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Michael Taylor 16th Feb 2009 - 20:31

Finally, Luton have a reason for smiles

Life at the bottom of the football leagues is rarely easy but, for Luton Town, this season has been more like hell after a pre-season thirty point penalty and a complete overhaul of their squad virtually consigned them to non-league football before a ball had been kicked.

However, when Brighton visit Kenilworth Road for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area final second-leg tie on Tuesday there may finally be a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel for the Hatters.

The chance to play at Wembley Stadium is enough to get any fan excited but it is especially sweet for long-suffering Town fans who continue to support their team despite being 21 points away from safety.

What's more it is a realistic hope after Coca Cola League One side Brighton failed to assert their authority in a 0-0 draw in the first leg at the Withdean Stadium.

In fact it looks so close we can't actually separate the two sides in the match betting with both priced at 6/4 to win and the draw, 21/10.

Luton's biggest problem could be the loss of five first-teamers, as inspirational captain Kevin Nicholls picked up a hamstring injury in the weekend's defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge while Kevin Gallen, Mark Bower, Ian Henderson and Akanni-Sunday Wasiu are all cup-tied.

This leaves manager Mick Harford short on options in what is already a limited squad although on-loan striker Chris Martin returns from suspension and could have the ability to put pressure on the Seagulls' shaky defence.

Martin has been impressive in his time at Luton, notching up eight goals to become the club's leading scorer and is good value to add to his tally at 7/1 to score the first goal of the game.

For this to happen though he will need his defence to be at their very best in order to keep out the experienced Nicky Forster and the lightning quick Calvin Andrew, a job they managed with aplomb three weeks ago - and one I think they can complete again.

It will definitely be tough for the bottom team in English league football but it is a winnable fixture if they scrap hard and get the little bit of luck they have sadly lacked recently.

I doubt it will be pretty and Luton keeper Dean Brill could be a busy man but I can see the Hatters scraping it 1-0, which is available at 6/1.

And given the situation they're in, it would be just reward for the fans who have sticked with them throughout their disastrous fall from grace.

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