After heartache that is play-off season, Exeter City have become increasingly handily placed to create certain they won’t have to go through disappointment this term.
After knocking outside Carlisle over two legs before faced with Blackpool the Grecians had reached Wembley in May, they lost 2-1 to guarantee a second year in League Two.
They didn’t seem to be suffering any type of hangover recording seven wins out of their opening eight matches to turn into the season pacesetters, sitting three points clear at the top in mid-September.
A run of results followed as they gained two while the inconsistency threatened to derail Exeter’s likelihood of moving automatically, as another string of two victories out of nine followed.
Even a 2-1 home victory over Barnet seemed to have kicked back things into life though, like being defeated 2-1 at Newport County after which knocked out of the FA Cup from Premier League West Brom, Exeter have now won three in a row, watching off Coventry 1-0, triumphing 2-1 at Notts County, before beating Forest Green 2-0 on Wednesday night.
That’s set Paul Tisdale’s side back into nine off Luton, level on points with third position Notts County and the mix with 2 matches in hand.
The Grecians had a quiet transfer deadline day, although did use the loan marketplace extending Kane Wilson’s along with Kyle Edwards remains at St James’ Park in West Brom.
They did add Spurs striker Ryan Loft along with Norwich keeper Paul Jones into the playing staff, though boss Tisdale confessed to a sense of frustration at not being able to further strengthen his squad.
He told BBC Radio Devon: “We have taken the three boys loan but other than that we have missed out on several we have attempted.
“That is the way it happens sometimes, but we have got an excellent squad, and it had been simply to add something here or there.
“It’s been one of those windows where I have looked all over the area, come really close to signing one or two players, but it’s not worked out.
“But I’m philosophical about it because I think we have got a really good squad of players”
Team information: Luton may hand a debut to each of three of the newest signings, Lloyd Jones, Flynn Downes and Jake Jervis, although there are doubts over Elliot Lee (shoulder) and Johnny Mullins (back).
Danny Hylton is in fact, as is Luke Gambin, while Jordan Cook is available from his suspension closer out of their harms.
Ryan Harley is after being withdrawn at half time on Wednesday a uncertainty.
Milestones: If selected and fit, Johnny Mullins will make his 50th appearance for the club. The center half in Oxford United in the summer of 2016 and has scored three goals thus far.
Top scorers: Hatters: Danny Hylton (17). Grecians: Jayden Stockley (15).
Man at the center: Andy Woolmer – taken just 12 games thus far this term, showing 26 yellow cards and 2 reds.
Last year, had 26 games together with 58 bookings and a single dismissal, at Championship level.
It’s his Luton fixture because December 2014 when he had the draw Wycombe taking the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy property defeat to Crawley.
Refereed Luton double in the League One campaign, the home draws with Millwall and Doncaster.
Officiated Town when they a Championship side, beaten a 3-3 draw against Cardiff along with from Barnsley in 2007.
Referee’s supporters are Adam Crysell along with Michael George, together with the fourth official Alan Young.
Accountable: Paul Tisdale, 45-year-old, that came through the ranks at Southampton from the 1990s, although just made 16 appearances for the Saints, earlier charms with Northampton and Huddersfield.
Had stints with Bristol City, Exeter, FinnPa (Finland), Panionios (Greece) and Yeovil, in which injury forced him to finish his career early.
Took a coaching role with Team Bath in 2000, leaving in 2006, to eventually become Exeter boss, and has stayed at St James’ Park since.
Now the 2nd longest-serving manager in British football behind Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger.
View in the competition: Exeter boss Paul Tisdale speaking into this club’s official website: “They are high in the desk and have existed for a short time. There is a long way to go, although they have been playing well and has to be lauded for the league right now.
“We’ll be moving into the match and we have got nothing to lose really. The Forest Green match was a critical victory for us and Saturday’s match is really a bonus.
“We know they are the top team in the league but I think we need to direct ourselves to be effective at a result and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”
One to see: Jayden Stockley. Striker has come to be a player since his loan stint at Kenilworth Road, after joining from Bournemouth in January 2015, in which he managed three goals in 13 appearances.
Had a spell at Portsmouth the campaign, scoring two in 12 matches but it had been a loan move to Exeter that watched him make an impact, together with 10 goals in 22 games in the next half of this 2015-16 campaign.
Moved to Aberdeen on a free, netting six goals in 38 matches, as he returned to Exeter at the start of this year and is the club’s top marksman, locating the net 15 times in 28 games, including eight in his past 11 games.
Friendly faces: Jack Stacey. Full back has been loaned last year from exploring in which he made 38 appearances but what a goal it had been, in the final minute of this play-off semi-final against Carlisle to seal a spot at Wembley.
Midfielder Lawson D’Ath spent a month at Exeter in the 2012-13 campaign on loan, playing eight times scoring after in a 4-1 win over Bradford.
Hatters boss Nathan Jones was Exeter with a single aim, making six appearances, on loan in the 1997-98 year.
Grecians striker Jayden Stockley had a three month loan spell at Luton involving April 2015 and January 2015, playing with 13 times and scoring three goals.
As he played five times for Luton on loan in the 2011-12 season Striker Ryan Brunt is with Exeter.
Has been with Bristol Rovers, Leyton Orient, Tranmere, York, Stevenage and Portsmouth since, before joining Exeter in summer time playing before injury struck.
Played for both: Striker Graeme Tomlinson started his career at Bradford City, making a move to Manchester United in 1994, before a host of loan spells, one which included a stint at Luton Town in the 1996 season.
He played seven times for your Hatters suffering a bad leg break from Port Vale.
Returned to Old Trafford and then headed in 1998 to Macclesfield, joining Exeter in June 2000, remaining City for two years, scoring seven times in 63 games before he headed to Stevenage.
Went in the latter stages of his playing times through the scene, looking for Bedford Dunstable, Stotfold and Town Town.
We have got form: Luton really have a nice record against Exeter at Kenilworth Road since games started in the Southern League back in 1909.
In complete, Hatters have appreciated 20 successes in their 32 matches, drawing six and losing 5, scoring 80 goals and conceding 36.
Luton win was a 6-0 thrashing back in 1923, although the Grecians did humbling their hosts.
The visitors have had the greater of games though, with two wins and a draw in the last four encounters.
Last time Hatters were held to a 1-1 draw against Exeter in their meeting at Kenilworth Road last year.
The visitors went on 59 minutes when Jake Taylor finished off an move, but Luton equalised eight minutes after Ollie Palmer crossed for Danny Hylton to head home.
Hatters: Matt Macey, Stephen O’Donnell, Jack Senior, Glen Rea, Alan Sheehan, Jonathan Smith, Jordan Cook (Olly Lee 81), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Gambin (Ollie Palmer 67), Danny Hylton, Jack Marriott (Isaac Vassell 55).
Subs not used: Stuart Moore, James Justin, Akin Famewo, Lawson D’Ath.