All the info ahead of the Hatters' long trip south
Luton Town boss Nathan Jones is targeting a good run in the Emirates FA Cup as the Hatters travel down to Devon this afternoon to prepare for tomorrow’s first round tie with Exeter City at St James Park.
Jones was part of the Brighton side that took on Tottenham Hotspur in the third round in 2004-05, and he’d like his team to experience that kind of occasion as this season’s competition progresses.
“We drew Tottenham when I was a player at Brighton, which was good,” Jones recalled at his press conference at Ely Way yesterday. “We went to White Hart Lane and narrowly lost to a Robbie Keane goal, so that was a real good one.
“It’s a real good competition – the strongest of the cup competitions – and every lower league club wants to get to the third round and get a good draw. It’s great.
“There’ll be a different atmosphere on Saturday because there’s no league points riding on it. You don’t move up or down, but it’s a knockout style so it’s not as cagey as league games, because there’s no ‘We’ll get a point for it’.
“I enjoy the cup competitions because there is an edge to them, and we are looking forward to this one.”
For those travelling to St James Park to support the Town, be rest assured that the Hatters have a solid record against the Grecians in the world’s oldest football cup competition.
The Hatters have beaten Exeter twice and drawn with them once in the Cup, with a 2-1 away win in 1960 seeing the Hatters progress to the fourth round, whilst it took a replay at Kenilworth Road in 1966 for Town to defeat the Grecians. Bruce Rioch and David Pleat netted in a 2-1 victory as the Hatters made it into the second round.
If that doesn’t buoy your spirits ahead of tomorrow’s match, then let recent history do the talking.
Town completed the double over Paul Tisdale’s side in the 2015/16 season, with a 3-2 victory on the road and a 4-1 win at Kenilworth Road on the last day of the season. Jack Marriott netted a brace, but the standout memory from that win must be Joe Piggott’s 30-yard finish, as he curled the ball perfectly into the bottom right corner after a half clearance from Grecians keeper James Hamon.
Exeter haven’t won in the league at home this season, but St James Park has proved to be a fruitful venue in cup competitions, as the Grecians have knocked Championship side Brentford out of the EFL Cup and more recently defeated Chelsea’s Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
City were in the relegation zone last month, but successive away victories – in which they have netted seven goals – have elevated them to 19th place in League Two.
Of the 63 matches Town and Exeter have contested, the Hatters have run out winners 33 times, whilst the Grecians have been victorious in 17 games. The first meeting between the two took place at St James Park in November 1908, with Exeter winning 2-1.
Tomorrow’s match will be refereed by John Busby, who took control of his last match on Wednesday, a 2-1 win for Tottenham Hotspur Under-19s over Bayer Leverkusen Under-19s.
For all ticket news on tomorrow’s match, please click here.
If you are unable to attend the match at St James Park tomorrow, make sure you follow our Twitter feed @LutonTown, or if you’re a Hatters Player subscriber, tune into Simon Pitts’ live commentary.