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20 April 2019 Venue Wham Stadium Attendance

Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | ACCRINGTON STANLEY V LUTON TOWN

19 April 2019

The Hatters will look to get back to winning ways as they head up to Accrington Stanley tomorrow in Sky Bet League One.

With the game being moved for Sky Sports, it will not be available to watch on iFollow Hatters.

A victory would be a huge step in the right direction for the Hatters, as they currently sit top of the pile with 87 points.

They suffered their first defeat in exactly six months last Saturday as they lost to Charlton Athletic – having broken a number of club and league records as they went 28 games unbeaten.

After a decent start to life in League One following on from their promotion alongside the Hatters, Stanley's form dropped off dramatically, going from a potential play-off chaser to at one stage a real relegation contender.

They've managed to pull away from the bottom four, however, even though they are currently 16th, there is still that slight threat of relegation.

MICK HARFORD SAYS:

On the talk him and his players had after the Charlton game: "It was nothing negative, there was no berating of the players, there was no criticism of the players. We are thrilled with the position we have got ourselves into this season and it's been a remarkable season in terms of what we have achieved so far, but we haven't done anything yet in terms of achieving promotion. We've put ourselves in a great spot, I wouldn't change it for any other team in the league that we're in at the moment. Saturday brought us back down to earth with a little bit of a bump."

On playing over Easter weekend: "It's nice to be on the TV. It's something the players will embrace. It's an opportunity to go to Accrington who are fighting down the other end of the table and they've had some good results and good performances lately. Will it help us or hinder us? I don't really care to be honest, as long as we look after our own business, we will be fine. I have said it all along - if we can just take care of ourselves then we will be fine. One of the bonuses is we will be playing at Kenilworth Road on a Tuesday night under the lights and I would rather that then play on a Monday afternoon over Easter.

On Accrington: "I take my hat off to John Coleman and his team for the way they performed last season in terms of winning the title and deservedly so. In my opinion, if you finish top of the league you deserve to win the title. They had a remarkable run, a brilliant run in terms of what they did. He utilised his squad, didn't really make many changes. It's a big challenge for us, we have done well up there in the past and we hope to do well again but John sets his team up well and he gets them playing a certain way and they will be hard to beat.

"I watched the game and they deserved to beat Walsall in terms of the possession, the way they played and the chances they created. But we will make our players aware of their strengths and weaknesses and hopefully we can exploit some of those weaknesses and stop some of their strengths."

WHO?

The winners of Sky Bet League Two last season, Accrington got off to a brilliant start in the third tier. They beat a good mix of sides across the division and went on an unbeaten run of ten games before suffering defeat in October. Their form dropped considerably and it took a win against Walsall last weekend to really drag them away from the relegation zone. Now in his second spell as Accrington boss, John Coleman has overseen four promotions at the Wham Stadium, taking charge of over 800 games.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 5.30pm at The Wham Stadium on Saturday 20th April.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Carl Boyeson will be overseeing the game, having taken charge of 34 games this season, dishing out 111 yellow cards and five red cards.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Town faced Accrington back in October, going onto win the game in fantastic fashion, with Danny Hylton grabbing a hat-trick in a 4-1 win. In total we have played them 12 times, winning five, drawing three and losing four.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from The Wham Stadium will be provided via the Match Centre on the club website, which you can access by clicking here. (*Please note that the club's Live Text will appear only by accessing through an internet browser, users of the Luton Town FC app will receive updates from Opta)

The main moments from the game will appear on the Hatters' social media feeds:

Twitter – @LutonTown
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LutonTown/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/ltfc_official/

And of course Simon Pitts will be on hand to provide commentary for iFollow Hatters which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

A reminder that the game will not be available to watch on iFollow Hatters for international subscribers.

 

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Match Reports

REPORT & GALLERY | ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0 LUTON TOWN 3

20 April 2019

The Hatters opened the five-point advantage at the top of Sky Bet League One this evening as James Collins and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu netted the goals in a 3-0 win over Accrington Stanley.

Collins put the Town ahead from the penalty spot in the 25th minute after Accrington goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov was sent off for a second yellow card, before Mpanzu sealed the victory with two goals after the break - the second an absolute cracker - as he turned in a man-of-the-match performance.

