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27 November 2018 Venue Kenilworth Road Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | LUTON TOWN V BRADFORD CITY

27 November 2018

Town will look to make it ten Sky Bet League One games unbeaten at Kenilworth Road tonight when they welcome bottom of the table Bradford City.

Seven wins and two draws at Kenilworth Road means the Town top the table for home results in the division, three points more than any other side (23).

Unbeaten in six, winning five of those in the third tier, the Hatters are in brilliant form and are yet to lose to a side outside of the top eight – their last defeat coming in mid-October at Barnsley.

It's been a difficult campaign so far for the Bantams, but David Hopkin appears to be turning things around of late, picking up a point in a 1-1 draw at Peterborough, before winning 2-0 against Oxford United on Saturday afternoon.

That game saw them keep their first clean sheet in nearly two months, as they picked up their fourth win in 19 games.

Whilst there's five sides that have conceded more goals than them, it's scoring them that's been the problem for Bradford, having only found the net on more than one occasion in three league games so far this season.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On Bradford: "They've picked up and they're a tough side. They've got a big squad, a real big squad and they've got some talented players in there.

"For me they are like a Plymouth, they're in a false position. They won't be there come the end of the season, come the shake up, they wont be in the position they're in now. So what we have to do is make sure our motivation levels are up and to prepare with the same application as we did against Plymouth and if we do that, then that's all we can affect."

On Bradford's squad: "A few of them have only just signed. Caddis and Karl Henry have only just signed. But the players they've got, it's a massive squad they've got. That's not always easier to cope with, but they've got the tools there to do very well at this level and we know that and we're well prepared and well drilled to face those threats."

On Bantams boss David Hopkin: "I think I might have come across him once in terms of playing. I know he has done very well up in Scotland.

"He's come down and whether he's had an eye on the league, it will take a bit of time for him to get to know the league to be fair to him. So he needs time, patience. He's looking like he's starting to turn things around. But that's not our concern, we have to prepare us and as long as we play to the best of our ability, then that's all I can affect."

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

WHO?

It's been a difficult start to their sixth season in Sky Bet League One for the Bantams, as they find themselves deep in a relegation battle as we approach the mid-stage of the campaign. With only four wins in the division this season – all of which had been by a solitary goal until saturday's 2-0 success of Oxford – David Hopkin's team need to start putting victories together, otherwise they could be set for a return to the fourth tier.

A Premier League team at the turn of the millennium, Bradford slowly filtered their way down the pyramid and into the fourth tier by 2007. They spent six seasons in League Two, winning promotion and incredibly reaching the League Cup final in 2013, beating the likes of Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa, the latter of which was over two legs. That set up a final against Swansea City, but a Swans side at the peak of their powers under Michael Laudrup ran out 4-0 winners at Wembley.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 7.45pm at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday 27th November.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for tonight's game are still on sale from the Ticket Office, but subject to availability, they will also be available on some cash turnstiles. If you're collecting your tickets, please arrive nice and early to avoid the queues!

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tonight's match will be refereed by Antony Coggins, who has overseen 18 games this campaign, dishing out 73 yellow cards and three red cards.

POWER COURT CAR PARKING

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

AWAY SUPPORTERS

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

PLAYED BEFORE?

The last time the Hatters faced today's visitors was back in 2009 in League Two, with the Town going 2-0 up with the goals coming from Asa Hall and Sunday Wasiu, before Bradford got it back to 2-2. Town went 3-2 up as Hall netted again – if you know the story, you don't need to read the next bit – before a somewhat controversial penalty was given against the Hatters late on and Chris Martin was sent off, with Bradford nicking a point.

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 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 | LUTON TOWN 4 BRADFORD CITY 0

Two more for Elliot Lee makes it ten for the season as the Town go third

27 November 2018

The Hatters were able to move up to third and within two points of an automatic spot with another exhilarating win at Kenilworth Road tonight against Bradford City.

The Bantams put up a bit of a fight in the second half, and had a goal ruled out for offside. But by that point they hadn't been able to deal with the Town’s attacking prowess, which has proved to be so successful at home this season.

Elliot Lee stretched his lead at the top of the goal scoring table with a brace taking him to double figures for the season in another commanding performance in the number ten role.

The man in form has now notched seven in seven, causing defenders all sorts of trouble in Sky Bet League One this season. James Justin was able to convert the Hatters’ first after Harry Cornick's initial shot was saved, and the former Bournemouth man then rubbed salt into the wounds late on with the fourth, as the Bantams’ three game unbeaten run came to an end.

An important win on Saturday away at Gillingham meant Nathan Jones retained the same starting XI for a fourth game in a row, with Danny Hylton back in the mix after his suspension, beginning the game on the bench in place of Alan McCormack.

