PREVIEW: Wycombe Wanderers v Luton Town

Jonathan Smith volleys in the equaliser at Wycombe last season

Jonathan Smith volleys in the equaliser at Wycombe last season

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Wycombe Wanderers’ goalkeeping situation dominated their 1-0 win at Plymouth Argyle last weekend.

After number one Matt Ingram was recently sold to QPR, youngster Alex Lynch took the gloves, with 46-year-old Barry Richardson named on the bench.

However, when Lynch was injured on 15 minutes, Richardson was called upon to play his first game in over a decade, and did a superb job, keeping a clean sheet during the triumph.

However, rather than risk the same situation once more, Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth has borrowed Bournemouth goalkeeper Ryan Allsop on loan until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old, who played 27 times on loan at Coventry last term, has made one Cherries appearance this term - in the Premier League draw with Everton.

The victory at Home Park was the perfect response to something of a sticky period for the Chairboys since the turn of the year.

Ending 2015 with three successive wins, including a 2-0 success at Kenilworth Road, Ainsworth’s side were beaten 2-0 by Morecambe at Adams Park on January 2.

They then earned an excellent 1-1 draw with Premier League Aston Villa in the FA Cup, before three consecutive defeats, without scoring too, losing 1-0 at Hartlepool, 2-0 in the replay at Villa Park and then 2-0 at home to Leyton Orient.

The manner of their win on Saturday didn’t please Plymouth boss Derek Adams though, with Ainsworth refusing to shake his hand after the game, as he said: “You should always shake hands with your opponents, but he chose not to.

“They wasted time; we had nine minutes of injury time in the first half and we had a good number in the second half.

“They did frustrate us, they did foul a lot, they did go down injured, but that’s the nature of the way they play and something that they see as being successful.”

Wanderers’ push for the play-offs this season has been built around better away form than in front of their own fans too, as they have won just five matches at home, compared to seven on their travels.

Although having a quiet transfer deadline day, Ainsworth shuffled his pack during January, releasing Jason Banton and re-signing winger Paris Cowan-Hall from Millwall after the 25-year-old joined the Lions from Wanderers a year previously.

Defender Jason McCarthy has extended his loan from Southampton to the end of the season, although Jermaine Udumaga has returned to Championship side Brentford.

Team news: Hatters boss Nathan Jones will give winger Ryan Hall a late test to see if he is in contention for the match.

However, Nathan Doyle (knee) is now out for six weeks, with Danny Green (ankle) and Josh McQuoid (knee) still unavailable.

Top scorers: Hatters: Cameron McGeehan (9). Wanderers: Gary Thompson (7).

Man in the middle: Seb Stockbridge - official has taken 19 games so far this term, showing 66 yellows and three red cards to date.

Last officiated Luton in the 2-2 draw at Accrington last season, while had the 1-1 home draw with Grimsby in the 2012-13 campaign, plus Hatters’ 1-0 win at the Mariners in 2010-11.

Assistant referees are Sam Purkiss and Paul Johnson, with Paul Kelly the fourth official.

In charge: Gareth Ainsworth - 42-year-old former midfielder, who started out at Blackburn Rovers and had spells with Northwich Victoria, Preston North End, Cambridge United, Lincoln City, before a £500,000 move to Port Vale in 1997.

Was sold to Premier League Wimbledon for £2million a year later, while joined Cardiff in 2003 and went to QPR where he spent seven years, twice serving as caretaker-manager.

Joined Wycombe in February 2010, following a short loan spell and was appointed player manager in November 2012 after the sacking of Gary Waddock, hanging up his boots in April 2013 to concentrate on his managerial duties.

One to watch: Winger Paris Cowan-Hall is back with Wycombe after joining on loan from Millwall last month, whom he had left the Chairboys for back in January of last season.

Scoring in five consecutive games, including against Luton, alerted the Lions who signed him on a two-and-a-half year deal, although he was also sent on loan to Bristol Rovers earlier in the campaign.

Came on as a sub against Orient in his first game back, but played the full 90 during the 1-0 win at Plymouth on Saturday.

Played for both: Midfielder Matthew Spring came through the ranks at Kenilworth Road, making 357 appearances in two spells, scoring 43 goals, including that famous strike against Watford.

On leaving Town the secod time, he went to Charlton, Leyton Orient and then joined Wycombe in 2012, playing 30 times for the Chairboys, until dropping into non-league and, now 36, is currently plying his trade for Hemel Hempstead Town.

Friendly faces: Wycombe defender Michael Harriman spent eight months of last season at Kenilworth Road, making 39 appearances, scoring twice.

He was hotly tipped to return to Luton in the summer, but a deal couldn’t be reached and he went back to Wycombe on loan, before joining permanently in the recent transfer window and has already bagged five goals this term.

We’ve got form: Luton have never tasted defeat at Wycombe Wanderers since their first visit in the old Division Two back in September 1996, when David Oldfield’s goal was enough to separate the sides.

In total, Luton have won five and drawn five of their 10 fixtures, scoring 12 times and conceding just five.

The biggest win was a 3-0 FA Cup triumph back in December 2004 when Steve Howard bagged two and Kevin Nicholls netted.

Last time out: Luton drew 1-1 in their last meeting at Wycombe Wanderers on Boxing Day 2014.

The hosts had taken the lead after just three minute through Paris Cowan-Hall’s header, before Jonathan Smith’s superb volley drew Town level a mere five minutes later.

Hatters: Mark Tyler, Michael Harriman, Scott Griffiths, Steve McNulty, Luke Wilkinson, Jonathan Smith, Andy Drury, Luke Rooney (Jake Howells 62), Shaun Whalley (Ricky Miller 78), Nathan Doyle, Mark Cullen (Ross Lafayette 70).

Subs not used: Elliot Justham, Fraser Franks, Paul Connolly, Jim Stevenson.

Attendance: 7,539.

Referee: Andy Woolmer.