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21 August 2018 Venue Kenilworth Road Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | LUTON TOWN V SOUTHEND UNITED

21 August 2018

The Hatters welcome Southend United to Kenilworth Road tonight for the first of two home games this week.

The match presents a perfect opportunity for Nathan Jones' side to put right Saturday's defeat to Peterborough United, with the Town going in search of their first League One win of the new campaign at the fourth attempt.

After a disappointing opening half at the weekend at the ABAX Stadium in which Town shipped three goals, they put in decent second half showing, reverting back to the diamond in midfield after starting the game with three centre-backs.

Alan McCormack is expected to be the only player to miss out through injury for the Hatters this evening, as he recovers from a calf problem picked up at the weekend, but he's not anticipated to be out of action for too much longer. You can read more on this and of Nathan Jones' quotes from his press conference yesterday by clicking here.

Southend were having an equally frustrating start to the campaign, until they defeated Bradford City at the weekend.

The Shrimpers are fancied by many to do well this campaign, and it comes as little surprise, with the club having a manager with a good promotion pedigree in Chris Powell, as well as a good group of players that includes former Republic of Ireland striker Simon Cox and ex-Wolves winger Michael Kightly.

Tonight's game will be the first time supporters both in the UK and abroad will be able to watch a league game streamed live on iFollow Hatters, which will have Simon Pitts' commentary broadcast alongside it. You can purchase your match pass for £10 from the match centre from an hour before kick-off.

Supporters will also be able to use contactless payment around the ground for food and beverages this evening.

If you're a Southend United supporter heading to Kenilworth Road this evening, please click here to check out our away supporters' guide.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On the threats Southend have at their disposal: "Simon Cox is a threat, they've got a few good players, a few ex-Premier League players, Michael Kightly and Michael Turner have played [at that level]. They've got a good squad. They've got a good side, but we've just got to concentrate on ourselves, if we defend better [then we did against Peterborough] then we will be more of a match."

On the opportunity to get a good run together, starting with the two home games this week: "It is [a big couple of games] and we'd like to do that. not for any reason other than we don't want to fall too far behind.

"We want to get off the mark, we felt we'd be off the mark by now. This is probably the worst run we've ever been on in terms of since I have come to the football club, so we want to get off the mark – we've had a tough start and it'll be a tough game. We've got two games where we'd like to pick up points and then we can build from that foundation.

"We're still not even out of August. We weren't in a too dissimilar situation last year and ended up in a wonderful place. So we're not getting too down or we're not getting too carried away. If we play well like did at Portsmouth, let's see what it brings."

On whether he will consider not playing three centre-backs after Saturday's defeat to Posh: "Of course not, we have the players to do it. We recruit so that we can play any formation, any formation that we work on, we can play, because we have the three centre-halves who are comfortable, four, five centre halves who are comfortable in those areas.

"We have four full backs who are attacking that can play in that area. We have midfielders who can play in a one and a two, or a two and a one, whatever they want to do and we're very proficient in the diamond. I've absolutely no fear in playing anything, but the be-all and the end-all is that it was nothing to do really with the system, it was how we defended in certain areas and we've got to be better."

YOU CAN NOW WATCH NATHAN JONES' PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE ON IFOLLOW HATTERS FREEVIEW BY CLICKING HERE

WHO?

Chris Powell is well known in football for being one of the good guys, but he also knows how to get out of the third tier, having guided Charlton to the Championship. Whilst maintaining a fair amount of the core of the squad he inherited when he took over from Phil Brown in January, he has also added a fair amount of new faces.

Arguably one of the best stoppers at this level in Mark Oxley with Michael Turner and Jason Demetriou in front of him forms a solid defence, whilst Michael Kightly and Sam Mantom play as part of a decent midfield – with the addition of Luke Hyam bringing real quality.

As if that wasn't enough, the combination of Simon Cox alongside Tom Hopper is enough to give any defence in this division a few problems.

(Michael Kightly pictured during his time with Wolverhampton Wanderers)
 

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 7.45pm at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday 21st August.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for tonight's game are still available for purchase from the LTFC Ticket Office in person, over the phone on 01582 416976 and online by clicking here. Prices are set at category C.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Tonight's edition of This Is Our Town as always contains a huge amount of fantastic Hatters content, including all the info on Southend United, as well as a Q&A with Alan McCormack, with the questions coming from a mix of Hatters and Shrimpers supporters. Danny Hylton discusses the best XI players he has ever played alongside and Glen Rea reveals all in 'Hat's Life!

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tonight's game will be refereed by Trevor Kettle, who has taken charge of three games so far this season, dishing out seven yellow cards in total. He last refereed the Hatters away at Colchester at the end of March.

PLAYED BEFORE?

The Hatters last played Southend in January 2015, which ended in a 1-0 win at Roots Hall for the Shrimpers. In total, the Town have won 38, drawn 19, and lost 29 matches against Southend.

CAR PARKING

If you're driving to the game tonight, don't forget you can take advantage of the car parking now available at Power Court. Make sure you get your permit now by clicking here.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Kenilworth Road 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 EFL Digital team assure us they are working on a fix to get club updates onto the app)

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 | HATTERS 2 SOUTHEND UNITED 0

Hylton and Lee on target as the Hatters record first win of the season

21 August 2018

Hatters boss Nathan Jones saw his four changes to the starting line-up pay off tonight as his side recorded their first win of the season with goals from Elliot Lee and Danny Hylton seeing off Southend at Kenilworth Road.

