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01 September 2018 Venue Adams Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews


Hatters head to Adams Park looking to extend unbeaten record there to 14 games

31 August 2018

The Hatters travel to familiar rivals Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow for the first of successive away games in Sky Bet League One, looking to make it three wins in a row for the first time this season.

The Chairboys were promoted from League Two alongside the Town last season, finishing third and taking the final automatic promotion spot, four points behind Nathan Jones’ Hatters and nine behind champions Accrington Stanley.

Jones and his squad head to Adams Park tenth in the table and in terrific form, having won back-to-back home matches with Southend beaten 2-0 and Shrewsbury seen off by the odd goal in five last Saturday.

Hopes of a first away victory of the campaign are strong with the Hatters undefeated in 13 previous trips to the Buckinghamshire club, with last season’s last-gasp 2-1 win – when Town trailed 1-0 with 90 minutes on the clock before Scott Cuthbert and James Collins struck – being the seventh in that sequence.

James Collins celebrates his 98th-minute winner at Wycombe last September

Wycombe sit 17th in the table after five games, having recorded their first win at Bradford City last week when former Hatters striker Craig Mackail-Smith and midfielder Bryn Morris were on the scoresheet.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side have picked up their other points in draws with Blackpool and Plymouth, while also progressing to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Forest Green Rovers in midweek.

Fitness-wise, Danny Hylton and Alan Sheehan could be back in contention after the former was substituted at half-time of last week’s win over Shrewsbury with a hamstring niggle, with captain Sheehan sitting the fixture out completely after having injections in a heel injury. Midfielder Luke Berry continues his return to full fitness having played an hour in a behind-closed-doors development game this week and trained fully with the squad.


On Wycombe: “They were at the right end of League Two for a long time under Gareth and obviously we were for the two seasons that I was here, whilst we were in it. So it was always a big game against them and it is a big game, character wise in terms of players in both sides and in both camps, and I would say the managers too, because we were competitive as players and we still have that. It’s always a tough game, always a physical game, usually laden with a little bit of controversy, so it’s a mouth-watering fixture.”

On last year’s win at Adams Park: “I think that one was more enjoyable because of the timing of the goals and so on and again, we had to blag it if you like, in terms of coming from behind because we tried a few things. On the day we didn’t play badly. They always have a threat in certain things that they do, so we’ve got to make sure this year we defend slightly better. I thought we defended quite well on the whole last year. We’ve got to make sure we take our opportunities when they come.”

On Wycombe’s threats: “I think they’re multi-faceted. They’ve got good energy, they press you, they have that threat with Adebayo Akinfenwa, they’ve got good forwards, they’ve recruited so they’re stronger than what they were last year. They have enough threats and we have got to make sure we’re aware of those threats, which we will be, but we’ve got to utilise the threats that we have, which we think are very good as well.”

On the 1,800 Hatters supporters travelling: “It’s a good fixture, it’s a local one. We always have a good following there. We always have a good following most places, but God willing we put on a performance that sends them all home happy.”


A club that continues to defy the odds, with Ainsworth leading his side to automatic promotion from League Two last season. One of the smallest budgets in the EFL has seen the Chairboys take on cast-offs from other teams at a similar level and reinvigorate them – Adebayo Akinfenwa a good example, banging in 36 goals in two seasons, now aged 36. In charge since 2012, Ainsworth saw his side bounce between promotion hopefuls to relegation contenders over the years, but finally got them promoted to the third tier last season.


Kick-off is at 3pm at Adams Park on Saturday 1st September. With a 9,500 capacity, Adams Park is a delightful little ground standing in between the rolling hills of the Chilterns. Built in 1990, it’s located at the end of an industrial estate and now hosts Reading Women’s home fixtures.

Wycombe's home ground, Adams Park


The Hatters received an allocation of 1,800 for this ALL-TICKET fixture, and as of 5pm Thursday evening, less than 100 remained. There will be NO pay on the day at Adams Park.


At the stadium itself, Wycombe have the Printkick Fan Zone with a beer tent, BBQ and soft drinks available from midday.


