BIG MATCH PREVIEW – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Stags head to one of the toughest away games in League Two on an unbeaten run of five matches after last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Wycombe Wanderers.
Adam Murray has already said Stags now need to learn to turn draws into wins to make progress into the play-offs spots, which they remain a single tantalising point outside.
But a draw at Kenilworth Road would be a great result, Grimsby the only side so far this season to come away from there with all three points thanks to a late winner.
Luton are fourth, winning three and drawing two of their other six home games so far and are starting to look as if they may pose a serious promotion challenge this season.
Stags have lost their last two trips there without scoring and the Hatters did the double over them last season.
Ex-Stag Ollie Palmer netted a late goal for Leyton Orient against Luton last weekend, but the Hatters won 2-1 with strikes by Cameron McGeehan and Danny Hylton.
Stags boss Murray this week banned mobile phones from the club in an effort to get his players to communicate more.
Click HERE to read a match analysis of Stags’ draw with Wycombe and see video of the action
Click HERE to read a Leyton Orient v Luton Town match report
STAGS TEAM NEWS
If midfielder Jamie McGuire has recovered from a leg injury sustained in training last week, Adam Murray could have a fully fit squad to select from, apart from centre half George Taft, who is back running.
Central defender Kyle Howkins made an unexpected comeback from a hamstring injury last week and came through it well.
All eyes will once again be on goal ace Matt Green, who has now been on the bench for five games, but has come on as sub in the last three to snatch two winners and a vital equaliser.
Murray said last week that, had Green not been off ill early last week, he would have been in the side against Wycombe last weekend.
So, after four goals in three games now, it’s hard to see him not starting at Luton, possibly in place of Danny Rose, who has worked hard but not scored since the opening day of the season.
Murray went with three centre halves against Wycombe to get his full backs forward as wing backs.
But he was be a little more conservative at Luton, who will give his side a much sterner examination.
POSSIBLE STAGS STARTING XI
Shearer; Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Benning; Collins; M. Rose, Clements, Hurst; Green, Hoban.
LUTON TEAM NEWS
Striker Danny Hylton is suspended and defender James Justin a doubt with a calf injury. But midfielder Olly Lee available again after suspension.
Midfielders Danny Green and Nathan Doyle are still out with long term injuries.
POSSIBLE LUTON STARTING XI
Walton, O’Donnell, Potts, Sheehan, Cuthbert, Rea, Gilliead, Cook, McGeehan. Marriott, McQuoid.
KEY BATTLE: CAMERON McGEEHAN v LEE COLLINS
Cameron McGeehan has scored seven goals already this term from midfielder and is always a threat for Luton as Stags know from past encounters.
Whether Lee Collins or Jamie McGuire plays the defensive midfielder role, they will have to keep a close eye on his runs.
The 21-year-old Northern Ireland U21 international had spells with Fulham, Chelsea and Norwich as a youth player before Norwich loaned him out to Cambridge and Luton.
In July 2015 McGeehan joined Luton permanently on a two-year contract for an undisclosed six-figure fee.
Click HERE to see a video of McGeehan’s goalscoring ability
LUTON ONE TO WATCH: ALEX GILLIEAD
Alex Gilliead is an attacking midfielder on loan from Newcastle United and has shown flashes of his ability during his brief appearances so far.
The 20-year-old has already gained experience with a loan at Carlisle United last season which saw him make 35 appearances, scoring five goals.
He is on loan at Kenilworth Road until 7th January and under contract at Newcastle until June 2018 with an extra year’s option already agreed.
Click HERE to watch a video interview with Gilliead after he joined Luton on loan
OPPOSITION MANAGER: NATHAN JONES
Nathan Jones arrived from Brighton in January this year for his first managerial role and is faring very well so far, with his determination to promote from within, plus passionate post match interviews.
Jones was previously first team coach at Brighton after spells as caretaker and assistant managers.
Defender Jones’ first professional club as a player was Luton which he joined, for £10,000, in the summer of 1995 after playing for the Welsh non-League team Merthyr Tydfil.
He left Kenilworth Road to play in the Spanish leagues for a number of seasons, turning out for Numancia and CD Badajoz, before returning to England to play for Southend United, Scarborough, Exeter City, Brighton and Yeovil Town.
LUTON SEASON SO FAR
The season so far has been very promising for the Hatters with results generally good, plus so many youngsters are coming through the ranks and making their debut in the first team.
Expectation among players and supporters is clearly promotion this term.
Luton ended their exile in the Conference in 2013/14 but have had two disappointing seasons since then.
A club with Luton’s history and level of support is expected to challenge, but last season they finished 11th.
Saturday, 23rd January 2016: Mansfield Town 0, Luton Town 2.
Mansfield Town conceded an early goal for the fifth time in six home games as they crashed 2-0 to struggling Luton Town.
It was the Hatters’ first ever League win at Mansfield and came despite them making six changes to their side, having won just once in the last nine League outings and with no goals scored in 360 minutes of football.
But they were given a huge boost when they found themselves in front through Paddy McCourt after just six minutes.
Mansfield dominated first half possession but could not find a way through the Hatters’ rearguard, and when Pelly Ruddock smashed home a second nine minutes after the break, the Stags had no way back in a flat second half.
It was a wasted opportunity to impress the fans for Adam Murray’s men as the game brought in the biggest home crowd of the season.
Mansfield had so much of the ball but lacked a spark and a cutting pass on the day.
New signing Sean Kavanagh, on loan from Fulham, began the game at left-back for Mansfield following the return of loanee Blair Adams to Notts County.
Click HERE to read the match report
Click HERE to see video highlights of the game
GROUND AND TICKETS
Kenilworth Road has been the home of Luton Town Football Club since 1905, and despite many changes and additions to the ground in that time, has lost none of its original charm.
The stadium is situated just outside the town centre in the Bury Park district of Luton and official seated capacity at Kenilworth Road is 10,073.
Prior to the stadium becoming an all-seater stadium in 1986, the ground was capable of holding in excess of 20,000 fans.
The highest recorded attendance was 30,069 in the 1959 sixth round FA Cup replay against Blackpool.
To get there, leave the M1 at Junction 11 and take the A505 towards Luton.
Go through one set of traffic lights and at the first roundabout, turn right into Chaul End Lane.
At the next roundabout turn left into Hatters Way, whilst continuing down Hatters Way and the ground will be seen on your left, although it is not accessible from this road.
At the end of Hatters Way turn left and start looking for street parking from here on (the ground will now be on your left).
Please note that there is a residents only parking scheme in operation near to the ground, so you will have to travel further away to find street parking and arriving as early as possible is advisable.
Click HERE to see a video of Kenilworth Road
Saturday’s game is all-ticket for Mansfield Town fans and the Hatters have allocated 776 tickets for Stags’ followers.
Prices are: Adults £20, Seniors (65-74) £15, Young Adults (19-22) £15, Golden Seniors (over 75) £12, Youth (11-18) £8, Juniors (10 and below) £5.
Ambulant disabled supporters will be required to purchase tickets in one category lower than their normal price. They will also receive a free carer ticket if they are in receipt of higher or middle DLA.
Wheelchair users are advised to contact Luton Town directly on 01582 416976.
There will be no facilities for Stags’ supporters to pay on the day, so please purchase your tickets in advance via 01623 482 482 or visit the ticket office on Quarry Lane. Ticket sales will cease at 5pm on Friday.
Don’t forget to read the match report at www.chad.co.uk after the game.
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