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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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12 March 2019 Venue Northern Commercials Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | BRADFORD CITY V LUTON TOWN

12 March 2019

The Hatters will be hoping to move as much as six points clear of second place in Sky Bet League One this evening when they take on Bradford City at Valley Parade.

There is a full third tier fixture schedule tonight, notably, with second placed Barnsley taking on third placed Sunderland at Oakwell.

Bradford have recently appointed former Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer, who oversaw the Bantams' first win in six games at the weekend – a thoroughly impressive 3-1 victory over Peterborough United.

A win this evening for the hosts would drag them towards safety – a goal they are currently four points shy of.

Mick Harford's team will be hoping to make it 24 league games unbeaten, their last defeat coming back in October at Barnsley.

Supporters who aren't attending tonight's game can watch it live on iFollow Hatters with a match pass!

MICK HARFORD SAYS:

On Gary Bowyer and Bradford: "I know his father better! But Gary has done a good job wherever he has been, he went in there and changed the shape of the team – it looks like they're playing with a bit of freedom. They have got some good players, I believe they're in a false position, he played a certain shape on Saturday.

"I am not sure what he will do, but he's gone in there and got a great result against Peterborough. So they're a threat. They have got some experienced players. We will make our players aware of their strengths and weaknesses and hopefully go up there, put in a good performance and get a victory."

On Danny Hylton's booking on Saturday: "We're going to have a sit down today (yesterday) myself and Danny, we'll have a chat about it. Things got put to bed on the way home on the coach. As I have said if it happened to any other player in those circumstances, I thought the first booking was a bit soft, Danny got a little bit frustrated and Danny's, Danny. We know what he's about, he plays on the edge and it looked like the referee could have done something if he committed another foul, so I thought it was the right decision to take him off and move forward.

"That's the way he plays, he plays on the edge, we all like Danny playing on the edge. I love players who play on the edge, the likes of Roy Keane and people like that. They do play on the edge, but you run the risk of getting into trouble, so you run the risk but Danny's a big player for us.

"I wouldn't want to lose his physicality, absolutely not. The way he backs in, the way he holds the ball up, the way he brings other people into play, I wouldn't want to lose that from him. In the last two games he's played, he started the game, very, very well. Rochdale, he started the game well, got his goal, Saturday, he started the game well, looked a threat. He was happy to run in behind, happy to hold the ball up, so we're more than happy with Danny."

WHO?

The Bantams won promotion from League Two in 2013 via the play-offs – the same campaign they reached the League Cup final. They've flirted with going up to the second tier since then, twice reaching the play-offs, but losing on both occasions. An 11th placed finish last season saw Stuart McCall be replaced by Simon Grayson, who was then replaced by Michael Collins. Anthony Hopkins was then put in charge before he stepped down, making way for Bowyer.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 7.45pm at Valley Parade on Tuesday 12th March.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tonight's game will be refereed my Michael Salisbury, who has overseen 34 games, dishing out 97 yellow cards and four red cards.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for this game have come off sale from the LTFC Ticket Office, but will be available for purchase on the night at Bradford, at an increase of £5 for adult tickets.

PLAYED BEFORE?

The Hatters last took on Bradford back in November, when the Town cruised to a 4-0 win. In total, the Hatters have won on seven occasions, drawn seven and lost four.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Valley Parade 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.

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Match Reports

REPORT & GALLERY | BRADFORD CITY 0 LUTON TOWN 1

Stacey's third of the season seals the win

12 March 2019

The Hatters set a new club record for unbeaten away matches in the EFL tonight with a 1-0 win over a Bradford City side that belied their lowly league position with a spirited second-half display.

Jack Stacey's first-half goal proved enough to make it 12 games on the road without defeat, while extending the overall club record for EFL games without loss to 24, as they ground out another vital three points in the bid to win promotion to the Championship.

For a second long away trip in four days, Harford once again named an unchanged starting line-up to that which drew 0-0 at Plymouth on Saturday, with James Shea behind a back four of Jack Stacey, Matty Pearson, captain Sonny Bradley and James Justin.

Alan McCormack anchored the midfield with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Andrew Shinnie either side of him, and Elliot Lee just behind the front two of Danny Hylton and leading scorer James Collins.

The Hatters made the breakthrough in the 16th minute when Shinnie played a one-two with Lee 30 yards from the Bantams' goal, then played Stacey in on the over-lap and the right-back made no mistake with his shot across Richard O'Donnell into the far corner of the net.

Stacey almost doubled the advantage with a carbon copy straight after, this one saved by O'Donnell, then Shinnie stung the keeper's palms from fully 25 yards before an attempted curler from the Scottish midfielder was off target.

A spell of pinball in the hosts' penalty area led to Lee directing a header at goal from close range in the 22nd minute, but it was straight at O'Donnell.

McCormack went down injured just before the half-hour, and with the midfielder off the pitch - and eventually replaced by Luke Berry - Bradford went close with Hope Akpan's flick from a right-wing corner headed towards the far post, but Nat Knight-Percival couldn't connect with his header at the far post.

Berry was soon into the thick of the action, seeing a 37th-minute shot blocked, then he retrieved Stacey's cross that flew across the six-yard box but saw his half-volley deflected wide for a corner, that Collins' headed wide at the near post.

The Hatters continued to probe but couldn't find that second goal before the break, although they almost had it within 90 seconds of the restart - Berry standing up a lovely left-footed cross from the left that Hylton headed inches over the bar.

Bradford asked a few questions in the Hatters' penalty area, but the defence stood firm - and referee Michael Salisbury as the home fans and players appealed for a penalty as Doyle went down under pressure from Justin - and Collins would have the game's next attempt on goal, twisting and turning in the box before firing a left-footed shot that flew just over.

City responded with a long-range effort from Akpan that went narrowly over Shea's bar, and a scrappy period followed before the Town keeper had to race off his line to cleverly save from David Ball as the Bantams' striker for the wrong side of Bradley and went clear of the Hatters' defence.

The incessant rain and swirling wind were causing issues on a difficult pitch, and home sub Billy Clarke - on for Ball - was next to send a header at goal, but it was well off target and the Town could breathe again as the hosts asked the second half questions.

Harford brought Cornick on for Hylton, and the fit-again striker tried to bend one into the far corner with seven minutes to go, only for the City defence's deflection to take it out for a corner.

The Hatters' other game changer, Dan Potts, was soon raiding down the left and sending an agled shot just over the bar, but with tempers spilling over at times in the final few minutes, the Town were more than strong enough at the back to see the game out.

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley (c), Justin, McCormack (Berry 32), Shinnie, Mpanzu, Lee (Potts 74), Hylton (Cornick 82), Collins. Subs: Moncur, LuaLua, Sheehan, Isted

Goals: Stacey 16

Yellows: Collins, Stacey, Potts

 

BRADFORD: O'Donnell, Caddis, Chicksen, O'Connor, Knight-Percival, Butterfield, Anderson, Akpan (c), O'Brien, Doyle (Patrick 85), Ball (Clarke). Subs: Wilson (GK), O'Connor, Payne, Maltby, Wright.

Yellows: Knight-Percival, Anderson

REFEREE: Michael Salisbury

 

ATT: 15,992

AWAY: 1,044

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