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10 August 2019 Venue Cardiff City Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | CARDIFF CITY V LUTON TOWN

9 August 2019

Over 2,000 Town supporters will be roaring on the Hatters as they take on Cardiff City tomorrow for their first away game of the new Sky Bet Championship season.

The Hatters played out an enthralling 3-3 draw in their opening game against Middlesbrough, whilst the Bluebirds were defeated on their return to the second tier, as they were beaten 3-2 by Wigan Athletic.

The transfer window closed for the Championship yesterday, with Graeme Jones bringing in three loan signings; Izzy Brown from Chelsea, James Bree from Aston Villa and Luke Bolton from Manchester City.

Cardiff on the other hand added Marlon Pack from Bristol City, as well as former Town striker Isaac Vassell, joining them on a three-year deal from Birmingham City.

If you’re not making the journey to the Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow, make sure you tune into iFollow Hatters for Simon Pitts’ live commentary, or if you’re an international subscriber, you can watch the game live!

 

GRAEME JONES SAID:

Please be aware - these quotes are taken from Graeme’s press conference on Wednesday

On facing a team managed by Neil Warnock: “Whenever you played against his teams, you always knew you were in for a tough game. I think as players then you never looked at styles, you just turned up for your team and played. That would be 20-years ago now!

“What I do remember was that it was always a challenge, it was always a physical challenge, it was always a tough game. We came up against Neil in management a few times – his first spell at Crystal Palace in the Championship, his second spell there in the Premier League. So I know we will have to earn anything we get out of Cardiff at the weekend.

“I think Neil needs to be toasted by the nation really, I played against his teams and now I am managing against his teams. He has been through everything, he has seen everything, he has seen everyone off. He has got real longevity in the game and that really needs to be respected.

On preparing for each game: “It’s just game-by-game, I don’t care if it’s at home or if it’s away. I think we have got to get the preparation correct, make sure the players are aware of the style they’re going to face – it will be a different style to Middlesbrough. That’s this league, we need to adapt, we need to be willing to adapt. We also need to assert our own style on the opposition. I address each game on it’s own merits and I will on Saturday.

On The Town’s support against Middlesbrough: “On Friday, it’s a feeling that you get, and then you go home and you analyse what’s gone on. For me, Luton Town supporters – if you want to define what the word support means, if you really go into detail with that, you hope they’re going to support their team.

“I have been involved in different clubs through the years – Friday night was the best performance I have seen from a set of fans in supporting their team. One-nil down, 3-2 down – they were there for us every second because they could see the effort on the pitch, they could see the desire.

“That’s going to be huge this season, that they continue to support their team. You’re not going to start a game, play well, score one, score two, score three and win a game 3-0, there’s going to be moments where you’re vulnerable, moments where the opposition are strong and the beauty about Friday night was the support of the supporters in certain moments of the game. I have not seen that. Maybe it’s been the clubs I have been at, but I haven’t seen that for a long, long time and that’s what was special about Friday night for me.

“They [the supporters] have to play their part, that can’t be a one off. On Friday, live on Sky, the opening game of the EFL season. It has to be permanent, it has to be consistent. The staff need to be consistent with preparations, the players need to be consistent with their performances and their lifestyle. It’s all part of that triangle – players, staff and supporters, and they certainly played their part on Friday night.”

 

WHO?

Celebrating 120 years since their formation in 1899, the Bluebirds have made a surprise return to the Premier League under Neil Warnock in the 2017/18 campaign, before immediately heading back down to the Championship. Having played in the second tier for 14 out of the last 16 seasons prior to this campaign, Cardiff will be hoping to find their way back into the top tier at the first attempt, having also previously played there in the 2013/14 season. A club with a fantastic history, they are the only club outside of England to lift the FA Cup, as well as more recently reaching the final of that competition in 2008, as well as the League Cup final in 2012.

 

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm at The Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday 10th August.

 

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Darren Bond will be taking charge of tomorrow game. His first match of the campaign was last Saturday, as he dished out four yellow cards as QPR won 2-1 at Stoke City.

 

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets are available for purchase from the Town Ticket Office until 2pm today.

 

PLAYED BEFORE?

Town last took on the Bluebirds back in January 2007, drawing 0-0 at Kenilworth Road in the Championship. In total, the two have faced each other 67 times, with the Hatters winning on 26 occasions, drawing 18 and losing 23.

 

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from The Cardiff City 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 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

CARDIFF CITY 2 LUTON TOWN 1

Former Hatter Vassell sinks the Town with last-gasp winner

10 August 2019

The Hatters suffered injury-time heartache at Cardiff this afternoon as former Town striker Isaac Vassell headed in a last-gasp winner to inflict a first defeat of the season on Graeme Jones' side.

The Town had dominated possession and Matty Pearson deservedly headed them level in the 86th minute after Aden Flint had put the hosts in front soon into the second half.