Tomorrow’s match will be refereed by Darren England, who last took charge of a Hatters game away at Barnet in April 2017, when Olly Lee’s goal secured a 1-0 win. He is now a Select Group 2 referee and his four league games so far this season have come in the Championship, with two Carabao Cup ties including Millwall’s 3-2 win over Plymouth on Wednesday night. He has issued two yellow cards in each match this season, apart from Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw with West Brom, when he booked three. He is yet to send anyone off this term.

 Darren England will take charge of the Hatters' game at Wycombe


Town and the Chairboys got one over each other last season – the Hatters snatching all three points from the jaws of defeat in a memorable 2-1 win at Adams Park (see highlights below), before the reverse fixture saw Ainsworth’s team defeat the Hatters 3-2 at Kenilworth Road. Town have won 11 of the 25 meetings between the two, drawing nine and only losing five.


The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Adams pARK 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 –
Instagram –

And of course Simon Pitts will be on hand to provide commentary for iFollow Hatters which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Overseas subscribers can watch the game live by purchasing a match pass from the Match Centre in the build-up to the game tomorrow!





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Match Reports


Hatters fight back from a goal down once again to earn a point through Pearson

1 September 2018

The Hatters came back from a goal down once again to earn a point and preserve their unbeaten record at Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon.

Joe Jacobson netted a 15th minute penalty to put the Chairboys ahead in a first half in which Nathan Jones’ side struggled to get going.

But after goalkeeper James Shea had pulled off a penalty save from the same taker just after the hour, the Hatters fought back to make it 14 matches without defeat on their visits to Adams Park, Matty Pearson nodding in his second goal of the season with just over 20 minutes to go.

It could have been even more fruitful with new loan signing Eunan O’Kane starring in a terrific second-half display in which Elliot Lee, Dan Potts, Harry Cornick and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu all went close, the woodwork denying the latter, but they had to settle for a point after coming from behind for a third game this season to take something.

Jones had made two changes from last week’s 3-2 win over Shrewsbury, with James Justin and James Collins coming into the starting line-up, with Jorge Grant dropping to the bench and Danny Hylton missing out completely through injury.

O’Kane featured in the matchday squad immediately after his move from Leeds United, with Alan McCormack and Alan Sheehan returning after injury to take their places alongside him on the bench.

The first chance went Wycombe’s way in the second minute, when Anthony Stewart volleyed into the side-netting from ten yards after a Jacobson free-kick from deep found its way into his path via Glen Rea’s head.

Then, after Sonny Bradley had been booked for a foul on ex-Hatters striker Craig Mackail-Smith, Chairboys midfielder Randell Williams saw a glancing header go wide of the far post.

The Hatters’ first sight of goal came in the 13th minute when, after Jack Stacey made good progress down the right, Bradley rose highest to meet Andrew Shinnie’s corner and send a header goalwards that Dominic Gape did well to clear off the line.

Within a minute, the hosts had the lead – captain Matt Bloomfield racing onto a throughball from Gape and forcing Bradley into a challenge that referee Darren England was quick to penalise with a penalty. Jacobson did the rest from 12 yards, Shea diving the right way but unable to keep it out.

Stacey was proving the Town’s most effective outlet down the right flank, but an inviting cross was too difficult for Mpanzu to control, and then – when Justin, playing on the left of the midfield diamond – scooped the ball through for Collins, a linesman’s flag went up for offside as his chip came back off the crossbar.

It took until the 37th minute of a scrappy game for the next attempt on target, Shea getting his body safely behind a 20-yard shot from Williams after Akinfenwa had tussled with Pearson for high ball pumped into the box.

The Chairboys were in again soon after when Akinfenwa intercepted a pass from Collins, intended for Pearson, on the halfway line and played Mackail-Smith in for a clear run on goal. Bradley got back this time and stood the former Town man up, before expertly nicking the ball off his toe as he tried to trick his way into the area.

Jones decided against making a change at the break, and it was the hosts who would make the first substitution, captain Bloomfield forced off through injury just four minutes after the restart, although the Town’s wasn’t long in coming, Cornick on for Justin by the 53rd minute.

