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20 October 2018 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 WALSALL

19 October 2018

The Hatters welcome Walsall to Kenilworth Road tomorrow afternoon as Nathan Jones' side look to make it seven Sky Bet League One games unbeaten at home.

Town have won four and drawn two of their third tier fixtures at home so far, which has helped maintain their spot in the top half of the table.

Of the nine teams above them, Walsall will be the seventh team the Hatters have played already this season, and a victory could take the home side to within one place of the play-off spots.

Walsall are unbeaten away from home so far this campaign, winning four of their six outings, picking up 22 points from their first 12 games in total this campaign.

Whilst they haven't been bagging goals left, right and centre, they have made the ones they have scored count – of their five wins, they have won by a one-goal margin.

Supporters are reminded that contactless card payment is available around the ground at food and drink kiosks.

Our Hatters Hideout for junior supporters will be open, which includes a colouring corner and private food and drinks hatch. You can find out more details by clicking here.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On facing Walsall: "They're all tests, but this one is, the way they play. Dean has had a bit of time to put his own stamp on things, he took over at the end of last year and was working with somebody else's players really.

"Now he's had a bit of time to work and you can see he has put his stamp on it. They are very organised, very hard-working side and we know it will be a real tough game."

On wanting to continue the form at home and the relationship with the supporters: "We are going to attempt to continue that, we have got a decent home record to be fair.

"The fans are wonderful, they are the best for me. There is some real good fans in this league, but ours are brilliant home and away and even on Saturday, they were very complimentary and cheered us on, even though they had every right to have a little gripe. It's not often I can say that. I think it's a good union really, us at home and the fans getting right behind us, so long may that continue."

On playing the next two games at home: "After being on the road at a tough place, we're back to familiar territory, we've got to make sure we capitalise on that.

"We won't be looking at the Tuesday game yet, it's a Saturday game, we've got to make sure we pick a side that we think that can win that game, then we can re-evaluate Sunday morning and see where we are.

"They're two big games, but the one we're focusing totally on is the Walsall game. Until that's done and dusted, we wont even be thinking about Tuesday's game. it's a nice finish to the end of the month – three games in quick succession. We've got a points target, so hopefully we can get there."

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

WHO?

The Saddlers arrive at Kenilworth Road in excellent form, sitting just outside the play-off places but with a game in hand on all but one of the teams above them.

Their run so far this campaign has come as a little bit of a surprise – fancied by many to struggle this year, they are looking more likely to be playing their football in the second-tier next season rather than the fourth.

Their current position is down to an excellent start, as they didn't suffer a defeat in their opening seven league games, but defeats against Doncaster and Accrington have pushed them down the table slightly.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm at Kenilworth Road on Saturday 20th October.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for tomorrow's game are currently on sale from the LTFC Ticket Office, but will also be available on cash turnstiles on the day for the Main Stand and the Oak Road.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tomorrow's game will be refereed by Andy Woolmer, who has overseen three games so far this season, handing out 11 yellow cards and two red cards.

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 Walsall supporter heading to Kenilworth Road tomorrow, click here to have a look at our away supporters' guide.

PLAYED BEFORE?

Of our 43 meetings, the Hatters have been victorious in 20 of those games, drawing five and losing 18. Our last meeting was in the Trophy back in 2008, Town ran out 1-0 winners.

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 2 WALSALL 0

Captain Rea and Grant on target as the Hatters make it 13 home games unbeaten

20 October 2018

The Hatters moved up to seventh – one place outside the play-offs – in Sky Bet League One with a complete display against Walsall at fortress Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

The Saddlers started the day in seventh spot, but Nathan Jones’ side leapfrogged them from tenth after captain Glen Rea and Jorge Grant scored in each half to secure a fifth home win of the season.

The victory stretched Jones’ side’s unbeaten run at Kenilworth Road to 13 matches in all competitions, dating back to last March when Accrington Stanley left Bedfordshire with all three points.

Fourth-placed Stanley are due in town on Tuesday night, but the Hatters will go into the encounter with renewed confidence after bouncing back from last week’s defeat at Barnsley with a top drawer performance in front of just under 9,000 creating another cracking atmosphere at the Kenny.

Top scorer of the past two seasons, Danny Hylton, made his return to the Hatters' starting line-up for the first time in nine weeks as Jones made two changes from last week’s defeat at Barnsley.

Also back in the team from kick-off was Andrew Shinnie, who returned to the Town midfield in place of James Justin. Harry Cornick was the man to make way for Hylton to make his 96th appearance for the club.

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

Rea captained the side from the midfield holding role, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Shinnie and Grant making up the engine room, behind a front two of Hylton and James Collins, who is the this term’s joint top scorer with four goals coming in his last four matches.

