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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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15 December 2018 Venue Ricoh Arena Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | COVENTRY CITY V LUTON TOWN

14 December 2018

The Hatters will be looking to make it five consecutive Sky Bet League One victories as they head to Coventry City tomorrow afternoon.

Wins over Plymouth, Gillingham, Bradford and Fleetwood have helped move the Town from fifth up to second in the third tier – should the Town pick up three points tomorrow and Portsmouth lose, they would move to within three points of top spot.

The run overall this campaign has been superb. After picking up one point from their opening three games, the Hatters have won 12 of their last 18, losing only twice.

Away from home is where the Town have faltered slightly on points return though, picking up 12 from ten games, which sees them sit 14th in the away form guide.

Tomorrow's hosts went through an excellent run of form in October that helped propel them right into the top half of the table, but a winless run from the beginning of November has seen them slip down into 11th spot.

Like last season, Coventry have been strong at the back, conceding just 25 goals in 21 games, but goals have been a problem for Mark Robins' team, having netted the fourth least amount of goals in League One this season (22).

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On the importance of clean sheets: "It's massive really. We say about building our performances around defensive principles and it's proving that as well, because if you keep a clean sheet you only need one goal to win the game – you'll definitely not lose. What we do and the way we play, we always feel like we're going to get a goal. the more clean sheets you can get, the more guaranteed wins you're going to get.

On the size of tomorrow's fixture: "Yes, it would have been [a top flight fixture a few years ago]. It's two ex-top league clubs with good traditions, cup winning traditions as well in terms of the '87 side of Coventry who broke my heart actually being a Spurs fan! We've had some battles recently with them, tough games. They beat us at home last year and we had a real entertaining encounter up there. We know it's going to be a real, real tough game. They're a very organised, well drilled side and Mark Robins is doing a wonderful job there – he's steadied the ship and won the Checkatrade Trophy, promotion as well. They're a very difficult side to play against, we're in for a tough time."

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

WHO?

The Sky Blues are a club with a fairly decorated history – FA Cup winners in the late 1980s, as well as being a Premier League outfit until 2001. Since then however there has been a steady decline as well as a stadium move, City dropping down to the fourth tier for the first time since 1959 when they slipped out of League One in 2017. Promotion at the first attempt under Mark Robbins was achieved, as they defeated Exeter City in the Play-Off final in May.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 15th December at the Ricoh Arena.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for the game will be available on the day, with prices increasing by £3. For more info click here.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Charles Breakspear is in charge for tomorrow's game, having overseen 24 games, dishing out 88 yellow cards and nine red cards – although he hasn't shown a red in his last seven games.

PLAYED BEFORE?

We played Coventry twice last season in league games, the first was a 3-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road, whilst a spirited draw after going 2-0 down helped carry us over the line as we won promotion automatically. In total we have played each other 80 times, with Town winning 24, drawing 15 and losing 41 times.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from the Ricoh Arena 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 | COVENTRY CITY 1 LUTON TOWN 2

Goals from Pearson and Collins make it five league wins in a row

15 December 2018

The Hatters won for the fifth league game in a row for the first time in Nathan Jones' reign as manager as goals from Matty Pearson and James Collins secured a 2-1 victory at Coventry this afternoon.

Pearson tapped in from all of a yard for his third goal of the season before half-time, then Collins did likewise after the break for his eighth as he scored at the club he supported as a boy for the second season in a row.

Last time it was a last-minute equaliser, but this one was much more important as it eventually proved the winner, with Coventry pulling a goal back four minutes into injury-time as Jonson Clarke-Harris converted a penalty to ruin what would have been a fourth clean sheet in a row.

It was the only blot on the perfect away performance, and only the fourth goal the Town have conceded in 11 unbeaten league and FA Cup games since the 3-2 defeat at Barnsley in mid-October - a run which includes ten wins.

Overall it is just that one reversal in 17, and remarkably Jones named an unchanged team for the seventh successive game in those two competitions as they cemented their place in the automatic promotion spots, narrowing the gap on Portsmouth to four points with the leaders drawing 1-1 at Barnsley.

