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3-2
22 July 2020 Venue Kenilworth Road Attendance

Kick off 19:30 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Luton Town v Rovers

A look ahead as the curtain gets set to come down on what has been a unique season

22 July 2020

The final game of a unique season comes to an end today when Rovers face off against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road for game number 46 of the 2019-20 campaign.

Club News

Match pass: Luton Town v Rovers

22 July 2020

It's a season that has been ongoing for over a year, with Rovers heading to Barrow for their first pre-season outing all the way back to early July 2019.

There's plenty at stake in tonight's match, with Luton knowing that a win will likely extend their stay in the Championship for another season.

For Rovers, victory and results going their way would see the team end the campaign in a creditable eighth place in the table.

Tony Mowbray has no fresh injury concerns going into the game, with Amari'i Bell, Derrick Williams and Bradley Dack all out of contention to play.

Tosin Adarabioyo and Dominic Samuel aren't expected to be part of the squad heading down to Bedfordshire, but Mowbray has confirmed that Danny Graham will travel south.

Ex-Luton loanee Christian Walton is expected to start and continue his 100% league appearance record against a club for whom he appeared 33 times for in the first half of the 2016-17 campaign.

Adarabioyo's omission means that Hayden Carter is likely to keep his place at the heart of defence after an impressive professional debut in the 4-3 win over Reading at the weekend.

For Luton, ex-Rovers Academy graduate Matty Pearson is touch-and-go to feature after missing out on the victory at Hull City a few days ago.

Another former Rover in Ryan Tunnicliffe is also pushing for a starting berth having been named as a substitute against the Tigers.

The Hatters are likely to opt with a similar 4-4-2 formation that served them so well at the KCOM Stadium, with James Collins set to partner Harry Cornick up front.

And ahead of the game, Town boss Nathan Jones admits he's not quite sure what to expect from Mowbray's men.

"Rovers could play with freedom, they could come here in one or two ways, I don’t know their motivation so I’m not sure," he told the official Luton Town website ahead of the encounter.

"I can’t second guess what Rovers are going to do, one thing you do know is that the other teams have to win. They both have to win and in those games a lot can happen, nerves can get to people.

"I’m not sure if Blackburn are coming here with that nervousness and that makes them a dangerous side.”

Kick-off is at 7.30pm and fans are reminded that they can track all the action via iFollow Rovers and our social media accounts.

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Match Reports

Report: Luton Town 3-2 Rovers

Rovers suffer defeat against the Hatters on the final day of the 2019-20 campaign

22 July 2020

Rovers ended the season in 11th place after losing to the odd goal in five against a Luton Town side who earned Championship survival with the three points.

A good start saw Rovers take the lead inside the opening 10 minutes through a close range Adam Armstrong finish.

However, the Hatters battled back to take a slender advantage into the break through own goals from Hayden Carter and then Bradley Johnson.

A James Colins penalty put Luton firmly in command, but Sam Gallagher's flick set up a big final 15 minutes at Kenilworth Road, but Rovers couldn't force a way through against a resolute Hatters side.

An unchanged Rovers started well in Befordshire, with Johnson's long range effort forcing home goalkeeper Simon Sluga into a fine stop just five minutes into the encounter.

However, it didn't take too much longer for Rovers to deservedly take the lead through Armstrong's close range finish only five minutes later.

A dangerous corner into the box wasn't cleared by Luton, with the ball dropping kindly for the striker to swivel and then swipe home with his left foot for his 16th league goal of a prolific campaign.

Playing with freedom, Lewis Holtby was next to try his luck from the edge of the box, but the German playmaker could only drag wide of Sluga's left-hand post.

Nathan Jones' men finally made a foray forward midway through the half, but Harry Cornick's lofted header looper onto the roof of the net and never troubled ex-Hatter Christian Walton, before Collins nodded wide a moment later.

Despite Rovers' dominance, an unfortunate own goal from Carter levelled things up for Luton just before the half hour mark.

A ball into the box was flicked on, and the young defender inadvertently nodded in via Walton's right-hand post, to hand the home side a lifeline in their battle to avoid relegation.

That lifeline turned into an advantage just eight minutes later when another own goal gave Jones' men the lead.

A dangerous corner was swung in, missed everyone in a Luton shirt, but cannoned off the shin of Johnson and nestled into the back of the net.

A double change at the break saw Lewis Travis and Holtby swapped for John Buckley and Jacob Davenport, and the latter was soon involved in the first notable incident of the second half.

It arrived just before the hour mark when the young midfielder was adjudged to have clipped the heels of Luton attacker Harry Cornick in the box.

Up stepped main marksman Collins, who made no mistake from 12 yards by thumping into the back of the net as Walton dived to his right.

Town's tails were up and only a great header from Darragh Lenihan stopped Collins from getting on the end of Cornick's cross from the right as Luton went in search of wrapping up the points.

Rovers went in search of a route back into the encounter, with Joe Rothwell bending a free kick over Sluga's upright as the clock ticked to just 25 minutes of the season remaining.

Time was running out if Rovers were going to get something from the game, but substitute Gallagher ensured it would be a nervy final 15 minutes for the hosts when he flicked home for his second goal in as many games.

A diagonal ball from Darragh Lenihan was knocked down by Danny Graham, and the striker was in the right place to flick over Sluga and in with the outside of his right boot.

The equaliser almost arrived a minute later, but Buckley's volley was nudged just wide of the post by home skipper Sonny Bradley.

Rovers continued to probe as Jones' side got deeper, with substitute Elliott Bennett firing wide with 84 minutes left on the clock.

Despite throwing everything at Luton, Rovers couldn't find a route past Sluga, with Mowbray's men concluding the season in 11th position.

For the hosts, the win earned survival and a second campaign in the Championship for 2020-21.

Rovers: Walton, Nyambe, Lenihan (c), Carter, Rankin-Costello, Travis (Davenport, 46), Johnson, Rothwell (Bennett, 78), Holtby (Buckley, 46), Armstrong (Gallagher, 61), Brereton (Graham, 61).

Unused substitutes: Eastham, Chapman, Bell, Vale.

Goal: Armstrong, 10, Gallagher, 75.

Booked: Travis, 36.

Luton Town: Sluga, Cranie, Bradley (c), Berry, Lee (Pearson, 78), Cornick (Hylton, 71), Ruddock-Mpanzu, Carter-Vickers, Collins (LuaLua, 71), Bree.

Unused substitutes: Shea, McManaman, Shinnie, Moncur, Butterfield, Kioso.

Goals: Carter OG, 28, Johnson OG, 36, Collins pen 60.

Booked: Cornick, 65, Carter-Vickers, 84, Hylton, 88, Berry, 90+6

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