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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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28 September 2019 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | BLACKBURN ROVERS V LUTON TOWN

27 September 2019

The Hatters face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park tomorrow afternoon as Graeme Jones’ team aim to put an end to three consecutive defeats.

Luton head into the game searching for a third win of their Championship campaign, having defeated Barnsley and Huddersfield Town prior to the international break.

Town currently sit in 21st place knowing a victory against Rovers could propel them back up the table and as high as 14th place, should results go their way.

Tony Mowbray’s side have made a good start to the season and occupy 10th place ahead of tomorrow’s meeting. With two wins from their last two games – a home victory against Millwall and a 2-1 win over Reading at the Madejski Stadium – Blackburn go into this one with a decent amount of momentum behind them.

International subscribers will NOT be able to watch the game live on iFollow Hatters due to it being selected for overseas broadcast. Subscribers in the UK who aren’t heading to the game can tune in for Simon Pitts’ full match commentary.

Graeme Jones said:

Please be aware – these quotes are taken from Graeme’s press conference on Thursday

On Blackburn’s threat: “They’re a very well-rounded team and they’re very strong and very good in lots of areas. But obviously we need to make sure we’re competitive and we need to make sure that we’re ready. I think going into the game, being well organised and giving it everything you’ve got makes it a great leveller and that’s what we will be trying to do on Saturday."

Any fresh injury worries: “No, we’re absolutely fine at the moment but Martin Cranie’s still on his way back and Danny Hylton obviously, alongside of that we’re okay.”

On competitiveness and Tony Mowbray: “They’re a good side. Played against them last year with West Brom and they are competitive, very competitive. Tony’s been around a long time, I remember playing in a testimonial for Kristian O’Leary at Swansea which must have been about 2007 and Tony brought his West Brom team.

“It’ll be a great leveller if you think you can go there and win and that will be the intention on Saturday. You have to look forward to games, you have to relish them at the end of the day, put out all the talk you want – it’s 11 players versus 11 players and we need to show them the right kind of respect.”

On Bradley Dack: “Me and Darren Moore at West Brom put an offer in for him so I recognise his qualities. There are very few with that natural ability who play in the ‘10’ as well as he does but it’s not just him, Downing has great Premier League experience and Sam Gallagher who they signed for I don’t know how much, you know they’ve got lots of threats.

“Obviously it’s my job to try and stop the threats and plug the weaknesses and the process is still ongoing.”

WHO?

Premiership winners in 1995, Blackburn Rovers are an established club in the English game that were relegated into the Championship in 2012. They went down into League One in 2017, a division they were promoted from at the first time of asking. Manager Tony Mowbray led them to that promotion, as well as a 15th place finish on their return into the Championship last season.

WHEN?

Kick-off is 3pm at Ewood Park on Saturday 28th September.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

The referee for Saturday’s game is Gavin Ward – who has taken charge of six games so far this season, dishing out 21 yellows cards and three reds.

TICKET INFORMATION 

Tickets are still available from the ticket office or alternatively, you can purchase on the day from the away end Ticket Office at Blackburn at an increased cost.

Full details can be found here.

PLAYED BEFORE?

In total, the two sides have come up against each other 39 times, with tomorrow’s match being the 40th occasion. Luton hold the upper hand with 15 wins, whilst the two share 12 draws and Blackburn have won 12 meetings as well. They last met in 2007 in what transpired to be an afternoon to forget for the Town, losing 4-0 at Kenilworth Road. Prior to that FA Cup meeting, the last time Luton played Blackburn was back in 1982.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow action account of the action from Ewood 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 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/

 

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Match Reports

BLACKBURN ROVERS 1 LUTON TOWN 2

50-up for Collins and Pearson bags the winner at his old club

28 September 2019

James Collins grabbed his 50th goal for Luton and Matty Pearson the winner on his return to his old club as the Hatters brought all three points back from Blackburn Rovers.

Collins opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season, before Pearson - who started his career at Ewood Park before dropping into Non-League seven years ago - restored the lead just before the hour after Lewis Travis had hauled the tenth-places hosts level towards the end of the first half.

It required a backs-to-the-wall performance at times in the second half, which included Rovers having a Bradley Dack tap-in ruled out for offside.

But Graeme Jones' men dug in to bring a run of three league and cup defeats to an end with a second away win in the Championship this season, and third overall, to jump to 16th in the table.

Jones made three changes to the side that went down 3-0 at home to Hull City last weekend, as Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jacob Butterfield and Dan Potts came in for Andrew Shinnie, Kazenga LuaLua and Luke Bolton.