Harford was forced to make four changes to his starting line-up, with Marek Stech in for his first start since August replacing James Shea, who was ill overnight, and captain Alan Sheehan coming into the defence as a replacement for the suspended Andrew Shinnie.

James Collins returned from serving his one-match ban along with fellow forward Kazenga LuaLua, with George Moncur and Harry Cornick dropping to the bench.

The Town were presented with the perfect opportunity to take the lead in the third minute when Collins pounced on a poor touch from Stanley keeper Dimitar Evtimov as he looked to control a Mark Hughes backpass. Collins was brought down by the home stopper, who was shown a yellow card by referee Carl Boyeson, but then redeemed himslf by saving the league's top scorer's penalty.

Evtimov denied Collins again on 14 minutes when he sent a header straight at the keeper, after Bradley had headed Sheehan's first corner back across goal, then Accrington gave a reminder of the threat they carried, Jordan Clark cutting in from the right

The breakthrough did come after 25 minutes, and it was from the penalty spot. Evtimov came racing off his line as LuaLua's pace saw him reach a ball over the top first. The keeper collided with him, Boyeson pointed to the spot and then showed the Bulgarian his second yellow card.

Stanley boss John Coleman brought Jonny Maxted on for midfielder Scott Brown, and the sub keeper's first job was to pick the ball out of the back of the net as Collins this time took the opportunity for his 23rd goal of the season.

The Town striker survived a penalty appeal at the other end as he appeared to push Billy Kee in the back, then Sean McConville fired over the bar from just outside the area.

On 33 minutes, Maxted pulled off a terrific double save from Stacey after quick free-kick by Berry put the Town right-back in on the right side of the area.

LuaLua then missed a great chance to make it two in the 39th minute, when his initial shot was blocked on the edge of the box by Hughes, who was then robbed of possession by the Town forward, who fired wide with just Maxted to beat.

Stacey had the first Town chance of the second half, bursting through a couple of challenges on the right and firing in a low shot that Maxted did well to turn away at his near post. Lee was next to have a go, cutting in from the left, before LuaLua fired similarly straight at Maxted from just outside the box.

Three golden opportunities came within seconds on 55 minutes, after Lee had been fouled 20 yards out. Moncur - just on for the injured Sheehan - curled his free-kick around the wall but Hughes retreated to the goal-line and blocked the shot, with Maxted beaten.

Collins was onto the loose ball, volleying it towards goal, but Hughes blocked again, straight into the path of Lee, whose header was brilliantly clawed away by Maxted.

The Accrington sub keeper was in the right place at the right time again just after the hour when LuaLua unleashed a bullet from the left side of the area, pushing the ball behind for a Town corner.

The Hatters were dominating possession, and a patient build-up from the centre-halves in the 66th minute eventually saw the ball worked up to Moncur 25 yards out, but his right-footed curler flew high into the 1,319 travelling Town fans behind the goal.

The second goal finally came in the 68th minute and it was Mpanzu who collected a nod down from Pearson, after a right-wing corner from Justin, ten yards out and swivelled to place it past Maxted and a host of defenders on the line.

Harry Cornick was introduced for Lee, who had picked up a knock, in the 72nd minute and the former Bournemouth man should have put the result beyond doubt in the 80th minute when Moncur crossed low from the left, but Maxted once more pulled off a fantastic save with his left leg before Ross Sykes cleared his follow-up off the line.

Mpanzu then put the gloss on a wonderful performance three minutes from time, when he picked up the ball on the left corner of the box and bent an absolute beauty around Maxted for his second of the game and fifth of the season.

Back to Kenilworth Road now for AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night, when the Town could seal promotion if results on Monday go our way.

 

TOWN: Stech, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Sheehan (c) (Moncur 52), Mpanzu, Berry, Justin, Lee (Cornick 72), Collins, LuaLua (Baptiste 84). Subs: Cummings, Read, Panter, Isted

Yellows: Berry

Goals: Collins (pen) 25, Mpanzu 68, 87

STANLEY: Evtimov, Johnson, Hughes, Donacien, Clark, Brown (Maxted 25), McConville, Sykes, Barlaser, Conneely (c), Kee (Armstrong 63). Subs: Maxted, Richards-Everton, Nolan, Zanzala, Sousa, Smyth.

Yellows: Evtimov

Red: Evtimov

REFEREE: Carl Boyeson

3271

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