Luton Town-Hartlepool United: Result not a foregone conclusion

Nicky Featherstone
Nicky Featherstone

Nicky Featherstone insists Hartlepool United’s trip to promotion favourites Luton Town is NOT a lost cause.

Even the most optimistic of fans would not give Pools much hope tonight at Kenilworth Road (kick-off 7.45pm).

We seem to be able to play well one game, especially at home, and then struggle the next

NICKY FEATHERSTONE

The Hatters are fourth, just three points shy of the automatic places, while Pools go into the game on the back of a 4-0 hiding at Mansfield Town, who occupy the last play-off berth.

But Featherstone leads the team into the game saying they are not giving up on this fixture.

“There’s no reason stopping us from getting a result,” he told SportMail.

“Our inconsistency is hurting us at this moment.

“We seem to be able to play well one game, especially at home, and then struggle the next.

“It’ll be tough but hopefully we can put things right after Saturday, we do need to put points on the board.

“It’s a challenge and it’s an opportunity to put things right.”

Featherstone has bittersweet memories of the corresponding fixture at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

The midfielder was part of a Pools side who played well against a gifted team, leading 1-0 through Nathan Thomas after Lewis Hawkins’ shot was saved by the keeper.

But after Featherstone was sent off for a poor challenge, Pools were pegged back by Alan Sheehan’s superb free-kick and they somehow held on for a 1-1 draw despite some intense Hatters pressure.

“All games in League Two are winnable,” said the skipper.

“I do believe anyone can beat anyone on their day.

“They are up there, but we drew 1-1 with them at home.

“We were cruising when I got sent off, I think Podge had hit the bar as well when it was 1-0.

“We’ve been to Luton before and given them a good game, we should have come away with a 2-2 last season.”

Pools will be desperate for something tonight against Nathan Jones’s side.

The gap between Pools in 19th and Leyton Orient in 23rd is five points and that is unlikely to narrow this evening given the Eastenders are at title-chasing Plymouth who, ironically, are next up at the Vic on Saturday.

But Leyton Orient face fellow strugglers Notts County at the weekend while Pools are hosting the Pilgrims, so Dave Jones’s side will be keen to keep some sort of buffer with the sides below them making getting something tonight as vital.