Callum McManaman and Luke Berry were recalled to the bench, with George Moncur and Shinnie dropping out of the 18-man squad altogether, the latter with a knee injury.

Blackburn had made all of the early running, with captain Sonny Bradley heading several dangerous-looking crosses away from his own six-yard box as former England winger Stewart Downing and Adam Armstrong tested the back four.

It was against the run of play when the Town grabbed the lead in the 17th minute, but it came courtesy of a brilliant first touch and cross from Izzy Brown on the right of the Rovers penalty area, picking out top scorer Collins to place his header past ex-Hatters loanee Christian Walton and into the top corner.

The goal brought up a milestone for the Republic of Ireland striker, with his half-century for the club coming in his 102nd game, and his 30th in 48 appearances since opening his account for last season with his goal against Charlton on September 29th last year. 

Town started to get the ball down and play some lovely possession football, Butterfield pulling the strings with Mpanzu and Tunnicliffe either side of him and Collins and Cornick posing a threat from wide areas. Brown was through the middle, looking for any opportunity to create.

The hosts' first attempt on goal didn't come until the 35th minute, but Simon Sluga could breathe a sigh of relief as Bradley Johnson dragged his shot well wide.

Two minutes later it was a different story, however, as Downing fed Travis from the right flank and the Rovers midfielder took one touch before firing across Sluga and into the far corner from the edge of the box.

James Bree, back in his more natural right-back position after impressing on the left since his arrival on loan from Aston Villa, did well to head a deep cross behind under pressure from Sam Gallagher as half-time approached.

Cornick was the first to have a go in the second half, eight minutes after the break, as the Hatters broke at pace from their own box, Butterfield intercepting a low cross and feeding Tunnicliffe, who picked out Brown to slip Cornick in on the right side of the Rovers penalty area. Walton was equal to this one though, turning the three-goal forward's powerful drive around his near post.

The Town were back in front in the 57th minute, however, and how Pearson enjoyed his moment against the club who released him as a teenager.

Cornick was fouled on the right and Brown curled in a free-kick from deep. Pearson, whose journey has taken him to FC Halifax, Accrington and Barnsley before arriving back at the same level as his boyhood club, rose high above his marker Darragh Lenihan to direct his header into the bottom corner, before sprinting to the Town technical area to celebrate.

Rovers rallied immediately. Downing bent a 20-yard free-kick around the wall, but thankfully the wrong side of the post, after manager Tony Mowbray made a double substitution, bringing former Tottenham and Hamburg midfielder Lewis Holtby, the German international, on for Johnson, and vastly experienced striker Danny Graham for Gallagher.

Graham was soon calling Sluga into action with a smart save low to his right as a volley skidded through on the rain-soaked surface, then Holtby pulled a left-footed shot into the side-netting with a little over 20 minutes to go.

Blackburn were knocking at the door, but Armstrong couldn't keep his left-footed drive down when Derrick Williams had played him in over Pearson's head, then Potts did well to divert a deep cross from Downing behind under pressure from Graham.

McManaman, who had been introduced for the excellent Brown, produced a stinging shot that Walton had to beat away in the 74th minute, with Mpanzu unable to capitalise on the rebound, then Butterfield produced a vital challenge in his own area before Bradley Dack hit a shot high over Sluga's bar.

Soon after Bradley and Potts had put their bodies on the line to block a Dack drive, Rovers had a goal ruled out with 12 minutes to go as Williams climbed highest to meet a right-wing corner, but Dack was in an offside position as he turned the ball home from two yards out.

It took a while for referee Gavin Ward to make the decision, but after consultation with his assistant on the near side, the Town fans behind the goal breathed a huge sigh of relief and with Lloyd Jones thrown on in the closing stages to stiffen up the backline, their team managed the final few minutes brilliantly.

Now it's back to Kenilworth Road on Wednesday night for the live Sky clash against a Millwall team sitting one place below the Town in 17th, but on the same points total of ten.

 

TOWN: Sluga, Bree, Pearson, Bradley (c), Potts, Butterfield (Berry 83), Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Cornick (Jones 86), Brown (McManaman 71), Collins. Subs: Lee, Bolton, LuaLua, Jones, Shea.

Goals: Collins 17, Pearson 57

Yellows: Butterfield, Potts

ROVERS: Walton, Bennett (c) (Samuel 81), Lenihan, Williams, Cunnigham, Downing, Travis, Johnson (Holtby 61), Armstrong, Gallagher (Graham 61), Dack. Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Bell, Adarabioyo, Buckley.

Goals: Travis 37

Yellows: Travis

REFEREE: Gavin Ward

ATT: 15,319 (1,326 Hatters)

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