PREVIEW: Luton look to extended superb Sincil Bank record

HATTERS have a fine record at Lincoln City in recent times, as they haven’t lost at Sincil Bank in over 30 years, writes Mike Simmonds.

Although the last time out ended goalless, Town recorded back to back 1-0 wins in their previous two visits there, with goals from Matthew Taylor and Stuart Douglas.

Lincoln’s home patch has been a source of great results for Luton though as they have only lost once in their last 13 trips, with five wins and seven draws.

When the defeat came, it was quite severe as Town were battered 8-1 in the 1966/67 season, while their other three reverses were before the 1900s.

It’s been a tough introduction to life in the Blue Square Bet Premier for the Imps as they have strugged badly this season, sitting in 19th place prior to kick off, just three points above the relegation zone.

Times are desperately hard off the field too as in November, every member of staff at the club were offered voluntary redundancy.

On the pitch, a whole host of players were brought in during the close season, with the likes of Kyle Perry, Jamie Taylor, Nicky Nicolau and John Nutter all joining.

Manager Steve Tilson’s disappointing year in charge was finally ended in October, with the club in 19th position.

Former Mansfield chief David Holdsworth took over two weeks later, but he is yet to fully turn things around with just two wins from seven matches.

He has made changes though with midfielder Ali Fuseini leaving the club, while winger Gavin McCallum has been loaned to Barnet for month and Danny Hone moved to Barrow on a temporary deal.

Striker Bradley Barraclough has also gone to Buxton FC, while Bournemouth defender Mitchell Nelson has been recalled.

Holdsworth has strengthened too though, with Richard Hinds and Tyrone Thompson joining on permanent deals, while Paul Farman, Conal Platt, Jake Sheridan, Luke Medley and Mitchell Nelson have all signed on loan too.

City have lost their last two away games without scoring a goal, but are unbeaten in three home matches, beating Ebbsfleet United and Barrow while drawing with Mansfield.

Team news: Hatters won’t have leading Amari Morgan-Smith or defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye available, but welcome back cup-tied duo Greg Taylor and Ryan Brunt from the weekend.

In charge: David Holdsworth – twin brother of current Aldershot manager Dean, David played almost 500 senior games for the likes of Gretna, Scarborough, Walsall, Birmingham and Sheffield United, but had the most impact at the club he started his career, Watford, making almost 300 appearances.

The 43-year-old picked up one cap for the England U21s in 1989, and since retiring from playing, has managed Ilkeston Town, Mansfield Town, before becoming Lincoln boss in October.

View from the opposition: David Holdsworth - “Full credit to Gary Brabin. I know that the expectation levels there are very high, they’ve facilitated that in the type of players that they’ve got.

“They’ve got some very talented boys. It will be a very good game for us to play in and I’m looking forward to it.”

Friendly faces: Janos Kovacs – the Hatters defenders was at Lincon for 18 months, playing over 60 games and was regarded as quite a crowd favourite on the terraces.

Scored four goals in his time there too, before leaving the club to sign for Hatters for his first spell in January 2010.

One to watch: Kyle Perry – Strapping centre forward who may have only managed three goals this season, but is a handful whoever he comes up against.

Earned the wrath of the Town fans earlier in the season when he clashed with Dean Beckwith, which saw the Hatters defender red carded.

Nowhere near the heights that saw him net 17 goals for Tamworth last year and is without a league goal since August 23.

Top scorers: Imps - Sam Smith (6). Hatters - Amari Morgan-Smith (9).

Last time out: Hatters were held to a goalless draw the last time the sides met at Sincil Bank on April 11, 2009.

Town only have three players remaining at the club from the side that day as Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Keith Keane and George Pilkington all played, while Luton defender Janos Kovacs was in the Imps defence.

Hatters: Dean Brill, Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Lewis Emanuel (Michael Spillane 20), Mark Bower, George Pilkington, Keith Keane, Kevin Nicholls, David Livermore (Asa Hall 70), Chris Martin, Tommy Craddock, Kevin Gallen (Claude Gnakpa 61).

Attendance: 4,664.

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