Tag: Luton Town

FA Cup Fifth Round Weekend: Luton Town Return To Focussing On The League

The FA Cup, then, will reach one hundred straight years without a non-league club reaching its quarter-finals. It was in 1914 that Queens Park Rangers, then of the Southern League, made it that far before losing by two goals to one against Liverpool at Anfield. Much has changed since then, but there was a feeling in the air that perhaps, just perhaps, Luton Town, who had already beaten Championship and Premier League opponents in this year’s competition in the form of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Norwich City, could equal them. This afternoon at Kenilworth Road, however, Millwall were too strong, too economical and too professional for them, and it is the club from the Football League Championship that has filled the first place in this year’s FA Cup quarter-final draw. Since the draw was made, of course, much has been made of the 1985 FA Cup quarter-final match between the two sides that ended in a pitched battle between the police in front of the television cameras of the BBC and resulted in the much-hated – and eventually rejected, apart from at Luton, where the club’s Tory MP owner introduced it anyway – proposal of ID card membership scheme for supporters. Never mind the fact that the two clubs had played each other fourteen times since then without any significant incidents occurring. The world, if you believed some columnists, was...

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Luton Town’s FA Cup Win Should Not Be Understated

There was, of course, a time when the boundaries between the Football League and non-league football were considerably more clearly defined than they are now. There was no such thing as automatic promotion and relegation from the top of non-league football, and non-league clubs wishing to make that particular great leap forward had to apply for a place amongst the top ninety-two. They would usually end up disappointed. The bottom four clubs of the bottom division of the Football League would have to apply for re-election at the end of each season, but the de facto closed shop atmosphere of those end of season Football League served existing members well. Hartlepool United held the record for the number of successful re-election bids with fourteen, eleven of which came between 1960 and 1984. In 1986, re-election was replaced with one automatic promotion and relegation place between the Football League and the Football Conference, with a second being added in 2003. The top level of non-league football has changed since then, and the Conference is now largely a professional league which has more in common, perhaps, with the division above it than the two regional divisions below, although it is worth pointing out that there have always been professional clubs in non-league football, going back as far as the golden years of the Southern League at the start of twentieth century...

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Match of the Weekend 4 – The Conference Playoff Final – York City 2 – 1 Luton Town

“We’re a Football League club, how good is that?” – Gary Mills’ reaction to York City’s return to the league was typically unshowy, embodying the calm, quiet way the Minstermen have gone about their season. There were no tears, no whoops of delight and not much in the way of a wild celebration, just an acknowledgement of how much it means for the club to win. It is almost ironic that the only fuss York City have caused this season came in the form of Matty Blair’s winning goal, which looked at least a yard offside. Mills’ response to the goal: “Was is offside? Who cares. It’s a goal and a huge goal. Mistakes happen all the time.” After Andre Gray fired Luton ahead with barely two minutes on the clock things didn’t look great for York. Gray, signed from Hinckley United in the Conference North, was there to collect Robbie Willmot’s flick, with the crossbar helping the ball over the line. Luton could’ve made it two with Alex Lawless and Adam Watkins both shooting wide. But with 15 minutes played the Minstermen began to take control. Top scorer Jason Walker tested Luton keeper Mark Tyler with a rasping shot, Tyler stretching to tip the ball over the bar. Their equaliser came when York took advantage of some lazy Luton defending, Chris Smith darting back and looping a cross...

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Non-League Videos Of The Week: 18-03-2012

Cup finals are in the air for our Non-League Videos Of The Week for this week. In the FA Trophy, a place at Wembley was at stake as the second leg of the semi-finals was played between Luton Town & York City, and Newport County & the only non-Blue Square Bet Premier side left in the competition, Wealdstone. York City led 1-0 after their first leg at Bootham Crescent, whilst Newport County led Wealdstone going into the second leg. Our third match is a small departure from usual, a semi-final from the FA Sunday Cup, as Hetton Lyons Cricket Club, from Hetton-le-Hole in Tyne & Wear, and Liverpool-based Oyster Martyrs in a match played at Billingham Synthonia FC earlier today. Finally, we have a match from the Blue Square Bet South, between title-chasing Dartford and a Havant & Waterlooville side that is battling against relegation. Our thanks, as ever, go to those that take the time to record, edit and upload these videos. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Luton Town 0-0 AFC Wimbledon (3-4 Pens)

So it all comes down to ninety minutes. There can, at least, be little debate that this year’s Blue Square Premier play-off final is being played between the two best teams left in the competition, following Crawley Town’s testosterone-fuelled championship win but, as we pan across the banks of empty seats at Eastlands this afternoon, it is difficult not to reflect upon the wisdom of the decision to host the showpiece of this league here – although we are talking here about ticket prices and specifically not about the decision to play the match in Manchester – and wonder what a spectacle the match might have been had it been played in London. The decision was made, however, and we are where we are. It’s also worth pointing out that, while the crowd of 19,000 is clearly a disappointment for this match, it’s worth remembering the fact that even describing it thus is a remarkable comment upon the strength in depth of English football. This, let us not forget, is a match in the fifth division of English football. Both clubs are here this afternoon seeking to take steps towards wronging a right and, while the story of what happened to Wimbledon FC is a well-trodden path, it occasionally feels as if what happened to Luton Town has not received the attention that it deserves. To be clear, the...

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