There was also a welcome return to the bench for the other man on four goals, Elliot Lee, after injury kept him out of last week's game at his former club Barnsley.

Town started brightly, Shinnie having the first attempt on goal in the sixth minute after a good spell of possession, although the Scot’s 20-yard shot after cutting in from the left was deflected wide.

Pearson went close soon after in a goalmouth scramble, and the Hatters dominated possession without really creating any clear-cut opportunities until Rea opened the scoring in the 19th minute.

The skipper probably didn’t know too much about it, but after the latest in a series of penetrative moves down the left, Potts’ cross was deflected behind and Grant delivered the corner that found Hylton’s head on the edge of the six-yard box.

The striker’s header was on target and as a Walsall defender looked to clear from by the post, Rea was on hand to turn the ball into the bottom corner for his first of the season.

The Hatters were orchestrating the play, patiently building moves with man-of-the-match Rea dictating, along with Shinnie and Grant, as they dominated the midfield.

Just after the half-hour, Grant called visiting keeper Liam Roberts into action with a shot on the turn from the edge of the box after another move that had started deep in the Town half, involving at least 15 passes.

Walsall sounded their first warning in the 34th minute, but top scorer Andy Cook’s header drifted just wide of the far post after Luke Leahy picked him out with a cross from the left flank.

Shea had to be alert to tip another dowanward header from Cook over the bar in the 42nd minute, after it had bounced up awkwardly, but it was a move in which the Hatters suffered in a more serious, with Potts pulling up with a groin injury as he went to prevent the Walsall attack from delivering the cross from the right wing.

The ever versatile Justin came on, slotting into Potts’ left-back role, and the Hatters saw out the half without any further alarms.

Ten minutes into the second half, after a lengthy delay for Justin to receive treatment after taking a ball flush in the face from point blank range after Mpanzu won a ferocious tackle right next to him, the Hatters had doubled their advantage.

Grant made it, driving down the left to be felled by Jon Guthrie, who was shown the game’s only yellow card for the foul. Grant picked himself up and bent a perfect 25-yard free-kick into the top corner for a carbon copy of his strike against Shrewsbury a couple of months ago.

Collins fired over from the left angle of the area in the 57th minute, then two minutes later – and the end of another spell of sustained possession – Justin cut in from the left and struck a shot low against the post, with Hylton’s rebound cleared off the line.

A short corner routine on the right led to the next chance on the hour, but Shinnie’s clipped first-time effort was headed clear in a crowded six-yard box and the ball wouldn’t come down for Rea – who was first to every ball in both boxes – to get another shot off.

Walsall made a double substitution in the 62nd minute, and within five minutes one of the replacements, midfielder Connor Ronan, was firing a 25-yarder well over the bar into the away fans in the Oak Road.

Referee Andy Woolmer played a key role in helping set up the Town’s next attack, the official getting in the way of Ronan’s pass in the centre circle, with Mpanzu and Grant pouncing on the loose ball to set Collins away in the inside left channel, but Roberts was equal to the forward’s low shot.

Hylton thought his chance for a third goal of the season had finally come in the 72nd minute when Stacey found him on the edge of the Walsall area, and after twisting his way past Guthrie, his shot prodded past the onrushing Roberts also beat the far post, by inches.

Walsall had another sight of goal a couple when Cook fired over, and Hylton was soon leaving the pitch to a rousing ovation, having completed 78 minutes on his return.

Shinnie, Collins and Cornick were soon combining to great effect on the right, with the latter’s cross headed just over by Collins after he’d made his way into the box.

Then, with five minutes of normal time left, Shinnie took a throw-in from Justin on the left and fired a volley that Roberts did well to push away – just as he did with Bradley’s volley from much closer in moments later.

Kazenga LuaLua came on in the 88th minute and was straight into the action, tricking his way past his man on the left and crossing deep for Cornick, who chested down and shot low towards the bottom corner, with Roberts again doing well to turn away with his foot.

Walsall threatened briefly in injury-time as Morgan Ferrier crossed from the left, but Shea was right behind Cook’s tame effort at the near post, and the Hatters’ unbeaten home run was safely extended ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of Accrington.

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Potts (Justin 45), Rea (c), Mpanzu, Shinnie, Grant (LuaLua 88), Hylton (Cornick 78), Collins. Subs: McCormack, Lee, Sheehan, Isted.

Goals: Rea 19, Grant 55

WALSALL: Roberts, Leahy, Dobson (c), Guthrie, Devlin (Wilson 62), Cook, Ismail (Ronan 62), Ginnelly (Gordon 83), Kinsella, Ferrier, Fitzwater. Subs: Morris, Dunn (GK), Johnson, Osbourne.

Yellows: Guthrie

REFEREE: Andy Woolmer

ATT: 8,953 (504 away)

 

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