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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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02 February 2019 Venue Montgomery Waters Meadow Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | SHREWSBURY TOWN V LUTON TOWN

1 February 2019

The Hatters will look to extend their unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One to 18 games tomorrow when they head to Shrewsbury Town.

A win over fellow promotion chasers Portsmouth on Tuesday evening put the Hatters five points clear at the top of the third tier – meaning they have now won 13 of their last 17 games.

Former Shrews forward James Collins' brace that put him top of the goalscoring charts in the division, and sixth in the EFL overall, with 16 goals and three assists.

Tomorrow's hosts have struggled to replicate last season's form when they reached the play-off final, finding themselves in a relegation battle.

Without a win in six, they bolstered their ranks heavily yesterday, making three loan signings, bringing in strikers Stefan Payne and Tyrese Campbell from Bristol Rovers and Stoke City, as well as keeper Jonathan Mitchell from Derby County, who played for the Hatters on loan in 2016.

As it stands, the pitch at the Montgomery Waters Meadow has been given the green light to be played on, meaning the match will go ahead. In the event that this changes, we will inform you at the earliest opportunity.

MICK HARFORD SAYS:

On Shrewsbury's form: "They had a fantastic result against Wolves in the FA Cup, two each – they were two-nil up, conceded late on and then they went to Bradford and scored three goals at Bradford, obviously conceded four, so they're a team that's got a real threat in terms of scoring goals.

"It was difficult game down here when we played them, they made it difficult for us, so we're expecting a massive challenge. As I said in the previous interview, we've got to get the lads back down to earth and tell them what's going to happen on Saturday and what we're expecting, which will be a real, real tough game.

"They've got something to play for and a new manager in there, so they'll have some impetus in from that. It's been proven with the way they're scoring goals, they way they're playing. It's a big challenge and we won't underestimate anyone, 100 per cent.

"It's been proven with the way they're scoring goals and the way they're playing, it's a big challenge for us and we won't underestimate anyone, 100 per cent we won't."

On his current front pairing of James Collins and Kazenga LuaLua: "Kaz has come in and done fantastic. As I said in the past, I watched him in training and thought he was ready to play. He's so professional, he worked hard whilst he wasn't in the team. He was always in the squad, always on the bench and he kept himself up to speed and he's come in and has done fantastic and Collo's on a great run. He's now the top goalscorer in the league, deservedly so because he works so hard at his game. He puts a lot of effort into his game, I thought the other night, his hold up play and his link up play was absolutely first class and deservedly so, because of the work that he's put in on the training ground."

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

WHO?

This game might not have happened at all after Salop's incredible season last year, in which they narrowly missed out on play-off glory in May, beaten at Wembley by Rotherham United. It was a near-fairy tale story – from one of the relegation favourites to being so close to Championship football – it would have had an air of Leicester City's Premier League winning campaign about it. A conference side as recently as 2004, they spent a number of years plugging away in League Two, before going up in 2012, with their top scorer that season bagging 16 goals in all competitions – a certain James Collins.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday 2nd February.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Graham Salisbury will take charge of tomorrow's game. He has overseen 23 games this season, dishing out 84 yellow cards and three red cards.

TICKET INFORMATION

Subject to availability, tickets will be on sale from the away ticket office on the day. They will only be accepting cash.

PLAYED BEFORE?

The Hatters have met the Shrews 24 times, the first meeting took place in October 1963, whilst our most recent league meeting was in August earlier on this season, with the Town winning 2-0 at Kenilworth Road. The Hatters have won 12 of the 24 meetings, whilst Shrewsbury have won seven. Our biggest win against them came in April 1982, when Brian Stein, Ricky Hill, Steve White and David Moss all netted in a 4-1 win for the Hatters.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Montgomery Waters Meadow 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.

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 | SHREWSBURY TOWN 0 LUTON TOWN 3

Collins double and another from Pearson sees the Town go six points clear

2 February 2019

The Hatters moved six points clear at the top of Sky Bet League One with another thoroughly professional away performance this afternoon as James Collins bagged another double at former club Shrewsbury to take his tally to 18 goals for the season.

