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Match Previews

KIDDERMINSTER PREVIEW

30 August 2013

All you need to know and more ahead of the Town's trip to Aggborough

WHERE? Worcestershire, England. To be more precise, Aggborough Stadium, Hoo Road, Kidderminster. Typing DY10 1NB into your satnav (before you set off, please), should get you there safe and sound.

NOT-SATNAV-SAVVY. Not going by car? Fear not. The Bobbers Travel Club are, as ever, running a coach (or coaches, plural – if lots of you book…) to Aggborough. The fare is £20 for adults and £17 for concessions and they will be leaving the main Maple Road car park at 11am on the dot, so don’t be late. To book, the friendly folk will take your reservation over the phone if you call 01234 856542.

PLANE, TRAIN & AUTOMOBILE. Not going by car? No going by bus? Well, Kidderminster does have a train station – a brisk 10-minute walk from Aggborough. The quickest way to get there from Luton is by heading down into London and back out again to Birmingham New Street. But that sounds like hassle, doesn’t it? Alternatively you can either leave from Bedford and head to Brum from Leicester, or – better still – go from Milton Keynes. MK to Kiddy can be done in two hours.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Kidderminster must hate it – absolutely hate it – when the Town roll into Aggborough. Don’t worry, it’s nothing personal, it’s just the fact the Hatters have won five and drawn one of their last six visits to the Worcestershire venue. Two Stuart Fleetwood goals secured a 2-0 win last season, and two 2-1 wins (one in the FA Trophy) came in 2011/12. Harriers’ needed a last-minute equaliser to earn a point in a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw in April 2011. The Hatters also have a good record of coming from behind at Aggborough. They trailed 1-0 in October 2009 before winning 2-1 thanks to two late goals and, in the first ever meeting between the two clubs, the Hatters were one down before triumphing 4-1 in January 2002. Remember that? Their keeper had a nightmare.

KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU. There’s one familiar face in the Harriers ranks in James Dance. The lively winger signed for the Town in the summer of 2011 and scored four goals in 32 appearances during an injury-blighted career at Kenilworth Road. Back fit after a successful loan spell at Nuneaton last season, the Birmingham-born midfielder penned a one-year deal at Aggborough this summer.

HAUTE CUISINE. A trip to Aggborough is the culinary visit of the season. Both sets of supporters can happily mingle in Harriers’ homely supporters’ club bar behind the main stand (on the main road), before tasting the home-made delights once inside the ground. The cottage pies (say yes to gravy, when asked) are hailed nationwide and don’t be put off by the £4 price tag. If you’re a soup man or woman, then be quick to get hold of a cup of Harriers’ green pea so-thick-you-need-a-straw soup.

AS YOU WERE. Unlike at Forest Green last Saturday there is no change to the away supporters’ end at Aggborough. Town fans have the choice to stand behind the goal in the covered terrace (excellent acoustics), or in the seats in the relatively-new stand beside the pitch.

REMEMBER, REMEMBER. At this point in time last season, Harriers had nil/zero/zilch/zip points after five matches. They won their first point in their sixth game, and after 10 games Steve Burr’s side had just five points. They finished the campaign on 93 points, lost out on the title by two points and then went out in the Play-Offs to Wrexham. Talk about a rollercoaster.

NOW THEN. Form this time around has been better for the Harriers. In fact they are already nine points better off than they were at this point last year. Steve Burr’s side have won three and lost two of their opening five fixtures. Burr’s boys beat Gateshead 3-1 on the opening day of the campaign before losing by the same scoreline away at Alfreton. A 1-0 win at Braintree followed before another 3-1 victory, this time at home to Chester, made it two wins from two at Aggborough. It looked as though another three points would wing their way back to Worcestershire on Bank Holiday Monday, but despite Anthony Malbon’s early goal, it was two goals in the last seven minutes that gave Nuneaton a 2-1 win.

TICKETS. Terrace tickets are available from the Luton Town ticket office until 3pm but supporters can pay on the day at Aggborough. Limited seating tickets are available on the day but be quick before they all go. Plenty of terrace spots will be available, however. Full details and prices here.

WANNA BET? The Town are best-priced 14/5 to take all three points back to Bedfordshire whilst Harriers are the 11/10 favourites. If you fancy the Hatters to win and keep a third successive clean sheet it’s 6/1 for the Town to win to nil.
 
TOWN TEAM NEWS. New loan signing Paul Benson is in contention to feature at Aggborough but will need to prove his fitness to manager John Still. Jon Shaw (hernia), Anthony Charles (shoulder) and Danny Fitzsimons (knee) are all out. Alex Wall featured in an inter-squad friendly during the week and could return as could Solomon Taiwo after a hamstring strain. Alex Lawless is making progress on a slight groin problem and isn’t entirely ruled out.
 
VIEWPOINT 1. Harriers boss Steve Burr: “I’m sure Luton will be up there… but I am a believer that if we are right and we can get playing how I want us to play, attacking at every opportunity and creating chances and excitement, we can be a match for anybody as well.

Our two home performances have been good and we’ve had a good atmosphere. If we can continue where we’ve left off then hopefully we can get another three points.
 
“You always look to win your home games and they say to try and pick up what you can away from home though we’re always trying to win our away games as well!
 
“We just lost that little bit of a spark on Monday against Nuneaton that we’ve had at Aggborough [but] Nuneaton have made a good start to the season so it was not going to be easy.”

VIEWPOINT 2. Town boss John Still: “I don’t worry about how good the other team is, are or can be. Kidderminster will be strong and focused. They finished the season with a spring last year and you’ll like to think they’d carry that on.

“Knowing their players they’re a strong, committed, all-round side – but there’s a chance we’re going to be a strong, committed, all-round side as well. It’ll be a good game.

“All leagues are tough, though. I watched an all singing, all dancing best-players-in-the-world Man City lose to newly-promoted Cardiff City last weekend. It’s hard, and games are tough whoever you are.

“Take our first game of the season. Southport beat us – quite rightly – and it showed that if you don’t go into a game ready and prepared anyone can beat you. We have to make sure we go out ready and prepared – and if we are, we’ll be all right.”
 
LIVE & DIRECT. We’ll have all the news as it happens from Aggborough. Pre-match build-up, team news, live text and audio commentary, a report, reaction, photographs and interviews. Remember to keep it lutontown.co.uk, Hatters Player and check out our ever-growing Facebook and Twitter feeds. And keep an eye on our Instagram, Vine and YouTube accounts too for good measure #COYH

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