The Hatters struggled to find their stride in the opening exchanges of the match, the Bantams not allowing the Town any space to play their slick football on a well-watered surface, thanks to the heavy downpour across Bedfordshire this afternoon.

Both sets of fans were in fine voice, warming Kenilworth Road on a chilly night. The Hatters grew into the game, portraying glimpses of their previous home match against Plymouth despite a resilient Bantams defence who stood firm at the start of the half.

It was that in the 13th minute that the Hatters had their first sniff at goal, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu threading the ball across to Lee on the edge of the area, his shot always rising but proving that the Bantams had openings in their backline.

Another chance followed just after as the Bradford defence began to crumble, as their league form suggests, the ball headed over to Jack Stacey, whose drag back was met by Glen Rea. His shot didn't trouble Richard O’Donnell in the Bradford goal, but warning them that the Hatters were about to do what they do best at Kenilworth Road this season.

Another patient, passing move lead to the first goal of the evening, with the Hatters keeping the ball for a whole minute, except for one clearing touch from a Bradford defender as a low ball went into the six-yard box.

That clearance went straight back to an orange shirt, with the ball eventually being played out to Cornick, who cleverly cut inside to test the gloves of O’Donnell. When the shot wasn’t held, Justin was on hand to take the ball around and squeeze it in through the tightest of angles.

With Justin’s name booming around the Kenny, the Hatters began to put on a show, controlling the game and showing no mercy to the visitors, whose defensive game laid in tatters. Lee forced O’Donnell into an awkward save in the 29th minute, hinting at what he wanted from the game, which came soon after.

Shea even had time to drop the ball at Doyle’s feet in what could have been a turning point in the home side's momentum. An accidental slip of the glove was soon pounced on by a relieved Shea, who began the move for the Town’s second.

A manic minute maybe, but one the Hatters fans were happy to witness as the ball made its way up to Cornick who found Mpanzu. Another top pass from the number 17 was matched by an even better touch by Lee, who created space to slot it in for his ninth of the season. But he wasn’t done there.

Another move from the back meant Matty Pearson had time to play it over the top to Cornick. His touch was unplayable, delicately putting it on a plate for Lee at the first time of asking. The result was the same of course, as Lee stretched his goal tally to ten for the season. 

Bradford came back however, with a chance of their own just before the break, attempting to fix what the Hatters had broken, a thumping header from Kai Brunker which crept just over Shea’s bar.

The beginning of the second half belonged to the visitors, but they were already dead and buried by this stage. They even had the ball in the net in the 54th minute, a well worked corner routine landed on the head of Eoin Doyle, whose clever flick found David Ball on the goal line to head home, although the forward was unaware of his offside position.

But their persistence didn’t stop there. The Bantams came back once more winning a number of corners, making the back four work hard to keep their clean sheet. Kelvin Mellor also hit a belter which Shea had to be alert to, getting a vital touch to tip it over the bar.

The introduction of Jack Payne saw them who cause a few problems in the attacking third, but it wasn’t enough to breach the Hatters’ defence. One attempt by the number ten was cleverly hit low through a crowd of bodies that Shea was able to hold on to.

Doyle also had his moments, not being able to direct his effort goalward after a Bradford corner caused a small scramble that was just about dealt with, but ultimately this was to be Luton’s night who stretch their unbeaten run at fortress Kenny.

Lee could have had a hat-trick when a pinpoint corner from Justin fell beautifully on to the head of the number 10. The strong header couldn’t quite squeeze its way into the top corner, but there was still time for one more.

Cornick, who has had a fantastic few matches for the Town, finally scored the goal that was so cruelly taken from him against Gillingham on Saturday, a mistake from McGowan meant Cornick was through.

His pace was unplayable at times, and proved too much on this occasion again, passing it into the net at the second time of asking, after his initial effort was stopped by O’Donnell.  

It's eight wins in their last ten league games now for the Town, including five in a row at home, where the Hatters haven't been defeated now for 17 matches dating back to early March.

Jones' side now face a stern test away at League Two Bury in the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday, but go into the encounter in fantastic form.

 

TOWN: Shea, Justin, Bradley, Pearson, Stacey, Lee (Potts 82), Shinnie, Cornick (Grant 90), Rea (C), Mpanzu, Collins (Jarvis 87). Subs not used: Stech, Hylton, Jones, Sheehan 

Goals: Justin 27’, Lee 32’ 38’, Cornick 89

 

BANTAMS: O’Donnell, Chicksen, McGowan, Doyle (C) (Miller 76), Mellor, Brunker (J O’Brien 46), Wood (Payne 53), Caddis, L O’Brien, Ball, Henry. Subs: Wilson, Devine, Isherwood, Colville

Yellows: Payne

REFEREE: Antony Coggins 

ATT: 8,568 (298 away)

 

 

 

 

 

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