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Match Reports

REPORT: Hatters v Imps

1 January 2018

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The Imps were undone by Luton Town in a pulsating encounter full of goals and incident. There were four goals and two red cards in a blistering opening 45 minutes, City taking an early lead through Michael Bostwick following a dismissal for Luton skipper Alan Sheehan The Hatters responded through James Collins before Matt Green put the visitors back in front. Harry Anderson was then dismissed for a second yellow card offence before James Justin leveled ahead of the break, but goals from Danny Hylton and Harry Cornick rounded out the scoring for the home side.

City made three changes to the team that defeated Forest Green Rovers, with the hosts making five changes to their starting line up. The game started at breakneck speed and the opening exchanges brought an early red card and a goal for The Imps.

 Just four minutes were on the clock when Matt Rhead tussled with Alan Sheehan, the Luton skipper. Rhead went to the floor under the challenge, the referee immediately walked over to the scene of the incident and showed Sheehan a red card. The resulting free kick brought the opening goal, Sean Long laid off the ball to MICHAEL BOSTWICK who smashed the ball low towards goal, Marek Stech got his hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

The Hatters pushed immediately for the equaliser, backed by a raucous home support, Danny Hylton won a header inside the box and it looped towards James Collins, Josh Vickers was quickly out to palm the ball clear of danger. Luton were busy in midfield but the efforts of City off the ball were continually frustrating the home players and supporters.

City continued to be resolute off the ball, and the chance for a second came as Luton were pushed back deep into their own half, a first cross from Long was only half cleared, Sam Habergham lofted it back into the danger area and Sean Raggett won the header and it looped goalwards but Stech just managed to tip over the top. The Imps then pressed forward down the right, Harry Anderson’s centre was just taken off the toes of Rhead but it rolled to Green who shot but his effort skidded wide of goal.

Hylton battled with Long as he looked to get in behind the full back, with both players for possession, the striker won the tussle before squaring to Collins and he finished off the move to equalise. However, the response from The Imps was swift and decisive, a ball into the box was flicked on and MATT GREEN hooked the ball home to give the visitors the lead for a second time.  You couldn’t take your eyes off the action and when Anderson collided in midfield with Ollie Lee there was a second yellow card shown to the midfielder and both sides were down to ten men.

With a couple of minutes left to the break, Luton equalized for a second time. Following a corner from The Imps right, the ball was only half cleared and James Justin fired in a shot from distance that sneaked in the bottom left corner past the dive of Vickers.

Half Time

Luton Town 2 The Imps 2

The home side started the second half quickly, with Andrew Shinnie firing a low shot at goal which Vickers covered as it skipped off the turf and went wide. Luton had a short spell of possession without threatening the City goal, with the visitors standing firm, resolute and determined.  City grew in confidence, a burst forward from Bostwick almost saw a cross come into the box, but the move continued when Long picked up possession before firing a shot which whistled across the front of Stech’s goal.

Josh Ginnelly won a corner and the flag kick was played deep to the back post where Luke Waterfall leapt to connect with it but his header cannoned off a number of players before going over the top.  Ginnelly almost created a shooting chance for Green but it was well defended and the home side broke at pace but Hylton couldn’t hit the target.

City’s resolute defending seemed to subdue the home support and they looked to get back into the lead with just over an hour gone. Raggett’s ball in behind found Green who showed Jack Stacey a clean set of heels, his ball into the box however was just intercepted with Ginnelly lining up the shot.  Green then went within inches of giving The Imps the lead for a third time, he took control on the edge of the box, took his time and smashed an effort which smacked off the frame of the goal with Stech well beaten.

City were hit with a sucker punch though when Hylton struck with just under twenty minutes remaining to give Luton the lead for the first time, the striker connected with a left wing cross. The Hatters were now looking to push the game beyond City but Vickers made a wonderful stop from Luke Berry’s drive from outside the area.

The home side scored a fourth with just under ten minutes to go when sub, Harry Cornick cut inside from the left and hitting a low shot past Vickers.

Full Time

Luton Town 4 The Imps 2



1          Marek Stech

2          James Justin

5          Johnny Mullins

7          Jack Stacey

8          Olly Lee

9          Danny Hylton

11       Andrew Shinnie

16       Glen Rea

18       Luke Berry    

19       James Collins

44       Alan Sheehan


36       James Shea

10       Jordan Cook

14       Harry Cornick (for Shinnie 71’)

17       Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu

22       Luke Gambin

38       Elliot Lee

39       Akin Famewo

RED CARD: Sheehan 4’

Goals: Collins 32’ Justin 43’ Hylton 72’ Cornick 82’


The Imps

21       Josh Vickers

2          Sean Long

3          Sam Habergham

4          Elliott Whitehouse

5          Luke Waterfall

9          Matt Rhead

10       Matt Green

16       Michael Bostwick

25       Sean Raggett

26       Harry Anderson

30       Alex Woodyard


1          Paul Farman

7          Josh Ginnelly (for Ginnelly 46’)

8          Ollie Palmer

11       Billy Knott (for Long 80’)

15       Rob Dickie (for Green 85’)

28       Nathan Arnold

32       Cameron Stewart

Bookings: Rhead 5’ Whitehouse 15’ Anderson 26’

Red Card: Anderson 36’ (second yellow)

GOALS: Bostwick’ 5 Green 34’


Referee: Nicolas Kinseley

Assistants: Marc Wilson & Samuel Ogles


Attendance: 9,659 (1044 Imps Supporters)



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