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09 February 2019 Venue Kenilworth Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | LUTON TOWN v WYCOMBE WANDERERS

8 February 2019

The Hatters welcome ninth-placed Wycombe Wanderers to Kenilworth Road tomorrow for the second time this season, having already entertained the Chairboys in the Emirates FA Cup first round back in early November.

Town ran out 2-0 victors that day with goals from Andrew Shinnie and Harry Cornick booking a place in the second round, having already drawn 1-1 with the Buckinghamshire club at Adams Park in the first Sky Bet League One meeting of the season in September.

Tomorrow, still under the interim charge of Mick Harford, the Hatters are looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league to 19 matches - a sequence that would equal the club record for Football League matches without defeat.

That record was set twice in successive years half-a-century ago, first between January and April 1968, and then again from end of 1968/69 into the 1969/70 campaign.

Town go into the game six points clear at the top of the division, and unbeaten at Kenilworth Road this season in the league. 

Leading scorer James Collins has been named the division's player of the month for January - when he scored six times in five matches - although Harford missed out on the managerial award to Scunthorpe's Stuart McCall.

It is set to be a landmark occasion for home-grown defender James Justin, who is in line to make his 100th senior appearance for the club.

Wycombe, who are managed by Gareth Ainsworth, who played under Harford when he was a coach at both Wimbledon and QPR, are in good form themselves, arriving at the Kenny on the back of a five-match unbeaten run that has lifted them to within six points of the play-offs.

 

MICK HARFORD SAYS:

On coming up against Gareth Ainsworth: "I know Gareth very well. I've know him for a long, long time. I was coaching at Wimbledon with Joe Kinnear when we signed Gareth from Port Vale, and he's a great lad. He has a great attitude and his team will mirror him because of the work ethic and the way he wants to play. They've been very difficult opponents whenever we've played them, and on numerous times this season I've watched them, and they are real well-oiled outfit who know what they're doing. They'll have a shape which they play to and it's going to be a tough test for us."

On assistant manager Steve Rutter: "Steve came in and he's a very technical coach, he's a great ally for any manager, he does a great job and has a good rapport with the players. He sees things differently to a lot of us, so he's been a great asset to the football club and he's been great for me while I've been in this role, so I thank him for his efforts along with Inigo and the rest of the staff."

On his nomination for Manager of the Month: "I keep saying it, but I was absolutely thrilled to be offered the role as interim manager and it's a privilege to do it - especially being in charge of these bunch of lads because they are a credit. It's testament to what the staff, the players and what we've done in the last month. It was a privilege and I'm delighted to have been nominated."

On James Collins winning Player of the Month: "James has been on fire. He’s deservedly, in my opinion, won the award – not just on goals scored but on his work-rate and his effort. He’ll be the first to commend his team-mates for the assists that they’ve laid on for him, but he’s worked hard and I’m really pleased for him. His work-rate is phenomenal. He gets around the pitch, he closes people down. We put him in a position where he’s very good at defending corners, in that little hole that we put him, and overall he’s been a massive, massive bonus for us in terms of his goals and his whole contribution."

On James Justin making his 100th senior appearance: "We believe James is going to be something special as a player and I didn't realise it was his 100th game coming up. That's some achievement for such a young lad. He got into the team, he's cememted his place. He's holding his place down at lefy-back, despite being predominantly a right-back and he can fill in various roles, so he'll be thrilled, his family will be delighted because they are all Luton Town fans, and I'm proud of him. He's a great kid and I'm so happy for him."

YOU CAN WATCH MICK'S PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE ON IFOLLOW FREEVIEW BY CLICKING HERE.

WHO?

Formed in 1887, the Chairboys have played a large part of their history in Non-League football. They won promotion under Martin O’Neill to the Football League in 1993, winning successive promotions as they went up to the Second Division. They have remained in the EFL since and have bounced between the third and fourth tier in that time, winning promotion back up to League One alongside the Hatters and Accrington last season.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm at Kenilworth Road on Saturday 9th February.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tomorrow's match will be refereed by Andy Davies, a Select Group 2/Championship official who last refereed us away at AFC Wimbledon in October. He has shown 84 yellows and six red cards in his 25 games this season.

TICKET INFORMATION

Due to season ticket holders who are unable to make tomorrow’s game releasing their seats, we now have a few seats available. We also have a number of single and restricted view seats available. Please contact the Ticket Office on 01582 416976 or book online ASAP!

POWER COURT CAR PARKING

Take advantage of the fantastic car parking deal we have on for supporters, click here for more info!

AWAY SUPPORTERS

If you're a Wycombe supporter heading to Kenilworth Road for tomorrow's game, click here to have a look at our away supporters' guide. 

PLAYED BEFORE?

We’ve already played Wycombe twice this season, with Matty Pearson netting the equaliser in the league game at Adams Park on 1st September after Joe Jacobson - who would later see a second-half penalty saved by James Shea - had given the Chairboys the lead. The two sides then met in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup at the Kenny, with the Hatters progressing with a 2-0 win. Of our 27 meetings with Wycombe, Town have won 12, drawn 10 and lost five.

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 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.

If you're an international subscriber, make sure you purchase a match pass so you can watch the game live!

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Match Reports

REPORT & GALLERY | HATTERS 3 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 0

Collins and Moncur, with a double, on target again as the Hatters equal club record

9 February 2019

Two late goals from George Moncur, in addition to James Collins' first-half opener, sealed a fifth win in a row against Wycombe this afternoon - meaning the Hatters have now equalled the club record of 19 unbeaten Football League games set 50 years ago.

