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23 September 2017 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 CHESTERFIELD

The Hatters host the Spireites tomorrow, 3pm kick-off

22 September 2017

The Hatters play host to Chesterfield tomorrow with the opportunity to move into the automatic promotion places in the Sky Bet League Two table with a win and favourable results elsewhere.

Nathan Jones’ side’s last-gasp victory at Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday, when Scott Cuthbert and James Collins netted in the 90th and 98th minutes to overturn a one-goal deficit, saw them jump five places from ninth at kick-off to fourth, on 14 points.

Following the 2-0 win over the division’s bottom club, Port Vale, in the previous game, tomorrow gives the Town the chance to make it three successive victories for the first time this season – a feat they did not manage last season until the final three matches.

Last week's goal was Collins' sixth of the season, making him the Town's top scorer ahead of Olly Lee on two. The Hatters have won three and lost one of the four home league games so far this term, scoring 13 times in the process.

The visitors from Derbyshire are under the caretaker charge of director of recruitment and development Guy Branston after parting company with manager Gary Caldwell following last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Accrington Stanley – a fifth game without a win that left them in the relegation zone, 23rd in the table on five points.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On the chance to make it three wins in a row: “We always just look at the next game, but having won two, then that’s the maths of it. It’s a home game and we want to make sure we are at it, we want to make sure that we are on the front foot. It’s just another statistic, but we want to try and do that.”

On midfielder Alan McCormack’s fitness after going off injured in the first half at Wycombe: “Alan has surprised us because there is nothing structurally wrong, just a bit of fatigue. We asked a lot of him to play three games in a week and maybe that was one game too far. We’ll assess him, see how he is on Friday and make a decision then.”

On whether it’s a good time to play Chesterfield? “It could be a good time to a point. It could be a bad time to play them. All we can focus on is Luton and we’ll put a side out there to try and win a game. We’ll try to play our way and be positive in everything we do.”

On facing his former Brighton striker Chris O’Grady: “I might have to kidnap him before the game and lock him up! He’s a great kid, Chris…well, he’s not a kid, he’s a man, but he did well for me when I took over (as Brighton caretaker-manager). He had an impact in the game when we beat Fulham, so I know he’s a real dedicated pro and he will be a handful. But they’ve got a number of threats. We played them last year, so we know certain things about them and we are hoping for a similar result.”

WHO?

The Spireites have endured a difficult start to life back in League Two following relegation as the bottom club in League One last season. The side from the Proact Stadium have won just once in their eight matches so far – 2-0 at home to Port Vale, the only side currently below them in the table, on 19th August. Their top scorer is former Stockport and Macclesfield striker Kristian Dennis, with five goals.

WHEN & WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 23rd September at Kenilworth Road.

TICKETS

Tickets are still available from the Ticket Office in person, over the phone and online, which you can access by clicking here. Cash turnstiles will be available in all areas of the ground for home supporters.

LAST TIME WE PLAYED?

Chesterfield were a League One club in exactly the same scenario as they are now, having parted company with manager Danny Wilson, the former Hatters midfielder, following their previous game when they last visited Kenilworth Road in January. That match on Tuesday 10th January was in the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy, and the Town had Jack Marriott, who scored a brace, Craig Mackail-Smith and Isaac Vassell on target in a 4-0 win that maintained the club’s upper hand on the Spireites – with Town winning 17 of the 39 clashes between the two sides so far. Chesterfield have won 11, with the other 11 finishing all-square.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

Supporters who aren't heading to Kenilworth Road tomorrow 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. ­­

AWAY SUPPORTERS 

We look forward to welcoming supporters from Chesterfield into the Oak Road end of the stadium. All the information you require ahead of your trip to Kenilworth Road can be found on our website by clicking here.

 

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Match Reports

REPORT: LUTON TOWN 1 CHESTERFIELD 0

Hylton's second-half goal sees ten-man Town record third win in a row

23 September 2017

Town talisman Danny Hylton netted his second goal of the season as the Hatters moved into the automatic promotion places in Sky Bet League Two with a single-goal victory over Chesterfield at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

In truth, the winning margin could, and should, have been far greater had the Hatters taken just a fraction of the 19 goalscoring opportunities created against the struggling Spireites.

But a third successive win – and fourth in five home matches so far this season – was enough to lift the Hatters up to third spot, and was even more impressive following a straight red card for midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu with 20 minutes, including injury-time, still to play.

Jones made three changes from last week’s 2-1 win at Wycombe, with captain Scott Cuthbert, who came on as a substitute to net the 90th-minute equaliser at Adams Park, before James Collins grabbed the last-gasp winner, returning to the starting XI.

With midfielders Alan McCormack and Luke Berry missing through injury and suspension respectively, Olly Lee came back into the side, while Luke Gambin was handed his first league start of the season after scoring twice in the development squad win at Brentford in midweek.

With Cuthbert settled back into the back four alongside Jack Stacey, Alan Sheehan and Dan Potts, Mpanzu was in the midfield holding role with Lee and Gambin either side of him and Andrew Shinnie at the tip of the diamond, Collins and Danny Hylton up front.

Gambin started brightly, and after Stacey had got down to the right byline twice in the opening couple of minutes, the Maltese international did the same on the left and whipped in a cross that Collins met on the half-volley, but couldn’t keep his effort on target.

