PREVIEW: Luton Town v Hyde

To put it simply, the start to the 2013-14 season has been an absolute nightmare for Hyde, writes Mike Simmonds.

An opening game 8-0 humiliation at Forest Green Rovers set the tone for the campaign as with 14 games gone, the Tigers are rooted to the bottom of the table after taking just a measly two points so far.

Those draws were impressive in themselves as they held Hereford at home 2-2, before earning a point at Wrexham with the same scoreline.

However, those two results came back in August and the club have now lost their last 10 games in a row.

If matters could get any worse, Hyde have also not scored in their last six matches either, a run spanning over seven hours now

They have only managed a paltry eight goals all season too, so boss Scott McGiven has been trying to alter the situation and recently brought in Rochdale forward Reece Gray on a one month loan.

The striker is now in his second spell at Ewen Fields after a loan move in 2011-12 when he made 17 appearances, scoring four times in the club’s Conference North championship winning season, where he was named the Tigers’ Young Player of the Year.

Hyde have also tried to bolster the squad with some experience too, signing free agent Martin Devaney, 33, who has made over 400 appearances in his career, but had been without a club since leaving Kidderminster Harriers at the end of the campaign.

McGiven has also swooped for teenage striker Emmanuel Dieseruvwe from Sheffield Wednesday on a one-month youth loan, although he is scheduled to go back after this weekend.

At the end of last season, Hyde lost experienced striker pair Matthew Blinkhorn and Phil Jevons which has seriously hindered their potency upfront.

They did bring back Louis Almond on loan from Blackpool though after he played vital role in the club’s successul battle against relegation last year, scoring four times.

It looked like the Tigers were doomed at one stage after suffering 10 defeats in 12 games, before a victory at Kenilworth Road saw them win five in a row, with six victories from their final 10 matches leading them to a finish five points clear of the drop zone.

Hyde have also strengthened at the back too with goalkeeper Nick Liversedge joining on a one-month loan deal from Burnley after David Carnell picked up a groin injury recently.

Team news: Hatters boss John Still confirmed he may well recall Alex Lawless after he missed out against Aldershot on Tuesday night.

Mark Cullen and Alex Wall picked up knocks in a development team game against West Ham in the week, but are expected to be fit.

That leaves just Jon Shaw missing, who is still recovering from his hernia, plus defender Danny Fitzsimons.

Hyde will be hoping midfielder Alex Brown can return to the line-up after sitting out Tuesday night due to a bad gash to his knee.

There was also a return to training on Thursday from forward Danny Carlton, although it is doubtful he will be making an appearance on Saturday as he continues his rehabilitation back to full match fitness.

Top Skrill scorer - Hatters: Luke Guttridge (5). Tigers: Tom Collins (4).

Man in the middle: Dean Treleaven - has taken five games this season, showing 25 yellows already at an average of five per match, but is yet to brandish his red card.

Proved just as card happy last term too, with 52 yellows in his 15 games, though again, showed his red sparingly, with just one dismissal.

Took Luton once, the 1-0 win over Stockport, while he officiated Hyde’s defeats at Forest Green and Woking, but did take their 2-1 win at Hereford.

In charge: Scott McNiven - 35-year-old who progressed through the youth ranks at Oldham Athletic as a player, making over 200 appearances during 10 years before leaving in 2002.

Joined Oxford where he played 85 times in two years before spells at Mansfield Town, Chester City, Morecambe, Fleetwood Town, Guiseley, Farlsey Celtic and Fylde.

Moved to Hyde at the start of the 2009–10 season, before he was made assistant to Neil Tolson on October 3, 2010.

Took over as joint player-manager with Steve Halford after the sacking of Tolson in April 2011.

He was replaced as the joint-manager of Hyde before the start of the 2011–12 season by Gary Lowe, but when Lowe resigned in May 2012, he was appointed as full-time boss.

Average home crowd: Luton: 6,362. Hyde: 556.

One to watch: Midfielder Tom Collins has been one bright spot for Hyde in a miserable season to date, with four goals to his name.

Went on a run of three in three, but has now endured a disappointing spell of six matches without a goal.

Started life at Hayes & Yeading and was at Stockport last year before his switch to Hyde.

Friendly faces: Hatters winger Shaun Whalley spent five months at Hyde during the 2010-11 season.

Joined the club after being released by Droylsden and made his debut in a 5-1 home win over Alfreton Town.

Played 16 times and scored three goals before being released so that he could join Southport in January 2011.

We’ve got form: Hatters have only met Hyde once at Kenilworth Road, as they turned in a truly shocking performance to lose 2-1 last season, boss John Still’s first defeat in charge of the club.

The visitors took the lead through Louis Almond on 19 minutes.

Jake Howells levelled for Town before the break, but Greg Taylor conceded a penalty on 70 minutes and Jamie Milligan netted to claim the points.

Hatters: Mark Tyler, Steve McNulty, Jake Howells, Ronnie Henry, Jake Goodman, Greg Taylor (Lathaniel Rowe-Turner 73), Alex Lawless (Dan Walker 35), JJ O’Donnell, Jonathan Smith, Alex Wall, Andre Gray (David Martin 60).

Subs not used: Dean Brill, Matt Robinson.

Attendance: 4,847.

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