Luton Town v Wycombe Wanderers: The Ups and Downs of Promotion

Promotion. Whether it be in via the three automatic┬áplaces in League Two or the four play-off positions, at the start of the season, all 24 teams are aiming for one thing – promotion to League One.

Luton Town v Wycombe Wanderers: The Ups and Downs of Promotion

On Tuesday night, Kenilworth Road played host to two sides striving for that exact feat when Luton Town welcomed Wycombe Wanderers. Before the game, Wycombe, also known as the Chairboys, occupied 3rd spot in the league, one point clear of the play-off leaders Bury. As for Luton, also known as the Hatters, they occupied 6th spot on 58 points, just one point in the playoffs ahead of Newport County, with Plymouth and Stevenage just outside.

Luton went into this game in dismal form. Having lost their last four games in succession, the Hatters had slipped drastically from 4th spot, and at one point just two points behind the Chairboys, to 6th, ten points behind their promotion rivals. As for Wycombe, their form couldn’t be more different. The Chairboys were unbeaten in six games going into this fixture, and had failed to lose in 11 games on the road – good form then for a side striving for promotion at the final stages of the season.

8,379 fans turned out at Kenilworth Road, but the majority left disappointed. Sam Saunders’ shot in the opening three minutes deflected in off Hatters defender Fraser Franks to give the Chairboys an early lead, before Luton striker Elliott Lee equalised just four minutes later. Striker Paul Hayes regained the Chairboys lead after 22 minutes from the penalty spot, taking his tally to 10 league goals for the season, before Alfie Mawson extended the Chairboys lead 15 minutes before the break. Elliott Lee then scored his and the Hatters second goal of the game seven minutes before half time, before a sensational first half came to an end.

Unfortunately for Luton, that was how the game ended, and the promotion hopefuls have now suffered an incredible five straight defeats. As for Wycombe, the result moves them four points clear of the playoffs and are unbeaten in 12 games on the road.

The up’s and down’s of promotion then, and these sides are a definitive example of this. Wycombe’s 11th away win of the season and their unbeaten run leaves them comfortably in the top three as we near the final stages of the League Two season, whilst Lutons drop in form could see them slide out of the playoffs all together. More remarkably, Luton were the playoffs leaders not too long ago, and were looking comfortable in achieving promotion, but are now in danger of being pushed out of the picture all together. Whoever finishes in the playoffs at the end of the season must be on good form, stats would tell us from previous seasons, and with that in mind, you would worry for Luton Towns chances if they were to stay in the playoffs given then poor run of form.