Buckle salutes ‘incredible’ Town fans

HATTERS boss Paul Buckle hailed the Luton fans as ‘incredible’ after 8,415 crammed into Kenilworth Road to watch the 1-0 victory over Kidderminster Harriers yesterday, writes Mike Simmonds

The attendance was the highest at Kenilworth Road this season, and comfortably the best in the Conference.

In fact, it was only bettered by six matches in League One and League Two either, the games at Bradford, Plymouth, Charlton, Huddersfield, MK Dons and Sheffield Wednesday.

Buckle said: “I’d like to thank them all personally for coming. We really needed that, I needed it and I was just so pleased for them.

“When you come out for the warm up, I had a little glance and saw how many people are coming in, how many Luton fans were there to support their team, it’s incredible and the players reacted to that.

“It was a massive, massive game. You always a worry when we’d played so well which we did on Tuesday night here to try and get somewhere near that again but fair play to the players, they upped their game again. Over 8,000 in Kenilworth Road is something else too, so it was a fantastic day for us.

“We spoke about work-rate in the last three or four games, it’s been evident and the fans are reacting to it. It’s what they want to see, an energetic Luton team, but at the same time play the game in the right way.”

Winger Robbie Willmott netted the only goal of the game on 67 minutes, latching on to a pinpoint clearance from Mark Tyler to cut inside and rifle into the corner of the net for his ninth goal of the season.

The result saw Luton leapfrog Harriers into the play-off positions, with the knowledge that a win at Gateshead on Tuesday night will seal their place in the top five.

Buckle continued: “That suits us because that’s what we want to do. It will be a difficult game and that’s why you didn’t see over celebrations.

“It’s a big relief for everybody, a huge win, but at the same time let’s keep the celebrations low key because the next game is huge.”

Harriers boss Steve Burr cut a frustrated figure at the end, especially as Kidderminster came within inches of levelling, hitting the post in injury time.

Some of the visiting press wrongly thought Town defender Jake Howells had handled the clearance, but Burr said: “Whether it’s handball or over the line, it’s 1-0 to Luton at the end of the day, there’s nothing we can do about that.

“We were a bit disappointed with the goal but there wasn’t a lot in the game.

“I thought we started off quite brightly. They changed their shape are about 10-15 minutes to put an extra man in the middle of the park.

“It caused us a few problems which we counteracted by doing a similar thing ourselves and then we went back to a 4-4-2 because I didn’t think we were influencing the game enough to win it.

“Second half I thought we did better, we created the better chances, but their goal has come from a mistake really.”

For more reaction, and interviews with Mark Tyler and Robbie Willmott, see the Luton News/Dunstable Gazette on sale Wednesday.

For all the latest Luton Town FC news, reports, stats, player profiles, live match updates, prediction table and a complete fixture list, visit our Hatters Microsite.