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Match preview Vs Luton Town

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Date: 14-08-12gif Venue: Aggboroughgif Kick off: 19:45hrs

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The Harriers kick off their home campaign for the season tomorrow and you couldn't hope for a tougher opponent than our illustrious visitors Luton Town.  They come to Aggborough with high hopes of getting back into the Football League for what seems the umpteenth time but is in fact only the fourth time in as many years.  Each time they have reached the play-off final and each year they have failed at the final hurdle.

Anthony Malbon Deep down we all hope that's just what will happen again this year but the law of averages mean that one day they will do it.  Until then they have to go through the whole season playing against lowly non league clubs like us.

We last came up against them in that much hyped game in April of last season.  We had gone there in fourth place in the league and looking to consolidate our play-off place but, in front of over 750 Harriers fans, we lost to a second half Robbie Wilmott goal and our big chance was gone.  We dropped to sixth place, out of contention and that was confirmed in the 3-0 home defeat to Mansfield the following Saturday.

During the close season Wilmott has left Luton for a return to Cambridge while from the team that played us Curtis Osano, Keith Keane, George Pilkington, Shane Blackett, Craig McAllister and Godfrey Poku have all left the club.

On Saturday they opened their season with a 2-2 home draw against Gateshead and that was after trailing 2-0 at the break.  They were booed off by their over expectant fans and that must have spurred the team to correct their poor first half to rescue the game with goals from new signing Jon Shaw, against his old club, and Stuart Fleetwood.

They'll certainly be hoping to go one better and beat us tomorrow but that'll have to be with some important players missing.  Jake Howells has been called up to the Wales U21 squad to play Armenia on Wednesday while out injured they have James Dance (ankle), Danny Spiller (achilles), Garry Richards (ankle) and Alex Lacey (shoulder).

We'll also be wanting to win this game after failing to turn up at Lincoln on Saturday.  We didn't expect too much to be honest, with only one fit striker, Ryan Rowe, available to us, but a draw was a strong possibility with Lincoln not being great shakes on paper but to go down with very little fight was unforgivable and must be corrected against Luton.

Although Anthony Malbon (above) had been declared unfit before the game he was chosen for the bench.  The majority of fans thought he was just there to make numbers up but he came on to make a difference but with no real support from midfield, due to being bypassed, he couldn't get that point winning goal.  He should be fit again for tomorrow but the ball will need to be played to feet and not hoofed into space.

Steve Guinan was also out with a twisted ankle and it's doubtful if he will have recovered enough just yet.  Lee Vaughan misses his second of four games due to suspension.

So can we achieve a result against Luton Town?  Hard to say without a massive kick up the backside to those that under performed at Lincoln but I'm sure that Steve Burr has already done that and they WILL respond.  Or else!

Photo © KHFC


Teams:

Harriers from:
Lewis, N Vaughan, Williams, Dunkley, Geohaghon, Austin, Demetriou, Byrne, Shakes, Storer, Vincent, Briggs, Pilkington, Johnson, Malbon, Gittings, Rowe.

Luton Town from:
Tyler, Brill, Rowe-Turner, Taylor, Beckwith, Kovács, Lawless, Shaw, Rendell, Gray, Fleetwood, Watkins, O'Donnell, Kasim, Robinson, Henry, Walker, Carney, Ann.

Talk about the game here

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