The leading goalscorer in the third tier tucked home from close range after half an hour, before Matty Pearson's cross beat everyone including goalkeeper Steve Arnold as he found the back of the net shortly after the restart.

Collins rounded off the scoring for the afternoon when he managed to get an effort away from close range with 69 minutes on the clock to ensure the Hatters' unbeaten run continued.

The Town were unchanged for the fourth game in a row as they looked to make it 18 matches without defeat.

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

The midfield was made of Alan McCormack, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie and Luke Berry, with a front two of Kazenga LuaLua and Collins - who was returning to the club with whom he won two promotions from League Two, and to a stadium where he remains the record goalscorer.

New loan signings Jason Cummings and Alex Baptiste took their place on the substitutes' bench, alongside Danny Hylton on his return from a four-match suspension.

Shrewsbury made the brighter start and Shea had to field a Greg Docherty shot from distance, before Bradley and Pearson dealt well with deep crosses into the box from both flanks.

The Hatters grew into the game and started to dominate possession, without finding the killer pass into the box, but it was Docherty who had the next attempt on goal in the 21st minute, firing over the bar after Shea could only palm Fejiri Okenabirhie's shot back into the danger area and Stacey's half-clearance went straight to the midfielder 12 yards from goal.

Stoke loanee Tyrese Campbell, son of former Arsenal striker Kevin, went close with a cheeky backheel soon after, as Shrewsbury continued to make all the running.

The breakthrough came with the Hatters' first attempt on goal on the half-hour mark though, and inevitably it was Collins - with his 17th goal of the season - who was the executor.

Bradley, Justin and Mpanzu traded passes on the Town left, around halfway, waiting patiently for the opportunity for the full-back to set off on one of his trademark raids.

The ball was worked to McCormack, who crossed to the far post, where Berry had wandered into the box to lay a header back across goal for Collins to steer into the back of the net to the delight of the travelling fans behind that goal.

The Town started to control proceedings, and almost doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time when LuaLua crossed from the left and almost picked Justin out as he raced towards the near post, but Shrews keeper Arnold stood up to keep the cross out.

The hosts started the second half as brightly as they did the first, but couldn't capitalise before Pearson netted the Hatters' second, somewhat fortuitously, but brilliantly nonetheless.

Justin's deep free-kick from the left beat everyone, but as Shrewsbury struggled to clear from the left-back position, Stacey fed Pearson on the touchline, and the centre-half's cross drifted over Arnold's head and inside the far post for his fifth goal of the season.

Shinnie might have sealed it in the 66th minute as LuaLua slipped him in to the left of the area, but the Scot's shot was straight at Arnold.

Three minutes later the killer strike did come, however, and it was Collins' second, digging his shot out from the edge of the six-yard box at the third attempt after LuaLua had teed him up, that did the damage.

Hylton came on for LuaLua, who had run himself into the ground once again, and almost scored with his first touch, Arnold saving well as the striker directed a header from Stacey's right-wing cross towards the bottom corner.

Justin soon forced Arnold into another flying save with a curling free-kick, with Shrewsbury limited to an Okenabirhie free-kick that flew high into the 1,334 Town fans behind the goal, before Luke Waterfall sent a close range effort the same way.

It had been a tougher afternoon than the final scoreline would suggest, but the Hatters' snowball continues to roll with the club record 19-game unbeaten run in the Football League now just one result away.

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley (c), Justin, McCormack (Potts 78), Mpanzu, Shinnie, Berry (Moncur 83), Collins, LuaLua (Hylton 70). Subs: Baptiste, Cummings, Sheehan, Isted

Goals: Collins 30, 69, Pearson 53

Yellows: Mpanzu

SHREWSBURY: Arnold, Sadler (c), Docherty, Campbell (Payne 63), Okenabirhie, Bolton, Vincelot (Whalley 55), Waterfall, Golbourne, Norburn (Laurent 76), Grant. Subs: Mitchell (GK), Williams, Holloway, Sears.

Yellows: Grant, Docherty, Golbourne 

REFEREE: Graham Salisbury

ATT: 6,859 (1,334 Hatters)

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