But it was Vassell - signed from Birmingham City on transfer deadline day after being linked with a return to Kenilworth Road - who had the final say, rising to meet fellow substitute Junior Hoilett's 95th-minute cross and seal a first three points of the campaign for the side just relegated from the Premier League.

Manager Graeme Jones  made two changes to the side that drew with Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship season opener last Friday.

Coming into midfield for his full debut after a substitute's appearance in the 3-3 thriller at Kenilworth Road was Jacob Butterfield, while George Moncur also started after impressing from the bench against Boro.

Andrew Shinnie and Elliot Lee are the two men who drop to the bench as a result, where they are joined by one of the three deadline day loan signings, James Bree, with Lloyd Jones the man to miss out.

So the Town started with a back four of Martin Cranie, Pearson, captain Sonny Bradley and Dan Potts in front of goalkeeper Simon Sluga, with Butterfield anchoring a midfield also containing Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Ryan Tunnicliffe, with Moncur, Callum McManaman and James Collins as the front three.

The hosts made a flying start, wideman Josh Murphy wasting three good openings in the first three minutes as the Town rode their luck in front of a buoyant home crowd.

The Hatters found their feet gradually, however, and after some terrific passing right from the back, McManaman had the first attempt on goal after Butterfield's eight-minute free-kick was headed clear, but the summer signing from Wigan couldn't keep his volley down from the edge of the box.

Sluga was at his best to prevent the Bluebirds taking the lead on 16 minutes when he tipped Sean Morrison's header onto the crossbar, then Murphy fizzed a low ball across the six-yard box that Gavin Whyte failed to convert with the goal at his mercy.

Murphy was soon the first name into referee Darren Bond's notepad as he went down too easily under challenge from Mpanzu.

Town were playing some lovely football when in possession, and another patient move from the back led to the first real sight of goal, with Moncur putting Potts clear on the left.

The full-back made ground towards the City box and his low cross was right into Mpanzu's path, but it was McManaman who got the final effort in, hooking the ball towards goal off the midfielder's touch, only for Alex Smithies to make a good save with his body.

The Hatters' openings were all falling McManaman's way, and the next came a minute before half-time when Moncur whipped an inviting cross in from the left touchline, but the forward couldn't keep his header down as he stole a march on his marker Joe Bennett.

Moncur had the first shot on goal of the second half, letting fly from 22 yards but the ball flew harmlessly over Smithies' bar again.

But within seconds the Town were behind as Murphy curled a free-kick into the six-yard box from deep on the Cardiff left, and centre-half Aden Flint stabbed it past Sluga at the far post.

Jones responded by putting Harry Cornick on in place of Moncur, but the hosts were in the ascendancy and from another high ball into the six-yard box, Collins had to deflect a goal-bound shot from Murphy for a corner, with Sluga out of his goal.

Cornick's pace threatened to bring the Town level just after the hour when he intercepted a ball in front of Bennett and raced to the byline, picking out McManaman with his cut-back, but the former West Brom man couldn't get his shot off and Cardiff smuggled the ball clear.

Collins then pulled a dangerous-looking cross back, which Mpanzu retrieved and sent a curling effort wide, before Cornick drove to the same byline once more and found last season's top scorer lurking on the edge of the six-yard box, but Collins' snap-shot found the side-netting.

There was a let-off for the Town in the 69th minute when Junior Hoilett, just on as a sub for Murphy, delivered a semingly inch-perfect cross for Robert Glatzel, but the German striker didn't connect with his header in front of goal.

James Bree was introduced for his debut in place of Cranie, then Luke Berry came on for Butterfield with just under ten minutes of normal time remaining as Jones searched for a way back into the game.

And it was Berry who helped provide the breakthrough the Hatters deserved when his right-wing corner found Pearson's head with four minute left, and the centre-half found the bottom corner with a thumping effort, sending the 2,000 travelling Town fans at that end of the ground into delirium.

Town still had some defending to do, Potts heading a Joe Ralls cross clear under pressure inside his own six-yard box, before Berry threw himself in the way of a follow-up shot from the edge of the area.

There was last-gasp heartache though, and it came in familiar form with ex-Hatter Isaac Vassell coming on as an injury-time sub and nodding in from close range for the 96th-minute winner.

 

TOWN: Sluga, Cranie (Bree 74), Pearson, Bradley (c), Potts, Butterfield (Berry 84), Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Moncur (Cornick 55), McManaman, Collins. Subs: Lee, Shinnie, Galloway, Shea.

Goal: Pearson 86

Yellows: Collins, Potts

CARDIFF: Smithies, Peltier, Bennett, Morrison (c), Flint, Ralls, Glatzel (Vassell 90+1), Murphy (Hoilett 68), Paterson, Pack, Whyte (Vaulks 76). Subs: Day (GK), Bacuna, Nelson, Bogle.

Goal: Flint 52, Vassell 90+6

Yellows: Murphy, Paterson

REFEREE: Darren Bond

ATT: 24,724 (2,064 Hatters)

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