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Match Previews

PREVIEW: STEVENAGE V LUTON TOWN

19 August 2016

Read the preview on this Saturday's match against Stevenage

Town travel to Stevenage in what is their first of two local away trips in seven days with Cambridge coming up in a week’s time.

In between those two away games is Luton’s EFL Cup round two match at home to Leeds on Tuesday night.

The Hatters will be going up against former Town defender Ronnie Henry, who spent two years at Kenilworth Road playing 82 games, including 43 in Town’s promotion winning season of 2013-14.

Luton manager Nathan Jones said that he expects the ex-Hatters players now in the Stevenage ranks to be pumped up for the game, but he is only focused on his side.

He said: “I always had that extra motivation when I played against say Brighton for example, so it does add a little bit, but we have to concentrate on Luton Town, we have to make sure we are clinical and at it.”

Henry has been joined this summer by seven new faces at the Lamex, three of whom are strikers after Darren Sarll’s men scored just 52 league goals last season.

One of the three strikers cost Stevenage a five-figure fee from Championship club Reading in the form of Rowan Liburd, who scored 11 goals in 14 games for Reading’s U21 side in 2015/16.

Fellow strikers Jake Hyde joined after his release from York, and Matt Gooden, who scored 30 goals in the National League South last season, became the Boro’s third striker to join.

They’ll all be competing with Northern Ireland under-19 captain Ben Kennedy, who scored two goals in the first three games of this campaign.

In midfield, Stevenage added experienced winger Jobi McAnuff after his release from Leyton Orient, who boasts over 550 career appearances in a career spanning 15 years so far, whilst exciting winger Connor 

Hunte has joined on loan from Championship club Wolves until January.

The Hertfordshire club also opted for two new defenders this season in 23-year-old Andrew Fox and 19-year-old Shaun Donnellan, the latter of which arrived on loan until January from West Brom.

They’re managed by Darren Sarll, who was appointed in February after the sacking of Teddy Sheringham.

Sarll had a tough start to management, losing six of his first eight games in charge of the Boro, but finished the season strongly losing just one of their last nine games.

That run included a 1-0 win over the Hatters in early April at Kenilworth Road after a late penalty, which followed a 0-0 draw between the sides in November.

The 1-0 loss marked Nathan Jones’ first game against Stevenage as Luton boss, a memory he doesn’t look back on too fondly.

He said: “They came here and I don’t feel we performed when we played in my first game. 

“I am looking forward to going there, it is a local derby, it will be a crowd that I know will travel well because we always do, wherever it is.”

Taking charge of his first full season as the Boro manager, Sarll goes into 2016-17 working alongside former Norwich, Newcastle and West Ham manager Glenn Roeder, now working as an advisor at Stevenage.

Luton have only ever lost twice against the Boro and won five of the eight meetings between the two sides, including a 4-3 win between the two teams in the first ever meeting in 2002, when Ahmet Brkovic’s six-

minute hat-trick helped Luton come from a goal behind twice in what was then the LDV Vans trophy.

Luton’s last win at Stevenage came in 2014, when Luke Wilkinson put the Hatters a goal to the good before Alex Wall’s 83rd minute winner gave Luton a 2-1 win in October 2014.


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