could weaken them, or two, they could come out with a point to prove.

"Let's bear in mind, whatever happens, he's going to be putting Premier League squad players into a game and that's what we have to remember. It's a wonderful game, but it's going to be very difficult to go there and win it."


The Magpies celebrated their 125th birthday in 2017, and what better way to mark it than by winning promotion back to the Premier League. Amongst many other trophies, the club have won the FA Cup on six occasions, although the most recent came in 1955 when they beat Manchester City 3-1 at the old Wembley. With a capacity of over 52,354, St James' Park is one of the biggest grounds in the country and hosts average crowds of just over 52,000 for each home game.


Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 6th January at St James' Park.


Tickets for the fixture are now off sale and no tickets are available for away fans on the day.


Hatters supporters have been invited to visit Newcastle United's sports bar for food and drink before the match. 'Nine' Sports Bar & Lounge is located under the South Stand at St James' Park on Strawberry Place, where special offers include two bottles of Coors or Grolsch lager for £5 and 15% discount off any food purchased.


Our last meeting with the Magpies actually came in an FA Cup fourth round tie in 1994 – a 1-1 draw at Newcastle was followed up by a 2-0 win for the Hatters at Kenilworth Road, with over 12,000 watching on as John Hartson and Scott Oakes scored. That was our 17th win in 50 meetings against Newcastle, whilst the Magpies have won 22 of those games. The Hatters also won an FA Cup fourth round tie at St James' Park in February 1973, when John Aston netted twice in a 2-0 victory.


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. Due to this fixture being in a cup competition, international subscribers will unfortunately NOT be able to watch the game live. Highlights will be on Match of the Day on BBC1 from 10.30pm on Saturday.

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Match Reports


Hylton on target as Hatters bow out of the FA Cup with pride at St James' Park

6 January 2018

The Hatters bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup at the third round stage this afternoon – but not without giving Premier League Newcastle United a second-half fright after going three down in a nine-minute spell before half-time.

With 7,500 travelling supporters filling the upper tier of the Leazes Stand and forming the biggest-ever away crowd at the modern St James’ Park, the League Two leaders put up a real fight to leave manager Nathan Jones bursting with pride, despite a tinge of disappointment at the result.

Leading scorer Danny Hylton’s 49th-minute goal – his 17th of the season – gave the Hatters hope after a brace from Ayoze Perez and a third from Jonjo Shelvey between the 30th and 39th minutes had put the Magpies in control by half-time.

It might have been so different had another Hylton effort, wrongly ruled out for offside, counted eight minutes later before substitute Elliot Lee hit the crossbar with a free-kick with just under 20 minutes to go.

But after a gallant effort in front of a crowd of more than 47,000, the Town are left to concentrate on reaching Wembley in the Chekatrade Trophy, and the ultimate goal of securing promotion to League One, after giving Rafa Benitez’s side a cracking game.

Jones, on his second anniversary as Town boss and fresh from signing a new four-year contract in midweek, made two changes to his starting line-up, bringing Dan Potts back in after the left-back missed Monday’s 4-2 victory over Lincoln City through illness.

Also returning to the starting XI was midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, who played at Port Vale last Saturday before sitting out the New Year’s Day encounter with the Imps.

Wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of both Scott Cuthbert and Alan Sheehan, who was serving the first of a three-match suspension following his red card against Lincoln, was their fellow centre-half Johnny Mullins.

Newcastle had a sight of goal in the opening minute when Jacob Murphy shot from just inside the area, but thankfully for the Hatters, Glen Rea deflected it wide.

As you’d expect the hosts enjoyed the majority of the early possession, but without creating any clear-cut opportunities.

The Hatters grew into the game and their first attack came in the eighth minute when Shinnie dispossessed Matt Ritchie, then sprinted up the right to take a perfectly timed pass from James Justin. The Scot drove towards the hosts’ penalty area, but his cross proved just too high for James Collins at the back post.

Hylton and Collins twice came close to charging down keeper Freddie Woodman’s clearances, as Newcastle played the ball around in their own area, but it was Marek Stech who was the first keeper called into real action on 15 minutes when he pushed Murphy’s 20-yard left-footed effort away.

Hylton used his trademark nutmeg and dummying skills in quick succession to trick his way past Jamaal Lascelles on the right byline, winning a free-kick, and then Ciaran Clark, only to see his low cross cleared by the home defence.

The Hatters were giving as good as they were taking, but in the 22nd minute it was Stech who again had to be alert, this time diving low to his left to beat a Perez shot away from 18 yards.

Hylton was proving a real menace to the Newcastle defence, using all of his experience to out-muscle Jonjo Shelvey and latch onto a long clearance from Stech, but Luke Berry – picked out by the striker lurking on the far edge of the box – saw his 20-yard shot blocked.

Just before the half-hour Hylton picked up a yellow card for pulling Murphy back as he tracked back to help the defence, and from Dwight Gayle’s inswinging free-kick, Perez pounced to poke the Premier League side in front after Stech had spilled the initial effort.

