harriers-online preview
15th march 2002 


  • Luton Town (away ko 3:00pm)

    It was only a few months ago that we last played Luton Town and what a nightmare that turned out to be.

    Both for us and Brockie.

    Up until then we had been experiencing our best form since entering the Football League.

    Our good run had started with the York City game towards the end of October last year when we hammered them 4-1.

    Before then we had found it nigh on impossible to score goals and collect points.

    We were hovering near the bottom of the league and the fans were preparing themselves for a long slog.

    After that game we went on a run that took us to the edge of the play off zone with wins against Bristol Rovers (2-0), Orient (1-3), Lincoln (0-1), Rushden (3-0), Rochdale (4-1), Hull City (3-0) and finally Torquay (1-4).

    In that lot we only lost twice at Southend and Exeter.

    Then Luton turned up feeling groggy and blowing into their hankies.

    The first half was evenly matched and we went in equal at 0-0 but after having taken the lead early in the second half we went to pieces.

    And so did poor old Stuart Brock.

    Luton ripped us apart with 4 goals and the sound of 'Dodgy keeper' from the Luton fans ringing in Brockies ears.

    Since that game we haven't been the same. We've won a few but the sparkle that we had over Christmas has now gone.

    We're still there, on the edge of the play offs, but thats as far as I think we'll get.

    We are now suffering from injuries to key players i.e. Blakie, Appleby, Henriksen and Stamps as well as team members continuing to play with injuries when in an ideal world they would be given time to heal. In this list are Colin Larkin and Dean Bennett.

    We are also going through a period of low confidence with the boardroom uncertainty and the low crowds. This must affect the players and it showed in that defeat at Halifax on Tuesday night.

    So what can we gain from our first ever trip to Luton.

    A draw, at the most. I would love to see us come back with all three points but can you really see that happening?

    Our task is now made harder with the news that the injuries have finally caught up with Larks and Deano and they won't be playing Saturday.

    We are now down to just eight regular first teamers:

    • Brock.
    • Clarkson.
    • Sall.
    • Hinton.
    • Smith.
    • Foster.
    • Broughton.
    • Williams.
    A few fringe players:
    • Danby.
    • Joy.
    • Ayres.
    • Davies.
    • Doyle.
    • Shilton.
    • Bird.
    And Matt Lewis.

    The signs don't look too good.

    One things for sure. I can't see Stuart Brock having a bad game.

    This is the game to exorcise his demons!!

    Luton are still going all out for that top spot but having played two more games than Plymouth they will be relying on the Pilgrims to drop points if they want the Championship medals.

    They are also nine points in front of third placed Mansfield and so, themselves, will take some catching.

    Luton have got Marvin Johnson and Ahmet Brkovic on their injury list. Johnson picked up a hamstring injury in their game at Rushden last Saturday and Brkovic had a ankle injury in a game against Torquay three weeks ago, it's still inflamed and is not responding to treatment.

    Also out will be keeper Carl Emberson with flu. Here we go again!! Aaron Skelton might make his return against us after being missing for six weeks with knee ligament problems.

    Luton also have Carl Griffiths out for the rest of the season.
    He has already missed most of this season after breaking his leg in August.

    The only worry on Luton manager Joe Kinnear's mind is the loss of Matthew Taylor.

    Taylor is attracting the attention of the big clubs and Spurs and Newcastle are thought to be two of the sides who are taking a serious interest in him.

    Luton's problem is that Taylor is out of contract at the end of the season, he has just turned down a new three year contract and rather than see him leave for nothing Joe wants to sell him to the highest bidder now or otherwise see it go to tribunal where a fee will be decided.

    If he does go then big Joe is getting ready to sign Dean Holdsworth from Bolton to replace him, but he won't be available till the end of this season.

    They have been trying to take Adam Proudlock on loan from Wolves until the end of the season but although he is out of favour at Molineaux Dave Jones wants to keep him there for cover.

    Harriers (from):
    Brock, Danby, Joy, Smith, Clarkson, Sall, Ayres, Hinton, Williams, Davies, Doyle, Broughton, Shilton, Foster, Bird, Lewis.

    Luton (from):
    Ovendale, Emberson, Spring, Perrett, Forbes, Nicholls, Taylor, Boyce, Howard, Valois, Bayliss, Crowe, Coyne, Hughes, Neilson, Hillier, Fraser, Hunter, Skelton, Fotiadis.

    Anyone who is going to this game please remember that it's all ticket only.

    Tickets are available through the club up until 5:00 this evening.


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    luton fc.com

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