FA CUP PREVIEW: Peterborough United v Luton Town

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Life couldn’t be better for Peterborough United under new boss Graham Westley at the moment.

The former Stevenage chief was appointed on September 21 after Posh had sacked Dave Robertson who had won two, drawn one and lost six of his opening nine league and cup games.

Since then Westley has hit the ground running, starting with an impressive 2-0 win at Bradford City first up.

His debut home outing was a 3-2 defeat to Bury, but since then, it’s been goals, goals, goals with the Posh side hitting both Millwall and Crewe for five, while also putting four past Doncaster and Scunthorpe.

The 4-0 win at Scunthorpe last time out prompted Iron boss Mark Robins to say: “They’re a good team but we made them look like Real Madrid.

“They found too much space and time and they have players who can hurt you.”

Westley has racked up nine wins, including five successive victories in his last five, one draw and just three defeats so far, scoring 37 goals in a mere 13 games, conceding 18.

That has been enough to climb to sixth in the table as they are now just six points beind the automatic promotion places.

In the cup, Peterborough eased into this stage with a 3-0 win at high-flying Burton during the first round and have progressed from 12 of their last 13 second round ties, although they were eliminated at this point last season by Colchester United.

Team news: Luton midfielder Nathan Doyle is pushing for a recall after completing 90 minutes for the reserves in midweek, although Paul Benson sits out the last game of his suspension.

Magnus Okuonghae and Stephen O’Donnell are getting nearer too, while Luke Guttridge is training, along with Dan Potts, as Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu recovers from an ankle injury.

Posh are without defender Gabriel Zakuani (hamstring), Kgosi Ntlhe (toe), Joe Gormley (knee) and Shaun Brisley (knee).

Top scorers: Hatters: Cameron McGeehan, Jack Marriott (8). Posh: Conor Washington (9).

Man in the middle: Nigel Miller - official has taken 14 games so far, showing 47 yellow cards and three red cards.

Refereed Luton three times last year, the 1-0 win at Carlisle, 1-1 draw at Bury and also the 2-0 win over Stevenage on the final day.

Hatters have never lost when Miller has had the whistle either as he also took the 0-0 draw at Accrington in League Two in February 2009, plus the goalless draw at home to Southend in the Championship in 2006

Assistant referees are Stuart Eagland and Amy Fearn, with Michael George the fourth official.

In charge: Graham Westley, 47-year-old who started his playing days at QPR, having spells at Gillingham, Barnet, Wycombe and a host of non-league clubs until injury cut short his career at just 28.

Had spells in charge of Kingstonian and Farnborough Town, leading the latter to the Conference but joined Stevenage in 2003, remaining until his contract expired in 2006.

Had a brief spell with Rushden & Diamonds, and was then caretaker manager at Kettering Town.

Took a year out of the game but was back at Stevenage in May 2008 where won the FA Trophy in 2009 and secured promotion to the Football League, seeing off the challenge of Luton in 2010.

Enjoyed back to back promotions via the play-offs as he took Boro into League One, before he was appointed Preston North End manager at the start of 2012.

Didn’t enjoy the best of times at Deepdale and was sacked in February 2013. Rejoined Stevenage in March, but couldn’t keep them in League One as they were relegated, and left in the summer despite leading them to the play-offs.

Named as Posh manager on September 21 after Dave Robertson had been dismissed earlier in the month.

View from the opposition: Graham Westley - “It is great that we are set to play in front of one of our biggest home crowds of the season on Sunday. The players are looking forward to it.

“You have to present the facts to people and it is a slow process, people want to be entertained. Football fans enjoy watching goals and they want to see good football with an intent to win and our lads are doing that. I am sure word is spreading.’

One to watch: Conor Washington - Really starting to hit his straps now as after opening up with two goals in 16 games, he has managed seven in seven plus a hat-trick last time out against Scunthorpe making it nine goals for the season.

Prolific spell with St Ives as a youngster saw him earn a move to Newport County in 2012 as he scored eight in 48 before a big money switch to Peterborough in January 2014 and scored 13 goals last term.

Friendly faces: Luton have a whole host of former Peterborough employees in their ranks as manager John Still took charge at London Road in August 1994, leading the club to a 15th placed finish in Division Two. He was sacked on October 24, 1995 after winning only three of his first 13 league games.

Keeper Mark Tyler is something of a legend at Posh as he is the club’s second highest appearance maker, with 486 to his name in a 15-year spell from 1994-2009.

Craig Mackail-Smith was signed by Peterborough from Dagenham & Redbridge in January 2007, spending four years with the club, netting 99 goals until a big money move to Brighton.

Returned on loan to Posh last season, playing three times, but couldn’t add to his goal tally.

Scott Griffiths was another signed by Peterborough from Dagenham as he joined on loan in October 2009 and then permanently.

Only made 21 appearances though as after loan spells with various teams, his contract was cancelled by mutual consent in January 2013, where he joined Luton.

Josh McQuoid had a loan spell with Posh from Bournemouth in February 2014 to May 2014.

Scored once league goal, but more importantly, netted the opening strike in the club’s 3-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory over Chesterfield at Wembley.

For Peterborough, Lee Angol was a Luton player last season, spending the campaign on loan at Boreham Wood and joining Posh for an undisclosed fee in the summer after rejecting a new deal with Hatters.

Midfielder Erhun Otzumer was all set to sign for Luton too until a failed medical ended that and he joined Peterborough instead.

Posh keeper Ben Alnwick had a brief loan spell with Luton in the 2007-08 season from Spurs.

A number of temporary moves later, he was with Charlton and then Leyton Orient before joining Peterborough in July 2014 and had made 69 appearances since, 24 this season.

Played for both: With it being the FA Cup, Luton Town striker Scott Rendell, who was the goalscoring hero when Hatters won 1-0 at Norwich City in January 2013, had two spells at Peterborough.

He joined the club on loan from Cambridge in 2008, and then permanently, scoring four goals in 15 games.

Rendell signed for Luton in June 2012 after his exit from London Road, before moving to Woking in September 2013, where he is currently recovering from a long-term injury.

We’ve got form: Hatters are unbeaten in their last four trips to Peterborough, with one win and three draws, as they haven’t tasted defeat since a Football League Trophy tie back in December 2000.

Hatters’ last win was back in 2004 thanks to goals from Steve Howard and Ahmet Brkovic that settled a Division Two clash.

In fact, Luton have been tough to beat at the newly named ABAX Stadium with three wins, seven draws and just two defeats, the only other loss a 2-0 reverse back in 1965.

Last time out: Luton were held to a 2-2 draw on their last visit to Peterborough, that a League one clash in January 2005.

Kevin Nicholls opened the scoring for Luton, beating now Town number one Mark Tyler with a free kick on 54 minutes.

However, Callum Willock (73,82) put the Posh 2-1 in front, before Steve Howard’s firm header equalised with five minutes to go,

Luton: Marlon Beresford, Russell Perrett, Kevin Foley, Paul Underwood, Sol Davis, Curtis Davies, Kevin Nicholls, Steven O’Leary (Rowan Vine 52), Peter Holmes (Calvin Andrew 86), Enoch Showunmi (Steve Robinson 52), Steve Howard.

Subs not used: Dino Seremet, Alan Neilson.

Attendance: 7,662.

Referee: M Cowburn.