With the old ground rocking as the 9,000-plus crowd made for a great atmosphere under the lights, the Hatters added to the point they picked up in their opening home match against Sunderland with a fine performance against the side that finished tenth last term.

The first change came in goal, where James Shea replaced Marek Stech for his first appearance of the season.

And with Alan McCormack injured and club captain Alan Sheehan on the bench, Glen Rea came into the side as skipper for the first time in a league match, having worn the armband in the Carabao Cup at West Brom last week, and was joined in midfield by fellow substitutes from the 3-1 defeat at Peterborough, Jorge Grant and Andrew Shinnie.

Lee, who got off the mark for the season with a goal in the second minute, was pushed up front to partner Hylton in place of James Collins, who was also on the bench.

The Hatters made a dream start when, with just 90 seconds on the clock, the first corner of the game produced the opening goal for Lee.

Jorge Grant’s delivery was headed clear by the Southend defence, but only as far as the edge of the area where Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu fired in a shot that was deflected into the striker’s path, and he gobbled up the chance from close range.

Southend responded well, but it was the Hatters who came close to extending the lead in the ninth minute when Jack Stacey raced to the right byline and drove in a low cross that visiting defender Elvis Bwomono did well to clear from almost on the line, Hylton’s follow-up shot also blocked.

Southend thought they’d drawn level midway through the half when Tom Hopper climbed highest to meet Bwomono’s right-wing cross, and although his header nestled in the bottom corner of Shea’s net, referee Trevor Kettle was already blowing for a push.

The Town went straight up the other end and tested Southend skipper Mark Oxley, Stacey feeding Grant to unleash a vicious shot from right edge of box that the Shrimpers’ keeper had to tip over the bar.

Bwomono was proving a threat down the visitors’ right, and after wriggling past Potts he fired in a low cross that Shea did well to get down to and gather, but by the 33rd-minute he’d given away the penalty that saw the Town double the advantage.

The Hatters had patiently kept the ball for at least ten passes, Shea, Bradley and Pearson building from the back with input from Stacey and Rea, before the captain’s forward pass intended for Lee arrived at Grant’s feet 25 yards out, via the head of Southend centre-half John White.

Grant fed Lee into the box, but the Town striker was heading away from goal, his path on the byline having been blocked, when Bwomono bundled him over from behind. Kettle pointed to the spot and Hylton did the rest, sending Oxley the wrong way from the spot for his second goal of the season.

The Hatters were playing well, confidence boosted, and when Hylton won a corner on the left with his persistence, Dan Potts sent a header back towards goal that fell to Hylton, but the striker couldn’t turn in the six-yard box and Oxley gathered off his own player, Timothy Dieng.

Town were rampant at the start of the second half and might have gone three goals to the good at the end of another superb break in the 51st minute, Mpanzu starting it by tracking back in his own box and finding Rea, whose pass on the stretch found Hylton on halfway.

The centre-forward traded passes with Shinnie, the latter’s return ball a cute through pass for Hylton to race onto, but Oxley came tearing off his line to smother, regaining his footing to then save Shinnie’s follow-up attempt from 30 yards.

The ball was in the back of the Shrimpers’ net again six minutes later when Rea dispatched a firm header past Oxley from an inswinging Grant free-kick, but again Kettle had long since blown for an infringement and the Town’s celebrations were cut short.

Southend tried to make their way back into it by making all three substitutions by the hour, and they created a couple of quickfire chances, Jason Demetriou slicing wide when well placed on the right side of the area, then Simon Cox blasting over the crossbar from 18 yards.

Hylton was still posing a threat at the other end, Bradley instantly controlling his own towering header from a right-wing free-kick and crossing low for the striker, who turned his man smartly but could only finding the side netting.

In the 72nd minute Potts sent Lee clear, the striker cutting in from the left and forcing Oxley into another excellent save, then – seconds after James Justin had been introduced for the impressive Grant – Oxley had to come racing off his line again.

Just 15 minutes were left when Lee and Rea combined deep in the Hatters’ own territory for the latter to release Justin, who played a beautiful first time pass into Shinnie’s path, only for Oxley to smother on the edge of his box again, then did his best to put Stacey off as well.

Four minutes later it should have been three when Hylton robbed Hyam in the centre-circle and fed Justin on the right side of the area. Oxley raced out once more, and Justin – who was running riot on both sides of diamond – tried to square to Mpanzu waiting in the six-yard box, but centre-half John White got back to clear.

Lee left the pitch to a standing ovation, and the announcement that he’d been chosen as match sponsors’ man-of-the-match, to be replaced by Harry Cornick, but Southend sounded a warning with just under five minutes of normal time to play when Robinson rattled in a volley that shook the advertising boards behind Shea’s goal.

Still the Hatters keeper hadn’t had a save of any real note to make, and it ended up proving a comfortable first win in the third tier for Jones’ men.

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Potts, Rea ©, Mpanzu, Grant (Justin 73), Shinnie, Lee (Cornick 83), Hylton (Collins 90+3). Subs: Jervis, Gambin, Sheehan, Stech (GK)

Goals: Lee 2, Hylton 33 (pen)

Yellows: Rea

 

SOUTHEND: Oxley, Bwomono (McCoulsky 61), Coker, Turner, Dieng (Hyam 46), Hopper, Cox, McLauglin (Robinson 61), Mantom, Demetriou, White. Subs: Kightly, Bishop (GK), Kyprianou, Hendrie

Yellows: Hyam, Demetriou

 

REFEREE: Trevor Kettle

 

ATT: 9,086 (916 away)

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