Just one more win in April will secure Luton Town a top-three finish in League Two, and guarantee promotion back to the third tier of English football for the first time in a decade, after what has been a long and difficult road for the Bedfordshire club. Five years outside the Football League was the lowest ebb in the post-war era for The Hatters, following the rapid slide from the Championship down to the Conference, but now the club seems very much back on the rise.
Having secured promotion as champions of the Conference Premier at the end of the 2013-14 season, the previous three seasons in League 2 have seen the club achieve a level of stability back in the Football League. The fruit of such hard work and patience has been rewarded during the 2017-18 campaign, with Luton Town currently priced at 7/2 with williamhill.com to claim the League Two title. However, only Accrington Stanley stand in their way at 1/6 odds, thanks to a six-match winning streak and the bonus of games in hand.
Accrington clearly have a strong advantage with the additional games left to play, plus the odds also reflect a phenomenal run of results during the second half of the season, with them winning 14 out of their last 16 encounters. Luton laid down the gauntlet with their own fantastic winning run in the first half of the campaign, although consistency has been the biggest problem in 2018. After struggling through the traditionally packed fixture list of December and January, February and March brought more draws than wins.
Thankfully, however, other automatic promotion contenders such as Wycombe Wanderers, Exeter City, and Notts County, failed to take advantage of Luton’s dip in form, with none of the three able to significantly close the gap in points that the Hatters managed to build, during their powerful run in the first half of the season. The only aspect to lament is that the team managed by Nathan Jones could have already wrapped up the League Two title by now, with a little more cutting edge in attack and defensive solidity at the back, during the last two or three months.
Nevertheless, back-to-back wins against Mansfield and Yeovil Town appears to have restored confidence. The brace of goals by Danny Hylton away at Yeovil put him level with James Collins as Luton’s highest league scorer, and both will need to keep finding the back of the net regularly, as the team seek to win the final four games of the season, in order to keep any chance of landing the League Two title alive. Without any doubt, the fine scoring form of the dynamic attacking duo has been vital in the push for promotion.
Given the two games in hand mean Accrington have an extra six points to play for in their remaining games, many would suggest the League Two title is as good as theirs, but with a little luck and positive performances like those of recent weeks, Luton can still take the title fight down to the wire.