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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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13 April 2019 Venue The Valley Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | CHARLTON ATHLETIC V LUTON TOWN

12 April 2019

The Hatters face a tough trip to Charlton Athletic tomorrow with both sides heading into the fixture in strong form.

The hosts haven't suffered defeat in Sky Bet League One since the beginning of February, whilst they haven't been beaten at The Valley since October.

Six wins from their last eight has put them in a decent position to pinch an automatic promotion spot should any of the clubs above them slip up - whilst a play-off spot is almost mathematically certain.

Mick Harford's side will be looking to make it 29 games unbeaten, following on from last Saturday's fantastic fight back to draw 2-2 with ten men against Blackpool.

Their form throughout March saw Harford win the League One Manager of the Month award, although he made it perfectly clear that it was an award for the entire club, rather than him as an individual.

Tickets for the game at The Valley sold out weeks ago, but the game will be beamed back to Kenilworth Road, which supporters can watch. Click here for all the information.

The Hatters' last win at Charlton came back in 1987, and guess who scored the only goal of the game? Yes, big Mick!

MICK HARFORD SAYS:

On Charlton's game against Wycombe in the week: "I went with Steve Rutter – it was a really good game actually, a really entertaining game. Two teams that were fully at it from start to finish, high tempo, good game of football.

"Charlton are on a good run, they're a good team and have got good players. Wycombe made it difficult for them and it was a game in all honesty that in my opinion could have gone either way.

"Wycombe had lots of chances, Charlton defended well and broke on the counter-attack and looked very dangerous. They're a dangerous team, Charlton."

On the Addicks' form: "Charlton have recruited very well. A big club with big support, looking to get back into the Championship. They're on a good run at the moment. They've got quality strikers, two who look lively. They play a certain way in midfield which enables them to attack very well and they look quite solid at the back. So they're a really good outfit."

WHO?

A Premier League side as recently as 2007, the Addicks have slowly filtered down the EFL pyramid, as this will be their third consecutive season in the third tier. They certainly have aspirations to be at least a level higher though, and it reflects in the history of the club, having spent more seasons in the Championship than any other tier (45).

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm at The Valley on Saturday 13th April.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tomorrow's game will be overseen by Gavin Ward, who has taken charge of 35 games this campaign, overseeing 114 yellow cards and six red cards.

TICKET INFORMATION

The ticket allocation for this game has sold out. Please do not travel unless you have purchased a ticket in advance.

PLAYED BEFORE?

The Hatters played the Addicks earlier on in the campaign at Kenilworth Road, being held to a 2-2 draw with goals from James Collins and Harry Cornick looking as if they had sealed an impressive three points, only for Lee Bowyer's team to equalise late on. Of our 72 meetings, Town have been victorious in 33, drawing 15 and losing 24.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from The Valley 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.

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Match Reports

REPORT & GALLERY| CHARLTON ATHLETIC 3 LUTON TOWN 1

Hatters' record-breaking unbeaten run ends at six months and 28 matches

13 April 2019

The Hatters' club record unbeaten league run came to an end in the 29th match at Charlton this afternoon, six months after the table-topping Town side last tasted defeat in Sky Bet League One.

Harry Cornick gave the Town a 15th-minute lead, but a Lyle Taylor brace and one from Igor Vetokele kept in-form Charlton's own bid for automatic promotion to the Championship alive with a 3-1 victory. 

The defeat also meant the Town's remarkable run of not being beaten having taken the lead in a match came to to an end after 76 matches dating back to November 2016 when Portsmouth came from behind to win at Kenilworth Road.

Manager Mick Harford made two enforced changes to his starting XI for this afternoon’s Sky Bet League One game at Charlton Athletic.

The changes were required, with top scorer James Collins serving a one-match suspension and Kazenga LuaLua missing out through injury.

As a result, striker Harry Cornick returned to the team from kick-off for the first time in 2019, while George Moncur also started after coming on as a substitute in last week’s 2-2 draw with Blackpool.

That meant James Shea was in goal, behind a back four of Jack Stacey, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley and James Justin. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was in the midfield holding role, with Andrew Shinnie and Luke Berry either side of him, Moncur at the tip of the diamond and Cornick and Elliot Lee up front.

