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Match Previews

FULL MATCH PREVIEW: CRAWLEY TOWN v LUTON TOWN

16 October 2015

All you need to know ahead of Crawley trip

Crawley Town v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 17th October 2015, kick-off 3pm 

Official live online commentary on Hatters Player

• Town unbeaten in five (W4 D1)
• Hatters won last two away games
• Leading scorers in top five leagues with 15 goals
• Crawley 18th in League 2 on 12 points
• Craig Mackail-Smith fit for return
• Hatters never won at Crawley (D1 L1)

WHO? The Hatters’ next port of call in League 2 is to Crawley Town, aka the Red Devils, from Crawley, West Sussex. Crawley lifted the Conference title in 2011 under Steve Evans to win promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history. The Red Devils subsequently then won promotion to League 1 the following season, but last term the club were relegated back to League 2 for the first time since 2012. 

WHERE? Crawley play their home games at the Broadfield Stadium, which is also known as the Checkatrade.com Stadium. It’s a 6,134 capacity ground which was opened in 1997. Hatters fans making the trip can choose from a covered, shallow terrace behind the goal, or covered seats beside the pitch. The stadium’s record attendance stands at 5,880 when the Red Devils took on Reading in the FA Cup in 2013.

HOW TO GET THERE. It is 78.3 miles from the Maple Road car park to the Broadfield Stadium which should take you just under an hour and a half if driving by car. Take the M1 south and M25 anticlockwise. From the M25 then take the M23 southbound towards Gatwick Airport and Brighton. At the end of the M23 (before it becomes the A23) leave the motorway at the last exit, Junction 11 (sign-posted A264 Horsham, Pease Pottage Services). At the roundabout at the end of the motorway slip road turn right onto the A23 going towards Crawley. The ground is down on the left just before the next roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout and then left again for the stadium car park. The postcode for the ground is RH11 9RX.

MORE TRAVEL INFORMATION. We’ve put together this little travel guide on getting to Crawley. We've sold over 1,200 tickets - but remember you CANNOT pay on the day. Click here to read the travel guide in all its glory.

THIS TIME ROUND. Since their relegation from League 1 the Red Devils have continued to struggle this season under manager Mark Yates. Crawley had yet to win at the Broadfield Stadium, scoring just once at home until they beat Leyton Orient 3-2 last weekend. They lie 18th in the table with 12 points from 12 games. Yates’ side have lost five of their last seven games in League 2, however.

HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? Saturday’s game will be the sixth meeting between the Town and Crawley. The Hatters haven’t won their last four games against the Red Devils, with their sole victory coming at Kenilworth Road in September 2009 in the Conference. That night two goals from George Pilkington and one from Tom Craddock sealed a 3-0 win. Since that victory the Hatters have drawn one and lost three. At the Broadfield Stadium the Town lost 2-1 in February 2010 before earning a 1-1 draw on the night Crawley were presented with the Conference championship trophy in April 2011.

KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU…Crawley have one former Town man their midst in the shape of midfielder Luke Rooney. The winger joined the Red Devils this summer having previously scored five goals in 19 appearances for the Hatters. 

TOWN TEAM NEWS. John Still says Craig Mackail-Smith has trained this week and is fit to start after coming off at half-time against York with a hamstring twinge. Paul Benson is back in full training following a neck problem but won’t be risked for another week but Scott Griffiths is in contention after being rested against York. Paddy McCourt is available for selection having been away on international duty with Northern Ireland. The Town completed the loan signing of Reading right-back Sean Long on loan on Friday. The 20-year-old will be included in the squad.

IN THE OTHER CAMP… Lanre Oyebanjo (knee), Gavin Tomlin (groin) and Joe McNerney (knee) are sidelined for Crawley, but Liam Donnelly and Josh Yorwerth are back in contention following their returns from international duty. Goalkeeper Freddie Woodman has returned to Newcastle after Tim Krul was ruled out for the rest of the season so teenage stopper Callum Preston could be entrusted with the gloves.

DID YOU KNOW? It’s also Crawley’s 119th birthday this weekend. They have created a special programme to mark the occasion.

REF WATCH. Gavin Ward is the man-in-the-middle this weekend. So far this term the Surrey official has shown 17 yellow cards and one red in the seven games he has overseen. The last time he took charge of a game involving the Town, we beat Mansfield 3-0 at Kenilworth Road in November. In October 2008 the whistler abandoned a Town game with Bournemouth at Kenilworth Road after seven minutes due to heavy snow.

LIVE AND ONLINE. As ever, we’ll be reporting live from the Broadfield Stadium. Build-up starts at noon, so get on our early blog on the Wall for all the latest updates.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for photos, videos and all the behind-the-scenes action. Hatters Player subscribers will be able to listen to live commentary from just before 3pm with Simon Pitts in the press box. 

Post-match, remember to check out the official website, YouTube channel and Player for reports, interviews and photographs and don’t forget to tune in from midday on Sunday for all the highlights in glorious HD!

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