Goal shy Brentford travel the short distance up the M1 this Saturday to take on Joe Kinnear’s play-off chasing Luton Town, at their Kenilworth Road ground.
The Bedfordshire outfit are currently in eighth position in the Nationwide Second Division, two places and three points behind Queens Park Rangers, who occupy the final play-off berth.
Indeed, the Hatters may have been in an even better position had they not made a disastrous start to the season. Following last season’s promotion from the Nationwide Third Division at the first attempt, when they had finished a close runner-up to Plymouth Argyle,
An opening day defeat at home to Barry Fry’s Peterborough United 2-3, was followed by reversals at Blackpool 2-5 and Plymouth Argyle 1-2, before they lost at Kenilworth Road again to Barnsley in an exciting game, 2-3.
It was not until their sixth league game that the Hatters finally managed to register a first victory, when Derbyshire outfit,
The Bedfordshire club’s away form has been the cornerstone of their improvement, and they have recorded an excellent eight victories on the road to date. Maximum points have been gained at
However, their home form has not always matched their away day successes though, as just six league wins from 15 games bear testimony. In addition to the afore mentioned success against Chesterfield, the Kenilworth Road faithful has seen their team defeat Andy King’s Swindon Town 3-0, struggling Cheltenham Town 2-1, Cardiff City 2-0, Wycombe Wanderers 1-0, and last Saturday, a triumph against Terry Fenwick’s lowly Northampton Town, by the odd goal in five.
The Hatters’ star front men include prolific forward, Steve Howard, who has already notched 14 league goals this season, and the experienced Tony Thorpe, who has netted seven times.
In midfield, Kevin Nicholls has recently been earning rave reviews, while Paul Hughes is another man to watch out for, as it was his two-goal salvo, the first league goals he had scored in nearly a year that sealed victory last weekend.
One interesting statistic to note is the fact that
In the Worthington Cup earlier in the season, Luton Town defeated near neighbours Watford 2-1 in a feisty First Round clash at Vicarage Road, before bowing out to Barclaycard Premiership Club, Aston Villa, 3-0.
Success in the FA Cup was also confined to the First Round. After a routine 4-0 disposal of Unibond Division One club,
The LDV Vans Trophy did not bring too much joy to the Bedfordshire side either. Regulation victories were achieved against Nationwide Conference outfits, Woking 2-0 and relegation threatened Stevenage Borough 4-3, in an exciting encounter at Broadhall Way, before Nationwide Division Three club, Cambridge United eliminated their higher ranked opponents 2-1 in Bedfordshire, thanks to an extra time golden goal.
Luton Town are amongst the better supported clubs in the division, and are averaging a healthy 6, 870 through the turnstiles, with a season’s best being the 9, 477 that witnessed the goal less draw with Queens Park Rangers back in November.
Meanwhile Brentford manager, Wally Downes, must be hoping that his team can rediscover their early season form when they managed four victories in their first eight league games away from
It has been well documented that Downes recently tried to sign a couple of strikers on-loan, and the Bees fans will be hoping that his continuing search will reap reward, as it would appear the team require an influx of fresh blood. In his programme notes on Tuesday evening, Downes referred back to the early season form of strikers Rowan Vine and Stephen Hunt, and it is to be hoped that they can rediscover their form quickly as the team’s record of just three goals in the last seven league away fixtures has been a major factor in the team’s poor run.
Hopefully, Downes will be able to welcome back mercurial playmaker Martin Rowlands, to the squad after his chest infection, whilst it remains to be seen whether any of the players that took part in the abandoned game against Colchester United on Tuesday evening have picked up any further injuries. All the early team news will appear here on the Bee Hive tomorrow morning, Friday.
As Downes has recently been quoted in the London Evening Standard as saying, “we need some goals and all the confidence that brings”.
All Bees supporters will be hoping this happens sooner rather than later, starting against
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