The Town boss also picked the same seven players on the bench as for last Saturday's victory over Fleetwood, with Danny Hylton and Luke Berry once again among the game changers.

That meant James Shea was in goal behind a back four of Jack Stacey, Pearson, Sonny Bradley and James Justin.

Captain Glen Rea anchored the midfield, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie and Elliot Lee, just behind Collins and Harry Cornick.

In-form forward Cornick had the game's first opportunity in the 16th minute when Lee set him clear in the inside-right channel, but after outpacing centre-half Tom Davies, he dragged his shot across Lee Burge's goal and wide of the far post.

Stacey was soon trying to get in on the right, latching onto a pass from Mpanzu, then Bradley headed over the resulting corner as the Hatters looked to make their early domination of the ball tell.  

In the 18th minute the hosts had their first chance when Jordy Hiwula got on the end of Luke Thomas' right-wing cross, but Shea somehow managed to prevent his effort from going in, despite Sky Blue appeals that it had gone over the line.

The Hatters were soon on the front foot again, but a scrappy period of play followed with both sides conceding possession, often playing the ball straight out of play under little pressure, as a difficult playing surface and the weather conditions took their toll.

After Shinnie was fouled to the left angle of the City penalty area in the 37th minute, home defender Jack Grimmer did well to head Lee's wickedly inswinging free-kick over his own bar, but the relief was shortlived.

Justin trotted over to the right to deliver the corner that Bradley rose highest to meet at the far post, sending his header back across the six-yard box for his centre-half partner Pearson to stab over the line from a yard out.

Cornick was next to test Burge, racing onto a Collins flick from Shea's long clearance down the left, then cutting in to send a low shot on target from 18 yards, but the home keeper had his body right behind it.

Town started the second half well, skipper Rea firing just over in the 47th minute, but then had to rely on Shea to make another terrific point-blank save from Clarke-Harris' far post header a couple of minutes later.

The advantage was doubled in the 57th minute when Lee tricked his way to the right byline and fizzed a low ball across the six-yard box for Collins to net against the club he supports, at the same end of the Ricoh, for the second season in a row.

Coventry looked to get back into it and just after the hour Thomas beat Stacey and Shinnie out on the left and crossed low for Clarke-Harris, who couldn't sort his feet out quickly enough and the ball trickled wide.

At the other end, Lee was soon beating his man on the left byline, not once but twice, only for his low cross-shot to be turned behind by Burge's outstretched leg - and the Town were denied a third from the resulting corner only by Clarke-Harris heading Rea's blistering half-volley off the line as it headed towards the top corner.

Jones brought Hylton off the bench for Cornick with just over a quarter-of-an-hour to go, but it was Coventry who had the next shot - although Liam Kelly's effort from 25 yards only troubled the empty seats behind the goal and brought ironic chants of 'We've had a shot' from the home fans at the other end!

Hylton teed up Lee for a low shot that skipped up off the greasy surface with five minutes left, but Burge dealt with it well, then Shea made another good save to keep out substitute Dom Hyam's header.

He was exposed deep into injury-time though when Thomas capitalised on hesitation in the Town backline, and Shea raced off his line and brought him down.

Clarke-Harris converted the spot-kick, but the Town had already done enough to head off on their Christmas party in the best possible mood as a sequence of five games in 18 days over the festive period got off to a flyer!

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Justin, Rea (c), Mpanzu, Shinnie (Potts 89), Lee, Collins, Cornick (Hylton 73). Subs: Potts, Berry, Hylton, Grant, LuaLua, Sheehan, Stech (GK)

Goals: Pearson 38, Collins 57

Yellows: Mpanzu, Shinnie

COVENTRY: Burge, Grimmer, Willis (Hyam 65), Davies, Kelly (c), Hiwula (Chaplin 65), Brown, Clarke-Harris, Bayliss (Allassani 78), Thomas, Shipley. Subs: Addai (GK), Mason, Doyle, Allassani, Ogogo.

Goal: Clarke-Harris (pen) 90+5

Yellow: Hyam

REFEREE: Charles Breakspear

ATT: 12,559 (2,598 Hatters)

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