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24 November 2018 Venue Priestfield Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | GILLINGHAM V LUTON TOWN

23 November 2018

The Town head to the Priestfield Stadium tomorrow afternoon as they look to make it seven wins from nine Sky Bet League One games.

Gillingham are currently sat in 19th, with 18 points from 18 third tier games.
The Gills have been fairly potent in front of goal, failing to score in only five of their league games so far – netting 26 in the process.

Convincing wins over Portsmouth, Bradford and Fleetwood have been mixed in with defeats to Plymouth, Blackpool and Oxford United giving Steve Lovell's side an air of unpredictability.

Consecutive 1-0 defeats in their last two league outings saw them drop down a few places in the league, but a mid-week come-from-behind win in the Emirates FA Cup at Hartlepool has no doubt buoyed spirits.

Town's run of form has been terrific, picking up on average just under 2.4 points per game in their last eight matches, winning six of them.

Nathan Jones' side's away form has taken a turn for the better as well, taking seven from the 12 available from their last four outings.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On the Gills' midweek trip to Hartlepool: "I have no idea how much they exerted themselves or how individual fitness levels are. All I can do is prepare my team. We're in good form and we want to continue that form. If inadvertently at 4.55pm on Saturday and Gillingham have been tired and we've benifited from that, then all well and good, but I am not preparing for them to be tired, I am preparing for them to be the best Gillingham possible and for us to go up against that."

On the threat the Tom Eaves poses: "Everyone has threats. Ladapo at the weekend was in fantastic form, Carey in real good form, Grant [as well]. We come up against these type of players week-in, week-out. It's about us, about what we do. We're in good form, we're in a good place. So we have to concentrate on ourselves. Yes, we are wary of certain threats that each and every individual and every team possesses, but we're not worried about it. We will just make sure we prepare accordingly."

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

WHO?

A side who have floated between the Championship and League Two for the past 20 years, the Gills are now in their sixth consecutive season in the third tier. All but one of those seasons have seen them finish in the bottom half of the table – last season they ended up in 17th. Formed in 1893 aas New Brompton FC, they were voted out of the Football League in 1938, with Ipswich Town taking their place. They did return 12 years later however when the league allowed four more clubs to join, expanding from 88 to 92.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm at Priestfield Stadium on Saturday 24th November.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for this game are still available from the LTFC Ticket Office, but will also be available to buy at Gillingham – however, there is a £2 increase.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Kevin Johnson will be taking charge of tomorrow's game. He has overseen 19 games this campaign, dishing out 55 yellow cards and two red cards. His most recent game that involved Luton was our 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Our most recent meeting was in the Checkatrade Trophy back in August 2016, when a youthful Hatters team defeated a strong Gills team 2-1 at the Priestfield Stadium. Frankie Musonda nodded in his first professional goal for the club, before Jonathan Smith added a second. Of our 69 meetings, the Hatters have won 37, drawn 13 and lost 19.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from the Priestfield Stadium 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 | GILLINGHAM 1 HATTERS 3

Seventh win in nine league games lifts the Town up to fourth spot

24 November 2018

The Hatters moved up to fourth in the Sky Bet League One table - level on points with third-placed Barnsley - with a 3-1 win at Gillingham this afternoon.

Elliot Lee moved to the top of the goalscoring charts with a brace taking him to eight for the season, after Andrew Shinnie had set Nathan Jones' side on their way to a seventh win in nine league games with a superb 25th-minute opener.

Jones had names an unchanged side for the third game in a row as the Town travelled to Kent looking to make it six games unbeaten in the third tier, with the defeat at Oakwell last month their only defeat in 12.

James Shea was named in goal, behind a back four of Jack Stacey, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley and James Justin. Captain Glen Rea anchored the midfield alongside Shinnie and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, who was making his 175th appearance for the club. 

Lee lined up at the tip of the diamond, with Harry Cornick and James Collins -who was the top scorer on seven goals following his hat-trick against Plymouth last week - up front.

It took six minutes for the Town to fashion the game’s first opening, Justin raiding down the left and, together with Mpanzu, setting up Lee to wriggle his way into the area and crack a low shot straight at Tomas Holy in the Gills’ goal.

Gillingham’s first sighter came in the eighth minute when Tom Eaves latched on to Elliott List’s flick on, but his right-footed 20-yarder never looked like troubling Shea.

Bradley headed wide from a Justin corner on the quarter-of-an-hour mark, then Josh Rees did likewise at the other end after getting on the end of a long throw.

The breakthrough came in the 25th minute, and it did so after a trademark passing move down the left that started with a triangle on the edge of the Town’s own box between Bradley, Shinnie and Justin, and concluded with the Scotsman playing a deft one-two with Cornick at the other end before giving Holy no chance with a right-footer from 18 yards out.

The travelling fans thought the lead had been doubled three minutes later when Mpanzu sent in a left-wing cross that Collins met at the far post with a thumping header, but referee Kevin Johnson ruled it out for a push by the Town striker.

A scrappy period followed before the Town had strong appeals for a penalty turned down just before the break when Bradley appeared to be dragged to the ground by home captain Gabriel Zakuani as he tried to get on the end of a Justin corner.

The advantage was doubled ten minutes into the second half when Collins did well, twice, on the right side of the penalty box to keep his composure – and the ball – receiving an intelligent touch from Rea and the trading passes with Shinnie before crossing low for Lee to fire into the roof of the net.

Byrne hit a volley at the far post on the hour, but it was comfortable for Shea, before he sliced a 25-yarder well wide five minutes later, with Gills boss Steve Lovell having made a triple substitution in between.

The third came in the 68th minute and although it was Lee who tucked it away, the goal belonged to Cornick who carried the ball down the left touchline, going off the pitch Gareth Bale-style at one point, from deep inside his own half before outpacing three defenders and slipping his shot low past Holy.

Unfortunately for the flying forward, the ball rebounded back off the foot of the post but, thankfully, into the path of Lee who gleefully rammed home his second of the game and seventh of the season from six yards out.

Jones immediately brought skipper Alan Sheehan on in place of the excellent Shinnie, but the hosts grabbed a goal back in the 72nd minute when top scorer Tom Eaves volleyed home.

Shea had to be alert to keep out a Luke O’Neill free-kick from the edge of the area with just over ten minutes to go, before List fired over the bar and Eaves sent a header into the home fans in the final minute of normal time.

But the Town never looked in trouble, with the rock-like Pearson and Bradley seeing the game out comfortably with Sheehan helping stem the tide of the Gills' aerial bombardment late on.

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Justin, Rea (c), Mpanzu, Shinnie (Sheehan 68), Lee (Jones 90+1), Cornick (Jarvis 84), Collins. Subs: Potts, McCormack, Grant, Stech.

Goals: Shinnie 25, Lee 55, 68

Yellows: Rea, Bradley

GILLS: Holy, O'Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani (c), Parrett (Oldaker 61), Eaves, Fuller, List, Bingham (Garmston 62), Rees (Parker 61), Byrne. Subs: Hadler (GK), Reilly, Mbo, Ogilvie

Goals: Eaves 72

Yellows: Eaves

REFEREE: Kevin Johnson

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