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29 March 2013

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Our guide to the Town's trip to the Abbey

The Town only have three away games left this season and their next port of call is a relatively short one as they head across the A505 to Cambridge.


Where? Abbey Stadium or, if those who pay the naming rights are reading, the R Costings Abbey Stadium. Originally, United were known as Abbey United and moved into their affectionately named Abbey Stadium back in 1932 before changing their name to Cambridge United in 1951 when they turned professional.

Quickest route It’s fairly straightforward for those not so road savvy. Cambridge, think the filling between a Stevenage and Newmarket sandwich and you should get the picture. After those directions, I'm not sure why you would but if needed the postcode is CB5 8LN.

Time to go Granted it's not too far, so an early start is not essential, but the journey will take you just over an hour. With a heavy influx of travelling Town fans expected, make sure you don't take anything for granted.

All-ticket Remember this game is all-ticket for Town supporters at the Abbey Stadium. A small section of terrace tickets at the side of the pitch are available, as are plenty behind the goal in the seats. Tickets go off sale today at the ticket office at 12 noon.

Bobbing along If you don’t fancy driving then why not take the Bobbers? The friendly travel club are running coaches to the Abbey Stadium. They are leaving the Maple Road car park at 12 noon and the fare is £15 for adults and £13 for concessions. Call 01234 856542 to book your space.

Abbey Records Split evenly. The record reads Cambridge four wins, Luton four wins and five draws from their meetings away from Kenilworth Road. However, overall, in 26 meetings, the Hatters sit two wins ahead on nine.

Job swap Richard Money occupies the dugout these days at the Abbey Stadium but he is not the only former Town boss to have graced the touchline at both clubs. Gary Brabin was the United boss back in 2008 before making the switch to become Money's assistant at Kenilworth Road. He then made the step up upon Money’s departure. Paul Carden also spent a brief spell as caretaker boss at United before joining the Hatters’ coaching staff.

Recent memories...There is one stand-out fixture that will always rekindle that magical spark amongst Hatters fans from back in September 2009. A horrific first period saw the Hatters head into the dressing room 2-0 down and a man light after Liam Hatch's 44th-minute dismissal. A resurgent miracle returned to the pitch from the Hatters as a brace from Kevin Gallen speared them onto a 4-3 win, with Jake Howells bagging the 61st-minute clincher - the midfielder’s first senior goal.

Treble chance This is the third time the sides will meet this campaign as the return league fixture sets sail at the Abbey Stadium. Earlier in the campaign the Hatters recorded an early season double over the U's with a 3-2 home win in the league and a 2-0 away win in the FA Cup.

Goals galore The one thing this fixture always conjures up is excitement. In the 26 meetings, both sides have netted over 30 times including seven in the last two games.

Player progress Many recent players have been formerly of both sides including current United midfielder Rossi Jarvis. Town also have a former opponent on their squad list with Scott Rendell spending just a solitary season with Cambridge, where he netted 17 times.

Team news The Town will continue to be without Alex Lawless, Ronnie Henry, Stuart Fleetwood, Scott Neilson, Danny Spiller and Garry Richards for the trip to the Abbey. Lawless may return in a week’s time from a hamstring injury. Henry, Fleetwood and Neilson are all out with hernias. New signing Scott Griffiths played 90 minutes in a development game on Wednesday but is unlikely to make his debut at the Abbey according to the manager.

Still says “We approach two exciting games over the course of the Easter weekend with Saturday’s trip to Cambridge followed by Kidderminster on Monday. Both teams are, like ourselves, former Football League clubs – which further highlights the depth of quality and competitiveness of the division.”

Wanna bet? The Town are the 11/8 favourites to beat Cambridge with league sponsors Blue Square Bet. The U’s are 7/4 to get all three points. Betting through Blue Square earns yourself and the club money. Check out

Live and direct We’ll have all the news as it happens from the Abbey Stadium. Pre-match build-up, team news, live text and audio commentary, a report, reaction, photographs and interviews. Remember to keep it, Hatters Player and check out our ever-growing Facebook and Twitter feeds #COYH

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