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29 September 2014

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Goals, gates and clean sheets


Another game, another clean sheet for the Town as they successfully negotiated a fourth game in succession without conceding. Not since Dominic Blizzard’s 68th-minute goal for Plymouth has Mark Tyler picked the ball out of the net – a total of 382 minutes. The last time the Hatters went four games without conceding was between February and March last season, beginning with a 7-0 win over Hereford on 15th February. The sequence lasted five matches before Cambridge scored in the 1-1 draw at the Abbey on 11th March - a record of 563 minutes without conceding.


For the second time this season a crowd of 9,101 watched the Hatters at Kenilworth Road. The exact attendance for Oxford’s visit on Saturday was also recorded for the Town’s home game with AFC Wimbledon on 16th August. The Hatters lie second in the average attendance table in League 2 behind Portsmouth, whilst only five clubs in League 1 are averaging higher attendances: Sheffield United, Bradford, Bristol City, Preston and Barnsley.


The last two games may have seen the Town miss penalties, but both with Mark Cullen and Jake Howells have followed up their efforts from 12 yards to find the net. However, the last time the Town missed penalties in successive matches came in August 2011. Amari Morgan-Smith saw a penalty saved but scored the follow-up in a 3-1 win over Braintree at Kenilworth Road, and the following game saw both Howells and Danny Crow miss from the spot in a 2-2 draw at Hayes & Yeading. Morgan-Smith followed-up Howells’ saved kick to score, but Crow’s effort was clawed away and it proved costly as the game ended all square.


Luke Wilkinson celebrated his 24th birthday in style on Saturday by scoring his first goal for the Town when heading the opener against Oxford after just 80 seconds. It was the centre-half’s first goal since scoring the winner for Dagenham & Redbridge at Rotherham in League 2 in March 2013.


The last time the Town scored a goal inside 90 seconds came on New Year’s Day this year when Andre Gray gave the Hatters the lead against Barnet at Kenilworth Road.

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