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Match Previews


18 May 2017

Match Previews


18 May 2017

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All the info ahead of tonight's game at Kenilworth Road

The Hatters take on Blackpool at Kenilworth Road tonight in the Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final, with Nathan Jones’ team looking to overturn a one goal deficit.

There’s plenty going on at the stadium in the build-up to the game, with sticks of Luton Town rock being handed out to junior supporters, a £6 sausage and cider deal for the adults as well as every person who purchases something from our catering outlets and club shop being entered into a raffle.

Supporters are also asked to bring Hatters flags to add as much atmosphere and colour to the game as possible.

Although Dan Potts and Isaac Vassell scored to put the Town in front in the first leg at Bloomfield Road on Sunday after Mark Cullen had given his team the lead, the ex-Hatters striker went onto complete a hat-trick, consigning Jones’ side to a 3-2 defeat.

That result means the Hatters need to win by as a bare minimum to at least take the game into extra-time.

Kenilworth Road is set to be a sell-out in the home sections of the ground, with an attendance of over 10,000 expected - there are around 100 tickets left for tonight’s fixture, book now online or from the Ticket Office by phone on 01582 416976 or in person to get your hands on one.

The gaffer doesn’t think he will have to call upon the home support to get behind the team though.

He said: “I don’t think I am going to need to appeal to them. We are on the brink of something. We are going to need them. There are going to frustrating parts of the night.

“It’s a minimum 95-minute game and we are going to need them. The players are going to need lifting. There’s going to be times when they’re going to be fatigued because they’re going to give everything and they’re going to need a lift.

“I saw Steve Perryman appealing for the Exeter fans. I don’t think our fans are going to need any encouragement, but if they do I will give them it from the side-line, don’t worry about that.”

In the regular season, the Town picked up six points against Gary Bowyer’s side, running out 2-0 winners at Bloomfield Road in December and beating them again in April at Kenilworth Road by a single goal.

Those points helped propel the Town into fourth spot in the league, but Jones doesn’t believe that entitles his team to a place in the play-off final.

“It’s difficult to say you deserve to be at Wembley, you have to earn that,” Jones explained. “I think over the season we have earned a reputation that we are a certain type of side. It would be wrong of me to say we should have gone up automatically, because over the 46 games there were three more consistent teams than us.

“On our day we are a wonderful, wonderful team, but we haven’t been quite as consistent as the top three to go up automatically. We were the best placed side in the play-offs and we are a good side. Apart from the play-off game we hadn’t lost to any of them.

“We deserve a place in the play-offs, but we have got to earn that Wembley place.”

Vassell’s superb strike on Sunday was his 14th of the season, as well as it being his third in three games. That means the 23-year-old Cornishman, top scorer Danny Hylton and 12-goal Jack Marriott have now netted 52 times between them this season.

The Pool have their own threats in Cullen, Kyle Vassell and Brad Potts, with the trio scoring 37 goals all together. Vassell – who clipped the crossbar with a rasping effort on Sunday – is their top scorer with 13 goals this season.

Tonight’s game will be refereed by Peterborough based Darren Deadman, who has taken charge of 48 games this term, dishing out 159 yellow cards and seven red cards. He has controlled three Hatters games this season – at home to Grimsby in September, then away at Accrington in the FA Cup and the 1-1 draw at Doncaster.
The live wall on the LTFC website will be available for all supporters, relaying the blow-by-blow account of the action on our Twitters feed, whilst Simon Pitts’ full match commentary available on Hatters Player from just before kick-off.

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