The ex-Bournemouth man went up front alongside Collins, with Lee dropping into the number ten role at the tip of the midfield diamond and although the Town mounted some pressure, there were no real chances before referee England awarded a second penalty in the 58th minute.

Mpanzu had tracked back well into the right-back position, but his block on a Wycombe cross went just out of play by the corner flag, and Jacobson delivered another set-piece into the box.

Collins made an attempt to head clear at the near post, but his arm was raised and the ball struck his hand, although the Hatters players claimed the striker had been pushed as he made his way off the post.

Referee England initially showed a yellow card to Rea, but after being called over by fourth official Stuart Burt, he showed it to Collins – and three minutes had passed by the time Jacobson got to take the spot-kick.

Shea dived to his left again, and with Jacobson going the same way as with his first, the Town goalkeeper pulled off a wonderful save. Within seconds the Hatters goalkeeper was called into action again, this time to tip a header from Akinfenwa over the bar, but the spark had been lit.

In the 63rd minute Mpanzu tried to break through into the box, and as the ball bounced loose, Potts lashed it into the top corner of the hosts’ goal, although referee England had already whistled for handball against the left-back. Town were making inroads though.

Jones introduced O’Kane soon after and by the 68th minute, we had parity. Lee was probing on the left of the Wycombe penalty area, and after he got to the byline for a second time, goalkeeper couldn’t hold his cross and Pearson was right on the spot to head over the line.

Shea had to be equal to an Akinfenwa volley two minutes later, but Lee was having a brilliant spell on the left, and in the 74th minute the Hatters forward found himself in oceans of space inside the area.

He delivered a precise cut-back for O’Kane to shoot at goal. The substitute’s effort was blocked, but the ball found its way back to Lee, who tantalisingly tricked his way past his man and whipped an inviting ball across the six-yard box, but the chance went begging.

O’Kane was linking up effectively with Lee, and after the Irishman found the former 25 yards from goal with a lovely clipped pass from the left touchline, Lee went for goal himself, although his shot was well off target.

It was all the Hatters now, one-way traffic, and in the 81st minute O’Kane wriggled his way along the left byline. His cut-back was half-cleared, but only as far as Mpanzu who sent a powerful shot in from the edge of the box, only for the thicket of legs to block it in the six-yard box.

O’Kane was revelling in being out on a pitch again, and with five minutes left he played Lee through on the left yet again, the striker checking back onto right foot in trademark fashion, looking to bend his 15-yard shot into the bottom corner, but keeper Ryan Allsop produced a fine fingertip save to deny him.

Wycombe were still having a go in what had developed into an end-to-end encounter, Shea seeing an effort from substitute Fred Onyedinma fly past his right post with four minutes left, then the Town keeper had to beat Stewart’s effort away from the edge of the box.


From the resulting corner, the Town broke four-on-one, Cornick leading the break from inside his own half. With Lee and Collins to his left, the substitute fed Potts to his right, but Allsop was there to thwart his effort that was destined for the bottom corner.

Still, with 90 minutes up, both sides went for it, Jason McCarthy slicing wide for Wycombe and Bryn Morris calling Shea into action again, either side of a 25-yard shot from Mpanzu that Allsop tipped onto the post at full stretch, then gathered the rebound as Collins looked to pounce.

It was a pulsating finish to an end-to-end second half, with the Town satisfied to take a point from one of the sides promoted alongside them last May.


TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Potts, Rea ©, Justin (Cornick 53), Mpanzu, Shinnie (O’Kane 64), Collins, Lee. Subs: McCormack, Grant, Jones, Sheehan, Stech

Goals: Pearson 68

Yellows: Bradley, Collins

WYCOMBE: Allsop, McCarthy, Jombati, Stewart, Jacobson, Morris, Bloomfield © (Thompson 49), Gape, Mackail-Smith (Onyedinma 71), Williams (Kashket 80), Akinfenwa. Sub: Ma-Kalambay (GK), Saunders, Harriman, Freeman.

Goal: Jacobson (pen) 15

Yellows: Morris, Thompson, Stewart

REFEREE: Darren England

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