Rafa Benitez’s side looked to increase their lead with Shelvey shooting over in the 33rd minute and Gayle sending a left-foot shot just wide of Stech’s left post a minute later.

By the 36th minute it was 2-0, but there was an element of luck about it as Ritchie’s right-wing cross was defected just over Rea’s head for Gayle, whose header was saved by Stech, but only into the path of Perez, who once again tucked home from inside the six-yard box.

Three minutes later it was three, when an incisive passing move between Perez and Gayle through the centre of the Hatters’ half carved open the Town defence for Shelvey to run onto the ball and pick his spot from 15 yards.

The Town regrouped and managed to put together a sustained period of possession as the half drew to a close, with Collins’ persistence on the right resulting in a corner, taken by Olly Lee, that Berry headed over at the far post, but the half ended without the Hatters having tested Woodman.

That changed soon into the second half as the Town, with Harry Cornick on for Mpanzu, starting on the front foot.

Hylton cut the ball back for Berry to send a volley goalwards within a minute of the restart, then the top scorer made it 17 for the season in the 49th minute.

Hylton initially caused concern for Woodman by pressing the keeper as he cleared outside his area, and when Rea sent the young Toon stopper’s clearance straight back to Hylton, he side-stepped Woodman and placed the ball past centre-half Clark, who had played him onside, and into the empty net.

Newcastle immediately went up the other end and called Stech into action again, Murphy cutting back for Perez, who found Stech blocking his path, before Gayle volleyed a left-wing corner inches over the bar.

Hylton had the ball in the back of the net again in the 57th minute when Shinnie played him in on the left side of the area, only for an offside flag to rule his effort out as he curled past Woodman and raced away in celebration in front of the 7,500 travelling Town fans. TV replays proved that Hylton was comfortably onside and the goal should have stood.

The Hatters were having a real go and after a lightning break down the right by Cornick, the forward switched the ball left to Shinnie, who was fouled on the edge of the box. Olly Lee lined the free-kick up from 20 yards, but his curling effort was deflected just wide.

Town were bossing possession now and Shelvey and Isaac Hayden, on as an early sub for Lascelles, both went into referee Neil Swarbrick’s notepad for cynical fouls on Justin and Collins as the Hatters broke at pace.

Jones threw Elliot Lee into the attack, in place of Collins, with just over 20 minutes to go but it was from his brother Olly’s right-wing corner that the next opportunity arrived, Mullins climbing highest in the box but heading a foot wide of Woodman’s post.

Perez had another chance to complete his hat-trick in the 73rd minute, but the Spaniard dragged his left-foot shot wide.

Then, within seconds, the Hatters came as close as possible to narrowing the deficit once more, when Elliot Lee rattled the crossbar, with Woodman rooted to the spot, after Hylton had been fouled right on the left edge of the penalty area.

Woodman was called into action in the 78th minute by Shinnie, who sent a curling shot destined for the top corner before the Newcastle stopper got a hand to it, diverting it just out of Hylton’s reach as the Town looked more like the top-flight side than the Magpies.

Olly Lee was soon picking out Cornick as the ex-Bournemouth man looked to get in behind, but the ball ran away from him as he took it on his chest with just Woodman between him and the goal.

Newcastle went close again with Murphy and Ritchie whistling low shots just past the post, but Jones made another attacking move in the 82nd minute by bringing on Luke Gambin for Shinnie, who’d had an excellent second half.

Ritchie chipped onto the roof of the net with four minutes to go, but the Hatters were still prepared to have a go – Potts rising highest to meet Olly Lee’s left-wing corner, only for his header to drift wide, before Gayle sent a curling effort high over the Town bar with 90 minutes up. Then, deep into injury-time, he forced Stech into a good save with his feet.

Gambin had a great chance to reduce the arrears four minutes into time added on when Elliot Lee slipped him into the right side of area, but the Malta international’s effort went into the side netting after a long run from deep inside his own half.

The Hatters’ run was over, but as the travelling masses high in the stands applauded Jones and his players off, everyone associated with Luton Town Football club could be proud of what they had seen. On to Peterborough…then Chesterfield!


TOWN: Stech, Justin, Rea, Mullins ©, Potts, Mpanzu (Cornick 46), O Lee, Berry, Shinnie (Gambin 82), Collins (E Lee 68), Hylton. Subs: Stacey, Cook, Cornick, Famewo, Shea (GK)

Yellows: Hylton

Goals: Hylton 49


NEWCASTLE: Woodman, Clark, Dummett, Lascelles © (Hayden 31), Murphy, Shelvey (Diame 71), Gayle, Ritchie, Perez, Manquillo, Merino (Saivet 80). Subs: Aarons, Joselu, Haidara, Darlow (GK)

Goals: Perez 30, 36, Shelvey 39

Yellows: Shelvey, Hayden, Dummett


REFEREE: Neil Swarbrick

ATT: 47,069 (7,500 Hatters)


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