Town red hot favourites to progress at Matlock

The News/Gazette BetVictor column

Another poor performance in front of a live TV audience on Tuesday saw the Hatters put to the sword by table topping Newport; the 5-2 scoreline certainly didn’t flatter County either as their attractive brand of attacking football was pleasing on the eye, writes Charlie McCannn.

Paul Buckle must really address a defence that has at times been embarrassing and with nobody dominating midfield, they are unable to take advantage of an explosive forward line.

Seven defeats in the League already before Christmas is not promotion never mind title winning form but such is the nature of the division this season that they remain strong candidates to achieve both.

Luton are still in a play-off berth and a mere six points behind County although they are on the drift to top the table with 4/1 now available at BetVictor, 6/4 to gain promotion and 1/5 to make the top five.

A glance at the fixture list shows Luton not having to play a team in the current top nine in their next nine fixtures; if there was a time to push on this looks like it.

Many of these fixtures are against teams struggling to avoid the drop and Luton will be hoping to occupy at least a minimum of a top three position after this period.

This weekend they have the distraction of an FA Trophy tie at Matlock; I have stated previously that this competition could derail them from their primary objective which must be promotion but they should have too much for their hosts at the weekend.

The Gladiators are a lowly 17th in the Northern Premiership with only six league victories and not surprisingly the Hatters are strong favourites at 4/7 to win.

Matlock did claim the scalp of Conference side Mansfield in the previous round and will be looking for an even bigger prize at Causeway Lane.

The Derbyshire outfit are 9/2 to gain a shock win with the draw 3/1. Luton remain 6/1 co favourites alongside Forest Green and Wrexham to lift the Trophy and will fully expect to reach the last sixteen.

With the third round FA Cup tie against Wolves looming large it’s a very busy time for Luton with games coming thick and fast; there remains 84 Conference points still up for grabs and the Hatters still have plenty of time to overcome an indifferent start and begin delivering the rewards a loyal and large fan base richly deserve.

Dunstable suffered a shock defeat in the FA Vase last week at Enfield. However Ampthill progressed thanks to a 1-0 win over Hertford and will now entertain Enfield themselves in round four.

They are 50/1 to lift the silverware at Wembley and we will have prices in the New Year for their next tie due to be played on January 19..

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