Chesterfield had a couple of early corners, although the danger was averted when the taker was flagged offside on both when receiving the short ball back, and the Town were making most of the running.

Hylton got his head on the end of a flowing tenth-minute move that had involved the striker himself, then Shinnie and Stacey once more haring down the right, but last season’s top scorer couldn’t keep his eventual header down.

A minute later Gambin drove at the Spireites’ defence and let fly with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area that flew just inches over the angle of post and bar.

Some of the Hatters’ early football was outstanding, and they had the ball in the back of the net on the quarter-of-an-hour mark, but a linesman’s flag ruled that Lee’s cross had gone out of play before Potts headed the ball back for Collins to bundle it over the line.

The Hatters were forced into a switch in the 21st minute when Shinnie, who had been caught heavily in two challenges, went off injured and Jordan Cook came on.

Then visitors were the next to have a crack at goal, both captain Sam Hird and left-back Matthew Briggs firing towards the Kenilworth Road end from distance, but Gambin was soon proving a threat at the other end again, another inviting centre from the left just eluding Hylton’s head.

Cuthbert saw a header, and Collins a thunderous shot blocked, before Hylton chipped a cross in from inside the area on the right, but no-one gambled to get on the end of it and Chesterfield cleared for another corner on the half-hour mark.

Cuthbert got his head on this one too, but Collins got in the way of his goalbound effort, then Stacey once more picked out Hylton who, despite stumbling as he looked to get away from his marker, managed to get another header on target, although keeper Joe Anyon saved comfortably.

Chesterfield’s clearest sight of goal came on 35 minutes when Andy Kellett latched on to Chris O’Grady’s knock-down, but goalkeeper Marek Stech got down low to save at his near post.

Gambin, however, was a constant menace to the visitors and his crossing from the left was sublime – a 43rd-minute delivery dug out from by the corner flag went begging, then he found Mpanzu six-yards out with his next a minute before half-time, but the midfielder’s glancing header drifted wide.

Mpanzu was quickest out of the blocks in the second half, too, but Anyon was equal to his 20-yard blast as the Hatters started brightly.

The breakthrough came in the 53rd minute, and after what by his standards has been a drought as he finds his fitness after missing pre-season, it was Hylton who kept his cool after being found by Jordan Cook with a superb searching through ball from inside his own half.

Hylton stood his man up in the area, checked back onto his right foot and shot low past Anyon for his first goal since the late leveller at Mansfield at the end of August, after drawing four blanks.

The visitors should have been level within a minute, Louis Reed sending a diving header inches wide of the near post from Kellett’s cross, then – in the 55th minute – O’Grady fired across the face of goal.

Town were coming under pressure, and when Stacey was penalised for a foul on O’Grady on the left edge of the penalty area, the defender had to react quickest to clear the dangerous free-kick behind for a corner, then Kellett saw a shot deflected wide and Briggs sent in a left-wing cross that just evaded O’Grady.

The Hatters were on the attack again by the 65th minutes, Hylton finding the side-netting from almost the same position as he scored, and then – after Gambin had been replaced by Glen Rea – Hylton’s cross from the left found Collins unmarked, but the striker’s header was straight at Anyon.

Cook struck a 72nd-minute half-volley over the Chesterfield bar after Lee’s free-kick had only been half-cleared to the edge of the box.

Then, four minutes later, the Hatters were reduced to ten men when ref Charles Breakspear ruled that Mpanzu’s late challenge on Kellett 15 yards inside the Chesterfield half was worthy of a straight red.

The Town should have given themselves breathing space in the 79th minute when Stech came out to claim a deep free-kick and immediately set Harry Cornick, who had been introduced in place of Lee moments before the sending off, racing through the middle.

Unfortunately the former Bournemouth man’s shot, as he came under pressure from a defender and keeper Anyon, clipped the outside of the upright, and the Spireites had a let-off.

The Hatters defended resolutely, and when the chance came to break again, Collins got in on the right and fizzed a cross along the six-yard line that Cornick couldn’t quite reach, then the ex-Crawley man did the same from the left, but again his cross-shot went begging.

Rea blazed over the bar as the Hatters resumed control, despite being a man down.

Then – four minutes into time added on – Stech picked out Collins with a huge clearance, but once again the striker’s finishing was unusually off target, as it was seconds later when Hylton played him into the area.

One goal was enough, however, to see the Hatters record a third straight win – something they didn’t’ manage until the final game of last season – and continue their rise towards the top of the table ahead of the midweek trip to Morecambe.

 

TOWN: Stech, Stacey, Cuthbert ©, Sheehan, Potts, Mpanzu, O Lee (Cornick 73), Gambin (Rea 66), Shinnie (Cook 21), Collins, Hylton. Subs: Justin, Senior, Jarvis, Shea (GK)

Yellows: Sheehan

Reds: Mpanzu

Goal: Hylton 53

 

CHESTERFIELD: Anyon, Hird ©, Wiseman, O’Grady (Ugwu 74), De Girolamo (Mitchell 69), Flores (McCourt 64), Kellett, Reed, Weir, Briggs, Jules. Subs: Lee (GK), Dennis, Dimaio, Brewster

Yellows: Hird

 

REFEREE: Charles Breakspear

ATT: 7,575 (310 away)

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