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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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26 September 2017 Venue Globe Arena Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: MORECAMBE V LUTON TOWN

The Hatters take on the Shrimps this evening at the Globe Arena

26 September 2017

The Town travel up to Lancashire this evening as they look to make it four consecutive league victories when they take on Morecambe at the Globe Arena.

Nine points from the last nine available have propelled Nathan Jones' side up to third, with victories over Port Vale, Wycombe Wanderers and Chesterfield in that run.

The Hatters have a number of absentees however, as both Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Luke Berry miss out through suspension, whilst Alan McCormack, Elliot Lee, Johnny Mullins and Andrew Shinnie are all "touch and go" with injury, according to manager Nathan Jones. Lawson D'Ath is still recovering from an ankle problem which has seen him sidelined since the last week of pre-season, although the midfielder's fitness programme has been stepped up ahead of his reintegration to full training.

Morecambe currently sit 18th with nine points after nine fixtures, having only won one in their last six games. A win for them tonight could lift them up into a more comfortable mid-table position.

The Hatters on the other hand could slash the points gap between themselves and joint leaders Notts County and Exeter City from five down to two, should they repeat last season's victory by the Lancashire coast and results elsewhere go their way.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On the potential of winning four in a row: "We want to do that. We really do want to go and win as many games as we can and this is an opportunity to build again.

"It's a very difficult game away at Morecambe, who are playing better than the results show, because I've watched a few of their games and they've been unfortunate in one or two, so it'll be a real stern test.

"But we've got to go there and try to get a result and keep our run going. We are pleased we are on that run and it's got us into the position we are. We are in general good form. The only game that we've lost lately has been when we're down to ten men, so I'm pleased with the form we are in."

On 38-year-old Kevin Ellison being the Shrimps' top scorer this season: "I played at that age, so I know what it takes to keep rolling out performances. It's a credit to him, he must be a consummate professional.

"I don't know him personally in terms of what he is like professionally, but he puts in shifts week in week out, you know what you are going to get from him. He's a credit to his football club."

WHO?

Although the club suffered from financial difficulties last year, they celebrated a decade in the fourth tier by finishing comfortably away from the relegation zone.

They now appear to be on a steadier footing, but have struggled for results so far, picking up just two wins from their opening nine Sky Bet League Two games, those coming against Cheltenham Town and Newport County. Managed by Jim Bentley, tonight marks the Shrimps boss' 322nd game at the helm since he took over in 2011, and with 99 wins under his belt, he will no doubt be hoping to make bring up his century tonight – while all Hatters hope he has to wait until at least the weekend!

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 7:45pm this evening at the Globe Arena.

TICKETS

The Hatters have received an allocation of 500 tickets for the game, with all of them available for purchase on the night.

Prices are:

Adults: £21
Over 65s: £17
18-22-year-olds: £15
17-year-olds and under: £6
Under-11s with an adult: Free

CAR PARKING:

For any supporters driving to the game, Morecambe have advised that on-street parking for supporters is limited, but parking is available at Westgate School, located approximately 300 yards prior to the ground on the right. Please note that a charge applies for parking at Westgate School.

LAST TIME WE PLAYED?

The Hatters made it three consecutive wins last season on the final day of last season with a 3-1 win over Bentley's team, courtesy of a brace from Jack Marriott and a strike from Isaac Vassell.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

Supporters who aren't making the journey today 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.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: MORECAMBE 0 LUTON TOWN 0

Shrimps keeper Roche denies Town all three points at the Globe Arena

26 September 2017

The Hatters were forced to settle for a draw at Morecambe tonight as they made it four games unbeaten in Sky Bet League Two, but were denied a victory by some excellent goalkeeping from Shrimps keeper Barry Roche.

The Town were looking for a fourth win in a row following after Saturday’s home success over Chesterfield lifted them up to third in the table, and both Harry Cornick – making his first start for the club – and Dan Potts went close in an dominant first half display, but found Roche blocking the way.

By the end, Morecambe had created a couple of excellent chances themselves that could have seen them nick all three points, but goalkeeper Marek Stech and his stubborn back four could claim a fifth clean sheet of the season to ensure they made the long trip back from Lancashire with something.

