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21:44 9th April 2013


Manager Gary Simpson welcomed Dan Gray back into his side following injury whilst Paul Turnbull and Craig Hobson were also named in the starting XI for this Blue Square Bet Premier game against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Gray's return saw him slot in at right-back with Tom Miller on the left of a back four and with Adam Smith missing out through injury, Turnbull and Hobson came in for Alan Power and Vadaine Oliver who were joined on the bench by Gomez Dali, available again following suspension.

Within 15 seconds of the first whistle Mo Fofana tried his luck from range, forcing Town 'keeper Dean Brill to claim at the second attempt whilst in the fifth minute Brill was forced to tip behind a goal bound Jamie Taylor effort as the Imps pressed again.

Play switched to the other end with Nat Brown flicking a long-range shot behind for a Luton corner which was easily dealt with by the City defence. Shortly afterwards David Martin drilled over after a loose ball fell to his feet 18 yards from goal.

A Luton free-kick, given for a Mo Fofana trip on Alex Lawless, was punched behind by Paul Farman with the resultant corner ending up seeing Matt Robinson drill well wide from range. Martin then had an effort ruled out for offside after Lawless got the better of Tom Miller down the home right.

A scrappy period of play ensued in the run-up to the midway point with neither goalkeeper troubled on what looked to be a bobbly playing surface; a lame effort from Ronnie Henry being the only half-chance of note during a rather turgid 10 minutes.

On the half-hour mark a late challenge on Brown earned Andre Gray a ticking off when a yellow card could quite easily have been dished out to the Luton man. Five minutes later a Turnbull effort clipped a team mate before flying wide for a goal-kick following a long Gray throw into the mix.

Hobson won a corner as the half ticked on after he was picked out by a sweeping Turnbull pass but when the short corner routine ended up seeing Taylor dumped to the deck, referee Rob Whitton let play carry on with Luton in possession.

At the other end a great saving challenge from Brown saw him clear the ball off Gray's feet with Todd Jordan heading the corner behind. City failed to deal with this follow-up flag-kick, however, and when the ball ran free, it was picked up by David Martin who drilled powerfully past a static Farman to break the deadlock.

Two minutes later and it was 2-0 to the hosts when a forward pass from Jonathan Smith saw him release Gray and, after he rounded the advancing Farman the front man had the easy job to slot into an empty net.

HT: Luton 2 Imps 0

Both sides emerged unchanged for the start of the second half with the Imps seeing appeals for handball after the ball bounced around in the Luton box fall on deaf ears.

Robinson then left a foot in on Jordan which went unnoticed by the officials before Brown was forced to head a Henry cross behind for a corner. When City dealt with this danger, an attack ended up with Sheridan having a goalbound shot held at the second attempt by Brill.

Alan Power replaced Todd Jordan in the 56th minute whilst a couple of minutes later a Miller throw was punched behind by Brill but nothing came from the resultant corner, taken by Turnbull. When Town pushed forward Lawless slid in on Farman with a free-kick to the Imps the only outcome.

In the 66th minte referee Whitton was called into action when an off the ball clash between Boyce and Lawless saw both players pick up a caution and with the City man's booking being his 10th of the campaign it means that he'll be ruled out of the final two matches of the season.

Oliver replaced Hobson a minute later before the hosts forced two corners in quick succession whilst at the other end Sheridan won a corner for the Imps whilst was duly headed wide by Boyce.

Luton's response was immediate as, after skipper Steve McNulty picked out Gray with a quickly-taken free-kick, he looked up and picked out the onrushing Martin who had the easy task of tapping in from six yards.

City looked for a quick response with Sheridan having a shot deflected behind before Gomez Dali was introduced in place of Taylor up front. Scott Rendell replaced Lawless for the hosts at the same time and with 14 minutes remaining.

A City free-kick then ended with Brill tipping behind a Brown header before Boyce headed Power's corner well over.

With the match in its final nine minutes Alex Wall replaced Jon Shaw for the hosts, who seemed happy to see out the remaining stages with 'keeper Brill remaining untroubled between his sticks.

Rendell's first touch saw him see a snap-shot clip Boyce before flying a foot wide and with the game trickling towards its close, the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of four minutes were to be added on.

Dan Walker coming on for Andre Gray was the only action of note during these extra stages, although Farman was forced to gather a low Wall shot before Robinson drilled wide from range.

FT: Luton 3 Imps 0

City: Paul Farman, Dan Gray, Andrew Boyce, Nat Brown, Tom Miller, Todd Jordan, Mamadou Fofana, Paul Turnbull, Jake Sheridan, Jamie Taylor, Craig Hobson.

subs: Scott Garner, Alan Power (for Jordan 56), Vadaine Oliver (for Hobson 67), Gomez Dali (for Taylor 76), David Preece.

bookings: Boyce (66)

Luton: Dean Brill, Steve McNulty, Alex Lawless, Jon Shaw, Simon Ainge, David Martin, Matt Robinson, Jonathan Smith, Ronnie Henry, Andre Gray, Scott Griffiths.

subs: Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Scott Rendell (for Lawless 76), Alex Wall (for Shaw 82), Dan Walker (for Gray 90+2), Ben McFarlane-Barnes.

goals: Martin (41, 72), Gray (43)

bookings: Lawless (66)

Referee: Rob Whitton
Assistants: Adrian Piggott & Matt Eva
Fourth Official: Alex Neil

Attendance: 5,393 (173 City supporters)


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.