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Luton 2 Barnet 1

In appalling conditions which, at times, looked as if the game might be abandoned, Luton hung on to take all three points.

With Cambridge United`s fixture at Braintree falling foul of the weather, the Hatters lead at the top of the Conference is now four points.

John Still, having recovered from the dodgy prawn that saw him miss the Boxing Day rout of Kidderminster, made one change for the game against Barnet this lunchtime.

With Ruddock having returned to West Ham, David Howells was given a start.

The Hatters got off to the perfect stat with Andre Gray netting after just 90 seconds. Robinson, on 12 minutes, saw the Barnet keeper Stack make a great save to deny Robinson. However Stack was to pick up an injury and be replaced midway through the half.

In conditions that were totally against playing free-flowing football, with a driving wind and heavy rain making the pitch almost unplayable, Luton were to double their lead after some good approach work involving Griffiths, Howells and Gray saw Benson net his 11th goal of the season firing past the replacement Barnet keeper, Jupp, from six yards out.

On the stroke of half time Luton almost made it 3-0 but Benson could only direct his header, from a cross by Henry, wide.

Half Time - Luton 2 Barnet 0

Barnet got the second half underway as the rain continued to pour down. Luton, courtesy of the youth players, had made a gallant effort to drain the surface water using the tried and trusted pitch-fork method.

Five minutes into the second half, with conditions deteriorating further, Jupp pulled off a sensational save to prevent Guttridge from making it 3-0, after Guttridge had latched on to a cross from Gray.

With an hour gone the referee stopped proceedings to discuss the poor conditions with his officials whilst also calling the captains together. With the Luton faithful singing Keep it On, the game was allowed to continue.

The news that the game was to continue brought a huge roar from the Hatters faithful. With the action back underway, Luton were forced into a hasty penalty area clearance as Barnet looked to get back into the match.

With 71 minutes played Barnet did get back into the game when Hyde scored when Marsh-Browne skipped down the wing and produced the perfect cross for Hyde to tap-in. With fifteen minutes to go, Barnet were looking for that equalizer that would give them a share of the spoils whilst Luton were looking for a third that would give them all three points.

Luton had another chance to wrap the game up with 84 minutes gone by Benson, one-on-one with the keeper, came off second best. Another chance, after Jupp sliced a clearance, saw Howells looping header collected by the fortunate keeper.

With three minutes of added time announced, it really was heart in the mouth time. But the Hatters survived to claim the three points on offer.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mad Hatter Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 1 2014

Time: 2:01PM

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now that was entertainment - loved every minute of the wild water park!

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