Plenty has been said about the benefits of winning ugly, and while at times it wasn’t pretty against opponents who were dire to say the least and have since sacked their manager, the three points and a clean sheet secured in East London on Tuesday night will have gone a long way to repairing City’s fragile confidence. Now it’s back home and yet another attempt to secure a victory against an opponent chasing promotion, although there is a feeling that City might be out for revenge after feeling somewhat hard done by in the recent FA Cup encounter. Paul Tisdale’s main selection dilemmas will be around whether he goes for continuity or whether two long away trips in the space of a week may lead to some tired legs. Lee Holmes may be back in contention after missing the win on Tuesday, although it is always difficult to gauge the nature of concussion, but otherwise it could be “as you were” with Liam McAlinden continuing in an unfamiliar left-sided role after a couple of decent outings in that position.
Big-spending Luton continue to look for the formula to take them up the leagues, and this season look well-placed to challenge after a comparatively poor season last term. A 3-1 defeat at home to Portsmouth on Tuesday night ended a 9-match unbeaten league run (although five of those were draws), so Nathan Jones’ Hatters will be looking to get straight back to winning ways. Scoring isn’t a problem for Luton, having failed to score in just two league matches so far this season, although they are increasingly reliant on Danny Hylton (12 goals in all competitions) and Cameron McGeehan (nine). Another player to watch will be Newcastle loanee Alex Gilliead, who tormented City in a Carlisle shirt last season.
If City need motivation to finally dispel their home hoodoo, they can look no further than the last two occasions Luton visited the Park. Three weeks ago the FA Cup first round tie saw the visitors controversially win 3-1 thanks to two penalties from Hylton that would be described as soft at best – the first was cancelled out by Reuben Reid’s first home goal for City, Glenn Rae put Luton back in front before Hylton’s second penalty. In the meantime Pelly Ruddock was harshly sent off for reacting to a piece of David Wheeler handiwork. The corresponding fixture last season was again controversial – McGeehan (another penalty!) and Green had put Luton 2-0 up at the break before City rallied with goals from Nichols and Nicholls. The winner deep into stoppage time was bundled home by veteran Paul Benson as City appealed for a clear foul on Olejnik. The return was more straightforward on the last day of the season as Luton cruised to a 4-1 win, the only respite being when Jayden Stockley signed off from his impressive loan spell with a goal to bring it back to 3-1. Luton hold a clear head to head lead in Football League fixtures with 25 wins to City’s 11 (12 draws).
Last season’s game – http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4091