Boss Nathan Jones made two changes to his starting line-up, both enforced with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu serving the first game of a three-match suspension for his straight red card at the weekend, and Andrew Shinnie missing out with the ankle injury that forced him off in the first half of that game at Kenilworth Road.

Coming into the starting XI in their place were Glen Rea and Cornick, who was handed his first league start in a Hatters shirt after seven appearances as a substitute since his August move from Bournemouth.

The Hatters started like a train, especially Cornick, who had the first of a series of early attempts on goal in the fifth minute when he gathered a loose ball and shot on the turn from just outside the area, but his effort fizzed just wide of Roche’s post.

As the Town attacked at will, Collins fired in a seventh-minute shot that flew just past the other post, before Potts nicked the ball in front of his man and let fly from 25 yards, but his left-foot shot flew just over.

The defence had to be on their guard at the other end, captain Scott Cuthbert and Alan Sheehan making several excellent clearances and blocks as Morecambe attacked, while Danny Hylton had a shot from 20 yards that was too high.

Stech gathered a Patrick Brough free-kick comfortably before he had to react smartly to tip a 33rd-minute effort from Adam Campbell, cutting in from the left onto his right foot, over the bar.

Two minutes later, Roche pulled off his first crucial stop, beating away Cornick’s blast from inside the box after Hylton had seen a shot blocked.

The Town had played some lovely football in an open first half, and Collins was next to have a go, hitting the side-netting, before Roche produced his best save of the night to keep out Potts’ half-volley from eight yards out after a spell of head tennis in the box and keep the score goalless at the break.

The Hatters came out of the blocks quickly again after the interval, a flurry of corners in the opening couple of minutes leading to Collins having a half-chance and Olly Lee seeing a shot blocked

The Town survived a penalty shout in the 49th minute when Lee challenged Campbell in the box, but referee Darren Handley waved the hosts’ appeals away before showing the Town midfielder a yellow card for an earlier foul on the halfway line as Morecambe broke.

Alan Sheehan made a terrific interception at one end, then set the Town on another lightning quick break which ended in Luke Gambin bending one towards the top corner from 25 yards, but it was just off target.

With the hour-mark approaching, Town were asking all the questions here as Gambin sent another deep cross to the far post, but Cornick couldn’t quite get anything on it, before a good passing move from left to right saw Stacey and Gambin set Collins up for a shot that was saved by Roche.

Almost immediately Stech had to make a terrific save to deny Morecambe sub Kevin Ellison, and then Campbell, who was trying to get on the rebound, before an inswinging free-kick from Rose caused consternation in the box as Steve Old volleyed over, and Lee and Rea combined to block a shot from Andrew Fleming.

The Hatters were still posing the most threats, however, and a lightning quick break from Cornick and Hylton saw the striker feeding Collins in the box, but the ex-Crawley man’s shot was deflected behind.

Cornick created another chance for Collins, whose shot was too high, before the forward’s had to succumb to cramp and his energetic full debut came to an early end in the 81st minute, the 326 travelling fans giving him a great reception as he made way for Jordan Cook.

Within a minute came arguably Morecambe’s best chance, Callum Lang heading a right-wing cross from Fleming onto the roof of the net before Jones handed recent signing from Basingstoke Town, Aaron Jarvis, his professional debut as an 87th-minute sub for Collins.

The 19-year-old didn’t get an opportunity in front of goal, but Rea did after a late corner was only half-cleared by Ellison and the midfielder, who’d had an excellent game in the holding role, sent in a left-footed half-volley that flashed inches past the far post.

It wasn’t to be the Town’s night in front of goal and the result saw them drop down to fifth, but it’s another game unbeaten – and third clean sheet in that run – before Newport County visit Kenilworth Road in four days’ time.

 

TOWN: Stech, Stacey, Cuthbert ©, Sheehan, Potts, Rea, O Lee, Gambin, Cornick (Cook 81), Hylton, Collins (Jarvis 87). Subs: Justin, Senior, Musonda, Famewo, Shea

Yellows: Lee

MORECAMBE: Roche, Brough, Old, Thompson, Oliver, Campbell (Lang 76), Wildig (Ellison 38), Lund, Osborne (Fleming 61), Muller, Rose. Subs: Nizic (GK), McGowan, Kenyon, Lavelle

 

REFEREE: Darren Handley

ATT: 1,354 (326 Hatters)

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