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Club News

THE YEAR THAT WAS...

31 December 2015

It's never straight-forward following the Town. Another 12 months have flown by...

January


2015 didn’t start in the best way for the Hatters, slipping out of the FA Cup at the hands of Cambridge. Michael Harriman’s goal wasn’t enough to prevent a 2-1 defeat, with the Abbey Stadium club then playing Manchester United in Round Four.


League form proved more profitable, as the Town took two wins and two draws, including revenge over the U’s in a 3-2 victory on the 31st.




The Hatters also beat Plymouth 1-0, while securing honourable draws against Cheltenham and high-flyers Shrewsbury to end January four points off top spot.


P5 W2 D2 L1 GS: 6 GC: 5


February


Mark Cullen’s brace secured a 2-2 draw against York, the second of two draws for the Town to start February. The same man scored in the 1-0 win over Carlisle, but the Hatters then lost their first league games since mid-December.




A 1-0 defeat on the road was followed by a last-gasp loss to AFC Wimbledon 3-2, but John Still’s side got back to winning ways, with Jayden Stockley and Luke Guttridge netting in a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley, keeping the Town fourth in League 2.


P6 W2 D2 L2 GS: 8 GC: 7


March


The less said about March, the better! Six games and six defeats all but ended the Town’s chances of promotion, but the month did see the return of Paul Benson for the first time since November.


A 1-0 defeat at Bury came before a 3-2 downing at the hands of Morecambe, the first home league defeat since September.




The Hatters also fell to Portsmouth, Newport, Wycombe and Northampton in a desperate month on the pitch.


P6 W0 D0 L6 GS: 5 GC: 12


April


April began with more goals and a 3-2 loss against Exeter for an eighth defeat in nine, but the Hatters got back to winning ways with Cameron McGeehan scoring in a 1-0 win over Tranmere to complete the Easter period.




Burton prevailed 1-0 for a fourth home defeat in a row, but parity was restored thanks to a stalemate at Dagenham and a 3-0 thrashing of Hartlepool. Goals from McGeehan, Jake Howells and Scott Griffiths put the Town in eighth place, level on points with Play-Off incumbents Plymouth.


P6 W2 D1 L3 GS: 6 GC: 5


May


Just one game for the Town in May, but a 2-0 victory only secured bragging rights over Stevenage, proving not enough to secure a Play-Off spot, despite Cullen’s 14th goal of the year.




Jack Marriott and Dan Potts made their arrivals to Kenilworth Road, while the Hatters bid farewells to Shaun Whalley, Danny Fitzsimons, Alex Wall, Charlie Walker and Ricky Miller among others.

Jonathan Smith also signed a three-year contract with the club.


P1 W1 D0 L0 GS: 2 GC: 0


June


Despite the season being at an end, there was still plenty to talk about off the pitch as McGeehan, Stephen O’Donnell and Josh McQuoid completed permanent deals to join the Hatters, while Mark Cullen departed for Blackpool.


The new fixtures for 2015/16 were announced, including the League Cup tie against Bristol City, and the side also returned for pre-season training.


July


Another month, and more new faces at Kenilworth Road with the arrivals of Paddy McCourt, Danny Green, Mark O’Brien, Magnus Okuonghae to send the summer signings into double figures as Lee Angol, Ross Lafayette, Fraser Franks, Alex Lacey and Andy Drury head in the opposite direction.


Marriott was among those to open his Luton account in one of many games against teams from higher divisions in the Town’s pre-season friendlies.


August


The Town confirmed the signing of Craig Mackail-Smith, while Olly Lee also joined the Club.


The Hatters opened their season with a 1-1 draw at Accrington, while completing a fantastic 3-1 shock over Bristol City in the League Cup and pushing Stoke all the way to penalties at Kenilworth Road.




League wins proved evasive, however, despite Mackail-Smith scoring on two occasions, with the Town succumbing to Bristol Rovers, Yeovil and Portsmouth.


P7 W1 D2 L4 GS: 10 GC: 11


September


More cup success, this time against Leyton Orient in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, began September, and the Hatters also enjoyed a good month in League 2, winning four out of their five games.




An impressive 3-1 victory at Cambridge was followed by a 3-2 defeat at Notts County, but wins over Mansfield, AFC Wimbledon pushed the Town up the league, while the month was gleamed with a 3-1 scalp of Morecambe at the Globe Arena, courtesy of goals from Luke Wilkinson, Smith and McGeehan.


P6 W5 D0 L1 GS: 13 GC: 6


October


October proved a fraction trickier for the Town, thrashing Hartlepool 4-1 thanks to a Marriott brace, but going the rest of the month without winning another game.




A defeat at the hands of Gillingham saw John Still’s side exit the JPT, but they were then held to 1-1 home draws by York and Leyton Orient, sandwiching a 2-1 defeat at Crawley. Sean Long made his Hatters debut in that match following his loan switch from Reading.


A 2-1 defeat to table-toppers Plymouth ended the month, with the 90th minute winner consigning the Town to 15th place in the table.


P6 W1 D2 L3 GS: 9 GC: 9


November


The merry-go-round that is football continued into November, where the Town this time won the first three games of the month. 2-0 league successes over Dagenham and Barnet surrounded an impressive display at Crawley, as the Hatters came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to Josh McQuoid’s double, sending them through in the FA Cup.




The month petered out from there, however, as a stalemate away at Stevenage was followed by a 4-3 humbling at the hands of Carlisle, prior to Newport claiming their first league win since March – where they beat the Hatters – courtesy of a 3-0 victory in Wales.


P6 W3 D1 L2 GS: 9 GC: 8


December


With a heavy heart, December saw the departure of manager John Still after he joined the club two-and-a-half years ago.


On the pitch, the Hatters exited the FA Cup at the hands of League 1 Peterborough, and also suffered a second successive 4-3 home victory, this time to high-flying Northampton.




A 100th minute winner, one of the latest goals in the club’s history, from Paul Benson stole all three points from a trip to Exeter before Christmas.


The Town returned back to earth with a bump with a defeat at home to Wycombe on Boxing Day in their final home match of the year before ending 2015 with a well-earned point in a goalless draw at Portsmouth.


A trip to Bristol Rovers next Saturday brings in 2016.


P3 W1 D1 L3 GS: 6 GC: 10

 

*Most games in 2015: Luke Wilkinson (46), Jonathan Smith (46), Scott Griffiths (40)

*Most goals in 2015: Cameron McGeehan (12), Jack Marriott (8), Mark Cullen/Jonathan Smith (5)

 


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