Wycombe Wanderers were the latest club in a long list who could not beat the Hatters in another red-hot atmosphere on a cold, windy day at Kenilworth Road.

James Collins netted the first to extend his lead at the top of the League One scoring charts with his 19th of the season, then new signings Jason Cummings and Moncur blossomed into a promising partnership to send every Hatter home with a smile.

The win means the Town still lead the way at the top of the division by six points, but now sit nine points clear of the play-off places due to Sunderland and Portsmouth only claiming a point in their matches.

Mick Harford made one change to the side that won 3-0 away at Shrewsbury last week, Danny Hylton coming in for Kazenga LuaLua, who missed out altogether with a hamstring injury.

Wycombe started reasonably well and Joe Jacobson took the first corner of the afternoon, picking out Adebayo Akinfenwa, whose header was never going to beat Shea who made a simple catch.

The Hatters were the ones who started brightest though, a minute later with a chance of their own. Some nice build-up play down the right from Jack Stacey allowed Hylton time to thread a low cross that Collins couldn’t quite squeeze in at the near post.

Paris Cowan-Hall exploited some space down the right wing after James Justin - making his 100th senior appearance - lost the ball high up the pitch. His low cross was smartly turned away from danger by Sonny Bradley who had to be aware of Nathan Tyson who was lurking behind.

The Hatters played some wonderful stuff to win their first corner of the game, the whole team linking together. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, with a skilful flick to Andrew Shinnie, whose smart pass found its way across the area and into Stacey, whose low cross was just about dealt with by the Wycombe backline.

The resulting corner put the Chairboys under more pressure, Mpanzu floating his cross into the area where Hylton was waiting after beating the offside trap. His nod down fell to Collins’ boot, putting his laces into it. The ball was blocked away though, squandering the strikers’ chance.

Mpanzu and Shinnie were at it again a little later on, linking nicely to release Stacey. His first time cross had Luke Berry stretching at the back post. He would have got there too if it hadn’t been for a last-ditch tackle from Jason McCarthy.  

Stacey misplaced his turn on the edge of the area on the 17th minute, but Shinnie was there to collect the loose ball and fire an effort into the hands of Allsop.

Shinnie turned provider midway through the first half, twisting well to pick out Hylton. His touch was exemplary other than the finish with Allsop keeping the scores level, as he did when Stacey had a go soon after, the shot stinging the keepers’ palms.

Wycombe came with a game plan, pressing high up the field to disrupt the Hatters’ free-flowing game. Akinfenwa holding the ball up well for his team-mates to find their way into the box, but Pearson and Bradley stood firm.

The home side broke the deadlock though in the 33rd minute, Hylton spreading the ball across the pitch superbly for Stacey who had been looking for that pass since the beginning of the game. Stacey’s delivery was pinpoint onto Collins’ head and the top scorer made no mistake, a thumping header at the near-post to make it 19 for the season.

It became gritty towards the end of the half, both sides picking up bookings in an atmosphere worthy of a relatively local derby. It was the Hatters who ended the half the stronger of the two, however, as they looked to keep a second consecutive clean sheet and fourth in five matches

The second half began with a small calm after the storm which had been the end of the first half. It took nearly 10 minutes for the first sight of goal, Shinnie with a low drive, gathered by Allsop down to his right.

Stacey - who had a phenomenal game down the flank, lofted a delightful pass into Mpanzu, who was brought down in the area. The appeals were swiftly turned away as the Hatters began to exert their authority again.

McCormack latched onto Bradley’s header with a venomous volley which he could not keep down, and Jacobson hit one that was always bending wide of Shea’s goal.  

The ball was in the Kenny End once more, this time a lot closer to the target when Collins placed his curling shot just over the stanchion from 25 yards.

Wycombe resorted to long-range attempts as the Hatters’ defence stood strong, Scott Kashket the substitute firing well over – as did Thompson a minute later. The visitors showed glimpses of promise, keeping the pressure on the Hatters who continued to battle the ball away as the clock ticked into the final 10 minutes.

But the Hatters made sure the three points remained in Bedfordshire with two late goals involving the two substitutes, Cummings and Moncur.

The first arrived when Stacey threaded a brilliant pass to Cummings who matched it with an even better touch. His pace and footwork caused all kinds of problems for the Wycombe defence. The move deserved a goal, but Allsop saved the Scotsman's shot, although he couldn't deny Moncur, who had all the time in the world to tap home into the empty net.

The pair were at it again three minutes later. Cummings grabbing a second assist after just seven minutes on the pitch. Moncur had more work to do this time though, finding Allsop’s bottom right corner through a crowded penalty area to put any doubt at bay.

Ankinfenwa nearly flicked in a late consolation for the Chairboys in stoppage time, but Shea was able to deal with the effort and keep a second consecutive clean sheet.

Joey Barton’s Fleetwood are up next week, with a trip to the Fylde coast the next destination at the end of the Hatters' Golden Mile!

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley (c), Justin, McCormack, Mpanzu, Shinnie (Sheehan 89), Berry (Moncur 73), Hylton (Cummings 82), Collins. Subs: Potts, Baptiste, Thorne, Isted

Yellows: Hylton, Collins

Goals: Collins 33, Moncur, 85, 88

 

WYCOMBE: Allsop, Jombati, Jacobson, Gape, El-Abd, Bloomfield (Freeman 82), Cowan-Hall (Bolton 65), Thompson, Akinfenwa, Tyson (Kashket 72), McCarthy. Subs: Stewart, Bean, Yates (GK), Owens

Yellows: El-Abd

 

REFEREE: Andy Davies

 

ATT: 10,072 (751 away)

 

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