Hatters back in League action with trip to Crewe
Town return to Sky Bet League Two action this weekend as they travel to Cheshire to take on Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.
Tomorrow’s hosts parted company with Steve Davis, the fourth longest serving manager in the EFL having been in charge since November 2011, following their 3-0 defeat to Mansfield last week.
The ex-Nantwich Town manager has since been replaced by David Artell, who captained the Railwaymen to League Two promotion in 2011-12 and has this season been playing for Non-League sides Kidsgrove Athletic and Droylsden while working as Crewe’s academy operations director.
He has also appointed as his assistant a former Crewe favourite, Kenny Lunt, who made 436 appearances for the Alex over a nine-year spell and has more recently been coaching the Under-18s.
The first game between the two sides this season ended in a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road in early October, when Danny Hylton’s tap-in from a superb passing move (pictured below) was cancelled out by a far post header from veteran striker Ryan Lowe.
Hylton signed a contract extension yesterday to tie him to the Town until 2019 and if his stats are anything to go by, you can hardly blame Nathan Jones for wanting to keep the forward in his squad for the foreseeable future.
The striker has notched 14 goals and six assists in all competitions this season, making him top of both charts for the Hatters this term.
The Railwaymen have their own goal scoring threats too, with veteran Ryan Lowe and Chelsea loanee Alex Kiwomya both on seven for the season. Kiwomya extended his deal with Crewe until the end of the season, having been an important player for the Gresty Road based side this term.
Speaking to the media at his Ely Way Press conference yesterday, Jones said: “Crewe are a dangerous side and they have got some real good individuals, so we are very wary of their threat. But they’ll be wary of our threat and that’s what we will concentrate on.
“Whenever you change your manager there is an initial reaction. We just need to make sure that we contain that and impose ourselves on the game.”
Asked about the appointment of 36-year-old Artell, Jones added: “He obviously knows the club well, he’s brought in Kenny Lunt as well, who I played against and he was a real stalwart of the way Crewe played.
“They seem to have made two very sensible appointments and it may give them a lift. But we can’t focus on that, our focus is on Luton Town.”
Hylton doesn’t believe the new managerial appointment should have any bearing on the game, with Crewe 18th – ten places and ten points below the Hatters – and without a win in their last seven matches, despite the Gresty Road squad being out to prove a point.
“Everyone is playing to prove to the manager that they should be there and they should be playing,” said Hylton, “but we just treat it as any other game. It doesn’t really mean anything else. They shouldn’t be more motivated than us whether they’ve got a new manager or not.
“So we’ll go in there, work hard and I’m sure if we do the basics and we all run around, the rest will come and we can win the game.”
Referee tomorrow is Graham Salisbury, who last officiated on the Town in the 1-1 home draw with Mansfield in October. So far this season the Lancashire-based whistler has shown 68 yellow cards and four reds in 23 matches.
Although Gresty Road hasn’t traditionally been a happy hunting ground for the Hatters, we hold the slight upper hand in past meetings with Crewe, winning ten of the 23 matches between the two clubs. The Alex have won nine, while four have been draws.
The Hatters – who will wear the all-purple third kit tomorrow – will be roared on by at least 868 Town fans who have bought tickets before the 2pm cut-off point today.
This figure could rise towards another fantastic four-figure travelling contingent, however, with tickets available to purchase on the day from the away ticket office, next to the away turnstiles at Gresty Road, from midday.
Those who have made arrangements to collect pre-purchased tickets at Gresty Road can do so from 1pm.
- Adults: £22
- Seniors: £17
- 12 to 16-year-olds: £10.50
- Under-11s: £6.50
- Disabled and Carer: £17
If you aren’t attending tomorrow’s match against the Railwaymen, follow the live Wall on the LTFC website, whilst Hatters Player subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts’ match commentary from just before 3pm.