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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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26 December 2018 Venue Glanford Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

BOXING DAY PREVIEW | SCUNTHORPE v THE HATTERS

A look ahead to Wednesday's trip to Glanford Park for a 3pm kick-off

24 December 2018

The stats are starting to stack up for the Hatters, who go into the Boxing Day clash at Scunthorpe United in second place in Sky Bet League One, but as Europe’s most in-form professional club with nine wins and a draw from the last ten league matches.

Including the FA Cup, it’s 11 wins from their last 12 unbeaten matches for Nathan Jones’ side, with the 0-0 draw at Rochdale on November 4th the only match they haven’t won since being beaten at Barnsley on October 13th.

The Hatters have won six successive league games – eight including FA Cup – and for the clash at Glanford Park, we come up against opponents who have lost six on the spin, including an FA Cup second round exit to Shrewsbury.

Scunthorpe will be looking to avenge the 3-2 defeat they suffered at Kenilworth Road in early October, when  Harry Cornick, Elliot Lee and James Justin were on target for the Town, with Lee Novak and Stephen Humphrys netting the Iron’s goals.

The Hatters will be out to increase their run of 61 games since they last scored first and went onto lose a game, although they may have to make do without vice-captain Glen Rea, who was forced out of Saturday’s win over Burton in the first half with a knee injury.

 

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On preparing well over Christmas: “I’ve said to them, we’re only as strong as our weakest link, so if people want to sulk and want to think ‘I’m not in the side now, so I’ll have a good Christmas, I’ll have a bit of extra Christmas pudding or those pigs in blankets and stuff like that, and relax, then we’ll suffer. If anyone feels sorry for themselves, if anyone takes their foot off the gas, if anyone thinks that they can have a different preparation to anyone else in the squad, then we’ll suffer. So it’s important that your squad is right at it, that your staff is right at it, because if anyone takes their foot off the gas, we won’t be the team that we are. But they won’t, because they are a great group and I trust them and it’s going to be a busy time.”

On potentially making his first change to his starting XI in nine matches, with Glen Rea’s injury: “It’s been relatively easy for me to pick teams and prepare teams, because we just continue what we’ve been doing and if there’s anything different, then they know, they are regimented in our play and what we do, so hopefully we won’t have to make a change, but if we do, it’ll be a minimal one.”

On this time of year! “I wish everyone a merry Christmas. I thought the fans were brilliant again today and everyone who supports us, because it’s been a very good year, with obviously getting promoted and getting over the line, and the position we’re in now is fantastic. It’s only for outstanding form by Portsmouth that we are not slightly further up the league, so we are in a good place, but we don’t get carried away because we are only at the halfway stage, but if we can pick up another 47 points from the next 23 games, then I think we’ll be happy.”

WHO?

The Iron have had three managers this year – Graham Alexander, Nick Daws and Stuart McCall – and their most recent appointment has a good pedigree and strong knowledge of League One. Former Scotland international McCall has crossed the Yorkshire border into Lincolnshire, having been in charge of Bradford City on a permanent basis on two occasions, before departing in February. The ex-midfielder played at the highest level of English football with Everton, as well as in the Scottish top flight with Rangers.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm on Wednesday 26th December at Glanford Park. Built in 1987 at a cost of £2.5m and opened in time for the start of the 1988/89 campaign, the ground can hold just under 9,100 supporters. Their record attendance was for a League Cup match against Manchester United, with 9,077 crammed in to watch the Iron be defeated 5-2. Away supporters are put in the AMS Stand.

TICKET INFORMATION

We have sold 679 tickets in advance, and supporters can pay on the day. Tickets will be available to purchase at matchday prices as follows:

Adult: £26

Seniors 65+/ U21/Students: £18

Under-18s: £9

Under-12 (Max 2 per adult): FREE

 

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Martin Coy tale charge of a Hatters match for the first since our win away at Accrington Stanley last season. So far this season he has officiated in 21 matches and shown 54 yellow and two red cards.

PLAYED BEFORE?

The Hatters have faced Scunthorpe on 14 occasions, our most recent meeting ended in a 3-2 win here at Kenilworth Road earlier on in the campaign.  Our most enjoyable victory against them was on another occasion – April 5th 2009 will be a date that will be particularly popular with Town supporters, given the fact we defeated the Iron 3-2 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Glanford Park 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. Overseas subscribers will be able to watch a live stream of the game, but it will not be available domestically.

 

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Match Reports

REPORT & GALLERY | SCUNTHORPE 0 HATTERS 2

Goals from Shinnie and Cornick make it seven league wins in a row

26 December 2018

The Hatters made it seven Sky Bet League One wins in a row at Scunthorpe this afternoon to move within a point of leaders Portsmouth, who lost in the lunchtime kick-off at Gillingham.

