PREVIEW: Alfreton Town v Luton Town
Alfreton Town have endured a difficult start to their second season in the Conference, with just two wins to their name thus far, writes Mike Simmonds.
Both have come on their travels too, with Barrow defeated 3-1, and then while Hatters were beating Cambridge on Tuesday night, the Reds won 2-1 at Lincoln City.
Home form has been something of a worry for Nicky Law’s side as they drew 3-3 with Southport before suffering 3-0 defeats to both Hereford United and Nuneaton in front of their own fans.
They were also hammered 5-1 at Dartford meaning they have already shipped 19 goals in their opening seven games.
Law has brought in a number of new players this season, including goalkeeper Jon Stewart on loan from Burnley until January, with the 23-year-old stopper now in his second spell at the club.
The boss also moved to bring in Ben Tomlinson for an undisclosed fee from Macclesfield Town, while a host of new faces such as experienced forward Iyseden Christie, Tom Denton, former Barnsley midfielder Alastair Taylor, goalkeeper Phil Barnes and midfielders Danny Meadows and Dan Bradley were snapped up.
The likes of Chris Senior, Dan Lawson and Stephen Brogan were all released as Alfeton finished a creditable 15th position during their debut season in the Conference.
The Reds managed to gain 15 wins in total, eight at home and seven away, to end up 13 points clear of the drop.
Team news: Striker Jon Shaw misses the final game of his three match suspension for Town, with Ronnie Henry available to return.
New loan signing Jake Robinson has been cleared to play, but Danny Spiller, Garry Richards and James Dance are all still out.
Reds boss Nicky Law has a fully fit squad to choose from for the clash with no injuries or suspensions.
In charge: Nicky Law: Had a lengthy playing career after starting life at Arsenal and representing England at schoolboy level.
The central defender then had spells at Barnsley, Blackpool, Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Scarborough, Rotherham United, Chesterfield and Hereford United, amassing over 500 league appearances.
He was made football in the community officer with Chesterfield before taking over as manager from John Duncan in the spring of 2000.
Led the Spireites to automatic promotion from League Two in 2000-01, until moving on to Bradford City, Grimsby Town and Buxton.
Appointed boss of Alfreton on May 14, 2007, leading the club into their first spell in the Conference the season before last.
View from the opposition: Boss Nicky Law: “It is going to be another tough game against another top team, but if we go and put the level of commitment and performance in we did against Lincoln, we will improve our chances of getting something.
“We were a different team altogether. It was a much-improved performance, we played on the front foot and if we continue to do that, the results will follow.”
One to watch: Simon Russell – Experienced midfielder who joined Alfreton in the summer.
Started out at Hull and then went to Kidderminster, playing over 100 times before spells at York and Tamworth.
Joined Cambridge for a season, then Lincoln, until his switch to the Reds at the start of the current campaign.
Top BSBP scorer: Hatters – Stuart Fleetwood (7). Reds – Paul Clayton (4).
Last time out: Hatters were held to a goalless draw by Alfreton in their first-ever visit to the Reds last season. Town are yet to concede a goal against their opponents too, after winning the home game 1-0.
Hatters: Mark Tyler, George Pilkington, Jake Howells, Curtis Osano (Dan Gleeson 60), Janos Kovacs, Keith Keane, Alex Lawless, Robbie Willmott (Aaron O’Connor 60), Godfrey Poku (Andre Boucaud 60), Stuart Fleetwood, Andre Gray.
For all the latest Luton Town FC news, reports, stats, player profiles, live match updates, MOM poll, prediction table and a complete fixture list, visit our Hatters Microsite.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
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Wind direction: North