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Match Previews


24 March 2017

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All the info ahead of tomorrow's trip to Colchester United

The Hatters will be looking to break their run of draws when they take on Colchester United tomorrow as Nathan Jones’ side try to close the gap on third-placed Portsmouth.

Town have only suffered two defeats in their last 12 matches in all competitions, but have drawn their last three Sky Bet League Two encounters – that run was extended on Tuesday night with a 1-1 draw at Newport County.

(Pictured: Danny Hylton scores from the penalty spot in the 1-1 draw with Newport County)

Tomorrow they face a Colchester side who boast a fantastic home record, having lost only two of their last ten games at the Weston Homes Community Stadium – winning the other eight.

Hatters boss Jones is expecting a tough match, but he hopes the clean run to the end of the season should play into his team’s hands.

He said: “They are a decent outfit and it will be a difficult game, but we are. That’s what we’ve got to get back to.

“In terms of what we’ve had to do lately in going away to Carlisle and Newport and looking after players from Saturday-Tuesday, because they are a youngish group, we’ve had to compensate a little bit in terms of certain things.

“Now we haven’t got to do that. We are clear in our goals. Eight games and we are clear in what we have to do. Nothing will change. We’ll go back to being Luton now and hopefully we can put that run together.”

Under John McGreal, Colchester have been within touching distance of the play-off places for a number of weeks and if the result goes their way tomorrow afternoon, they could move to within a point of seventh.

The Hatters, on the other hand, could snatch fourth place should they take all three points, depending on how Stevenage get on at Cambridge United.

Colchester are currently suffering from a long injury list, with midfielder Sammie Szmodics the latest casualty after breaking his fibula in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Crewe.

Also out are Kurtis Guthrie, Craig Slater, Tom Eastman, Denny Johnstone and Frankie Kent – to name just a few first team players currently missing for the U’s.

In the absence of Guthrie – who is his team’s top scorer with 12 goals this season – the burden of finding the net will fall to 33-year-old Chris Porter, who has scored 11 times this term.

The real danger man for tomorrow’s hosts though is Brennan Dickenson, with the marauding left-back netting ten goals this season and laying on six assists for his team-mates.

The two sides have contested 25 matches in total, with McGreal’s side’s win at Kenilworth Road on Boxing Day their seventh victory over the Town. The Hatters have won nine of the games, with the other nine ending all-square.

(Pictured: The Hatters lost 1-0 at home to Colchester United on Boxing Day earlier on this season)

Tomorrow’s match will be refereed by Surrey-based Gavin Ward. In the 34 games he has taken charge of this season, he has shown 119 yellow cards and five red cards.

This will be the fourth match he has refereed that involves the Town this term, having overseen the reverse fixture, the 2-0 loss away at Crawley Town in September and the EFL Cup victory at home to Aston Villa in August.

The live wall will be in action for Town fans who can’t make the match tomorrow, whilst Hatters Player subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts’ full match commentary from just before 3pm.

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