Making their first appearances on the substitutes’ bench, as the Town look to make it 29 league games without defeat, are on-loan Brighton striker Aaron Connolly and youth team defender Corey Panter.

The Town settled quickly and produced the best move of the opening exchanges when Lee, Shinnie, Moncur and Berry combined to play the ball from a Stacey throw-in on the right out to opposite full-back Justin, whose low cross from the left was hacked clear by Naby Sarr.

We didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough, and it was Cornick who got it on the quarter-of-an-hour mark with an emphatic right-footed finish after Mpanzu, driving forward from midfield, bided his time and slipped him in to the right edge of the penalty area.

Cornick’s bullet into the top corner gave home keeper Dillon Phillips no chance, and Moncur almost doubled the advantage with a curling shot aimed for the same spot, but Phillips flew across his line to tip it behind.

Lee went close a couple of times more, before the Addicks came within a lick of paint of drawing level on 28 minutes as Igor Vetokele took advantage of a slip from Pearson on halfway and broke down the left, finding Lyle Taylor in the box, but the striker’s shot rattled the crossbar.

In an end-to-end encounter, the Town were playing some liquid football and after Berry played Cornick again on the right of the Charlton penalty area, it took another good save from Phillips to keep out his skimming cross via a deflection off Sarr.

Phillips quickly launched the ball upfield and Vetokele was onto it in a flash, getting the wrong side of the Town defence and getting his shot away before Shea upended him two yards outside the penalty area.

Referee Gavin Ward showed Shea a yellow card, as the home crowd screamed for red, but with two covering defenders and the ball well off the pitch, it was the right decision – in particularly for anyone of a Hatters persuasion!

The Town continued to play the better football and Moncur sent another low shot in straight at Phillips from 20 yards.

Then, in first-half added time, after some terrific pressing by Cornick and Lee in the Charlton penalty area, Berry collected a loose pass from keeper Phillips and triggered another move down the left that ended with Justin whipping a beautiful right-foot curler that went just millimetres past the far post, before Mpanzu fired high over the bar from 25 yards just before the whistle.

The Hatters survived a penalty shout soon into the second half when Jonny Williams went down under a challenge from Stacey, but referee Ward waved the appeals away.

Not so in the 53rd minute, however, when the official pointed to spot as Taylor went down in front of Bradley as the Addicks looked to work the ball in from the right. The Charlton top scorer sent his former AFC Wimbledon team-mate Shea the wrong way from 12 yards to level the scores.

The Hatters were having to weather a home storm, and Vetokele went agonisingly close to giving his side the lead on the hour when his glancing header from Joe Aribo’s cross went just wide of the far post.

Harford brought Connolly on for his professional debut in the 69th minute, but within a minute the hosts were level, and it was Vetokele who tucked a neat finish past Shea after Krystian Bielik drove from his deep lying midfield role and played the striker into the box.

Two minutes later it was 3-1 to Charlton as Vetokele crossed from the left and Taylor steered home his second of the afternoon from inside the six-yard box.

Williams was soon trying his luck from 30 yards, with his shot deflected behind for a corner as Harford prepared to bring on Jason Cummings and captain Alan Sheehan in place of Lee and Berry.

The Hatters were reduced to ten men with a couple of minutes of normal time remaining when Shinnie was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Williams.

The Town couldn't find a way back, but received a terrific reception from the 3,144 travelling support in the Jimmy Seed Stand as Hatters fans recognised their achievements over the past half a year.

On to Accrington next Saturday!

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley ©, Justin, Mpanzu, Shinnie, Berry (Sheehan 81), Moncur, Lee (Cummings 81), Cornick (Connolly 69). Subs: Baptiste, Thorne, Panter, Isted.

Goals: Cornick 15

Yellows: Shinnie, Shea, Berry, Sheehan

Red: Shinnie

CHARLTON: Phillips, Bielik (Pratley 86), Bauer, Taylor, Vetokele (Lapslie 77), Purrington, Aribo, Solly ©, Williams (Dijksteel 90+1), Sarr, Cullen. Subs: Maxwell (GK), Pearce, Parker, Reeves

Goals: Taylor (pen) 53, 72, Vetokele 70

Yellows: Taylor, Vetokele

REFEREE: Gavin Ward

ATT: 16,449 (3,144 Hatters)

 

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