The Hatters are back in the Football League following relegation in 2010...
Following relegation to the Conference in 2010, a competition the club had never before participated in, Luton Town had four unsuccessful attempts at getting back into the Football League. That also included five different managers before John Still took charge, and guided the club back into League 2 in his first full season as manager. Still’s side won the league at a canter in the end, finishing 19 points ahead of Cambridge United in second, and a goal difference of +67. The Hatter won 30 games in total, losing just five throughout the course of the season, scoring 102 goals in the process. They also became the first non-league side to beat a side from England’s top division since 1989, when they won 1-0 against Norwich City at Carrow Road in the FA Cup fourth round.
In February 2013, John Still made the decision to drop down to non-league with Luton Town, departing Dagenham & Redbridge after nine years, which had made him the longest serving manager in the Football League. Still signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the club. After assessing the squad at the end of the 2012-13 season, Still released twelve players and signed eleven, instilling his philosophy on the club. The move paid off as he won the Manager of the Month award three times over the course of the season, with Luton breaking all sorts of records. Still’s side had an unbeaten run of 27 games, went 15 away games unbeaten, kept 23 clean sheets and accumulated the most points in the club’s history.
MEN TO WATCH
Andre Gray had a stunning season in front of goal, hitting 30 in total. He made 44 league appearances throughout the campaign, with all his goals coming in the Hatters’ Conference win. Gray signed from Conference North side Hinckley United on loan initially in March 2012. He scored seven goals in 12 goals at the end of the 2011-12 season to earn an England C call up, before scoring 20 goals during the 2012-13 campaign.
Experienced striker Paul Benson, a Southend United fan, signed for Luton Town last summer after spells at Cheltenham Town and Portsmouth on loan from Swindon Town in the previous campaign. Benson has enjoyed a lot of success during his first season with the club, finding the back of the net 18 times. Benson worked with manager John Still previously at Dagenham & Redbridge.
Former Southend United midfielder, who featured for Blues from 2005-2007, had a stellar first season for the Hatters, scoring 13 goals from midfield. Guttridge joined Luton Town from Northampton Town in the summer, and will be looking forward to another crack at the Football League. He has previously represented Cambridge United, Leyton Orient, Colchester United and Aldershot Town.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED THIS SUMMER
Striker Mark Cullen has penned a new three-year contract, while right-back Curtley Williams has joined the club.
Anthony Charles, Jon Shaw and David Viana have not been offered new deals and will leave the club, while former Southend United winger David Martin and midfielder Solomon Taiwo have been placed on the transfer list.
Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Jerome Jibodu and Jake Wooley have also left the club.
Blues and Luton Town have met 66 times, with the first ever meeting ending in a 1-1 draw back in February 1921. Since then, Luton have won on 30 occasions, with Blues winning 21 times. The sides last met in 2008 in an FA Cup game, with Blues winning 3-1. The previous league meeting also ended in a win for Blues, as they won 2-0 in March 2008 in a League 1 fixture.
Luton Town are favourites to win promotion from League 2, coming in at 7-1 with Sky Bet. The Hatters are 7/4 to win promotion, while they are 22/1 to be relegated back to the Conference.
These odds are with Sky Bet, our betting partner.