All you need to know ahead of the Town's Boxing Day trip
Wycombe Wanderers v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Friday 26th December 2014, kick-off 3pm
Live commentary on Hatters Player, DiverseFM, BBC3CR and lutontown.co.uk
• Hatters, third, lost three of last 19 games in all competitions
• Wycombe top, two points clear of the Town
• Town defending nine-match unbeaten record at Adams Park
WHO? Wycombe Wanderers, also known as the Chairboys. Wycombe were promoted to the Football League in 1993, having won the Conference, and have remained among the 92 clubs ever since. The Chairboys escaped relegation back to non-league football on the final day of last season with a win at Torquay. They survived on goal difference and Bristol Rovers were relegated. This season Wycombe are challenging for promotion. How’s that for a turnaround?
WHERE? The trip to Wycombe is the Hatters’ second shortest journey of the season – a mere 41 miles. The Chairboys’ Adams Park ground is located on the outskirts of Wycombe on the Sands Industrial Estate. Take the M1 south and M25 anticlockwise and take the M40. Leave the M40 at junction four and take the A4010 towards Aylesbury. Turn left at the fourth roundabout into Lane End Road and then continue straight down this road. Cross another roundabout and into Hillbottom Road. The ground is down at the very bottom of this road. There is a fair sized car park located at the ground which costs £5 per car.
TICKETS. All 2,656 tickets have been snapped up by Town supporters and none will be available on the day for this all-ticket affair. Stand-wise Hatters fans have been given half of the stadium, the 1,800 seats behind the goal and another 800 beside the pitch. And the best bit? There won’t be a pillar in sight! Enjoy the view.
BOXING DAY RECORD. December 26 has always been a decent day for the Town. Last year the Town won 2-1 at Barnet – their third successive win on Boxing Day (Woking 2012, Kettering 2011). A Mick Harford goal gave the Hatters a 1-0 win over Arsenal in 1991, while who can forget Kirk Stephen’s winner at Watford in 1979? From 1972 onwards the Hatters have lost just four times, winning 17 and drawing 12.
SINCE WE’VE BEEN GONE. The season in which the Town were relegated from the Football League in 2009 saw Wycombe win promotion to League 1 following a third-placed finish. The Chairboys only lasted one season in the third tier and were relegated in 2009/10 but in the following season Wycombe finished third again and were promoted back to League 1. But guess what? In 2011/12 they were relegated immediately back to League 2 where they’ve stayed ever since.
HAVE WE BEEN BEFORE? Oh yes. And what’s more the Town go to Wycombe on Boxing Day aiming to maintain an unbeaten record at Adams Park. The Hatters have won five and drawn four of their nine visits to Wycombe. The Hatters won their first match at Adams Park thanks to a solitary David Oldfield goal in September 1996. The most recent game against the Chairboys on Buckinghamshire soil took place in the minus-30 season where the Town had to settle for a point in a goalless draw. In the nine matches at Adams Park the Hatters have only conceded four times.
PLAYED FOR BOTH. Up until last week Wanderers had two former Hatters in their midst in the shape of Kenilworth Road academy graduate Gary Doherty and Alfie Mawson – another centre-back who played 45 minutes of football for the Town last term while on loan from Brentford, but Doherty, now 34, retired from the game. Hatters striker Lee Angol, currently on loan at Boreham Wood, was on Wycombe books up until last season. Matthew Spring, Will Antwi, Dean Morgan, Scott Rendell, Viv Busby and Darren Currie have all pulled on shirts of both clubs in the past, whilst first team coach Hakan Hayrettin was part of the Chairboys squad that won promotion to the Football League in 1992/93.
THE SEASON SO FAR. The Chairboys’ form during this campaign has been in total contrast to last season’s of struggle. At the helm is former QPR and Wimbledon winger Gareth Ainsworth, who has led Wycombe to the promotion places. It has been their form on the road which has been most impressive with seven wins and just one defeat. No team has scored more goals away from home and this afternoon Ainsworth’s side aim to add to their 20 goals on their travels at Accrington. At home, however, Wanderers have only half of their 10 home matches. Their record at Adams Park this term reads five wins, three draws and two defeats (to Tranmere and Burton).
REF WATCH. Andy Woolmer takes charge of the Town for the second time this season after officiating the JPT tie with Crawley in October. So far this term the whistler has shown 48 yellow cards in 18 games but has yet to send a single player off.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Town are likely to be unchanged following last weekend’s win over Newport with Paul Benson, Luke Guttridge, Alex Lawless, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Curtley Williams all unavailable.
LIVE AND ONLINE. Hatters Player is the only place to listen to online commentary of the Hatters this season and once again the DiverseFM team will be bringing subscribers all the action from the Globe Arena. What’s more there will be a full report, reaction and photographs post-match and live text updates during the match itself.
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