A goal in each half from Andrew Shinnie and Harry Cornick secured another victory to extend the unbeaten league run to 11 matches, including ten wins, in a game that saw the Hatters have to ride their luck at times.

The second-placed Town are on a terrific run, however, and including FA Cup matches the run now stands at 13 unbeaten - including 12 wins - with a ninth clean sheet in that sequence meaning just four goals have gone past keeper James Shea since the defeat at Barnsley on October 13th.

Boss Nathan Jones was forced into the first change to his starting line-up for nine matches, as Glen Rea's absence through injury brought Jorge Grant back into the side.

Rea had to be substituted in the first half of Saturday's home win over Burton, and wasn't fit to take his place in the team.

Grant, who replaced him in the 2-0 win over the Brewers at Kenilworth Road, came in for his first start since the Accrington Stanley game on October 23.

Alan McCormack came onto the bench along with Lloyd Jones, who replaced Dan Potts, as the second-placed Town looked for a seventh straight league victory at the club who sat in 21st place, one inside the relegation zone, at kick-off.

In Rea's absence, and with club captain Alan Sheehan on the bench, Sonny Bradley wore the armband.

The Hatters started brightly, with Shinnie and Stacey both getting in on the right only to see low cut-backs intended for Collins intercepted, either side of Lee dragging his right-footed shot wide after some neat link-up play with Cornick on the edge of the area.

Scunthorpe started to find their feet after a shaky opening ten minutes, however, and saw volleys from Yasin Ben El-Mhanni and Lee Novak fly over the bar, before the latter fired straight at Shea from 18 yards in the 16th minute.

Funso Ojo was the next to have a go for the Iron, who were enjoying the better of the half, on 21 minutes, but once again Shea was equal to his shot from outside the area.

Rory McArdle headed Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's free-kick wide on the half-hour, then the Hatters almost took the lead against the run of play in the 34th minute.

Lee picked the ball up just inside his own half and found Cornick free on the right. After a perfect first touch to set himself up, the forward let fly from just inside the box only to find home keeper Jak Alnwick there to deny him a seventh goal of the season with a good save.

The breakthrough came in the 37th minute when Justin, who had just crossed for Pearson to head wide, nicked the ball in front of Ben El-Mhanni and burst down the left, then playing a lovely sideways ball across the D.

It reached Shinnie, who had drifted inside from the right, and the Scotsman bent a left-footed shot first time into the bottom corner from just outside the area, for his fifth goal of the season.

United tried to respond, Ojo blasting well off target from distance, but the Hatters had a half-time lead for the ninth game in a row, even if on this occasion it was against the run of play.

The lead was doubled five minutes into the second half when Lee pounced on an error in the hosts' defence and cracked a shot on goal that Alnwick could only parry into the path of Cornick, who smashed in his seventh goal of the season from close range.

Inevitably it brought chants of 'Last Christmas' from the travelling fans behind that goal, and almost immediately Lee came close to extending the lead, but his attempt at turning Pearson's header in from close range was blocked.

Lee was soon leadng the charge again, attempting one of his trademark curlers into the far corner from the left side of the area after Grant and Cornick had combined to set him free from deep inside their own half, but this one was deflected wide.

Shea made a point-blank save from a Kyle Wootton header with quarter-of-an-hour to go, just before Jones - who had already brought McCormack on for Grant - introduced Hylton for Cornick.

Within two minutes of his arrival, Hylton had caused havoc in the home area to win a corner, and then, after Bradley had headed Justin's delivery back across goal, he unleashed a right-footed volley that flew inches wide.

The same corner routine, Justin picking out Bradley at the far post, almost brought reward with four minutes left as Hylton attempted to get his head on the centre-half's header, but Scunthorpe managed to smuggle the ball away.

Fifty points for the season now. Safe from relegation and eyes pointing upwards, with the Town now one point off top spot and with a four-point cushion in the automatic promotion places, and 11 for the play-offs. A wonderful 2018 is ending very nicely for the Town!

Onto Walsall away on Saturday...

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley (c), Justin, Mpanzu, Shinnie (Berry 90), Grant (McCormack 65), Lee, Collins, Cornick (Hylton 77). Subs: LuaLua, Jones, Sheehan, Stech

Yellows: Collins

GOALS: Shinnie 37, Cornick 50

SCUNTHORPE: Alnwick, Borthwick-Jackson, Ojo, Perch, Novak (Humphrys 82), Thomas, Ben El-Mhanni (Dales 83), Goode, Sutton, McArdle (c), Wootton. Subs: Flatt, Horsfield, Ugbo, Lewis.

Yellows: Perch

REFEREE: Martin Coy

ATT: 4,050 (766 Hatters)

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