Hatters look to maintain proud home record over Hatters

LUTON Town will be looking to continue their lengthy home unbeaten run against Stockport County at Kenilworth Road tonight, writes Mike Simmonds.

Tuesday, 10th January 2012, 10:38 am

You have to go back to September 17, 1966 for the last time Hatters were beaten by the Hatters when they suffered a 3-0 defeat in Division Four.

Since that day, Luton have won three and drawn three of their six matches, so counting the two wins beforehand too, it’s not been a happy hunting ground for the visiting Hatters.

The visitors approach the game in terrible form after dropping out of the Football League last season.

Expected to go straight back up in some quarters under former German international midfielder Didi Hamann, they drew six out of their opening eight matches, indluding grabbing a last-minute equaliser when Hatters visited Edgeley Park.

The wins didnt follow though as Hamann eventually left after just four months citing the failure of a proposed takeover by Tony Evans as the main reasons.

Former boss Jim Gannon returned to the club, but things haven’t gone to plan though as the new manager has picked up just three points from a possible 24, while they were also recently battered 7-0 at Grimsby and were knocked out the FA Trophy by Stalybridge in a replay.

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Gateshead means Stockport are now on a run of one league win in 11 games and have dropped to 19th in the table.

Goals have been hard to come by too as the Hatters have not scored in six of their last seven league games, with current top scorer Tom Elliott on just five goals and he hasn’t found the target since the 3-3 draw with Hayes & Yeading on November 5.

Gannon has tried to make changes to the squad as top scorer Nick Chadwick moved to Plymouth Argyle on a permanent basis, while Chris Blackburn has released and since joined AFC Telford.

On-loan goalkeeper Mark Halstead was recalled by Blackpool with Antonio German also leaving the club too.

Stockport have tried to strengthen in recent weeks though with Fleetwood striker Danny Rowe joining on a one-month loan after funds from the supporters group Help the Hatters, while defender Joe Connor has also signed.

Team news: Hatters won’t have leading scorer Amari Morgan-Smith once more and have doubts over George Pilkington, Danny Crow and Dan Gleeson. Godfrey Poku is suspended, while Dean Beckwith and Shane Blackett are also out.

In charge: Jim Gannon – something of a legend at Edgeley Park after spending 10 years with County as a player where he racked up over 350 appearances, scoring more than 50 goals too.

Began his career at Dundalk and had brief spells at Sheffield United, Halifax Town, Notts County and Crewe Alexandra, but never reached the heights he did Stockport.

Started management life with the team he began his career, Dundalk, before four years with Stockport.

Left in May 2009 and went to Motherwell, before taking over at Peterborough United and then Port Vale, where left after just over two months.

Last time out: Hatters eased to a 3-0 victory over Stockport in League One on January 15, 2005.

Chris Coyne put the hosts ahead on 29 minutes, while Steve Howard added the second after the break before Kevin Nicholls converted a penalty on 74 minutes.

Keith Keane came on a second half substitute while assistant boss Alan Neilson also took his place in defence.

Hatters: Marlon Beresford, Kevin Foley, Alan Neilson, Paul Underwood (Peter Holmes 79), Chris Coyne, Curtis Davies, Ahmet Brkovic, Kevin Nicholls (Keith Keane 79), Steve Robinson, Steve Howard (Enoch Showunmi 86), Rowan Vine.

Attendance: 6, 603.

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