First out of the hat as Norwich City await FA Cup giant-killers Luton Town
16:13 07 January 2013
Norwich City were first out of the hat in the FA Cup fourth round draw – and were handed a home tie with historic overtones.
The Canaries will play non-league Luton Town at Carrow Road on the weekend of January 26 and 27 with a place in the last 16 of the competition up for grabs.
The Hatters, currently sixth in the Blue Square Premier, produced one of the shocks of the third round with a 1-0 home win over Championship side Wolves – a result that cost Molineux boss Stale Solbakken his job.
It is only six years since City and Luton met each other as Championship clubs, Norwich winning both fixtures 3-2.
But their best-known FA Cup encounter was in 1959, when the giant-killing Canaries’ lost 1-0 to first division Luton in a semi-final replay at St Andrew’s after a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, having famously reached the last four as a third division side.
In 1976, top-flight City earned somewhat belated revenge with a 2-0 fourth round victory over the Hatters at Carrow Road with goals from Martin Peters and David Jones, before losing 2-1 at home to fourth division Bradford City in the fifth round.
The 2013 pairing comes with the clubs 86 places apart in the English football ladder, but City boss Chris Hughton is mindful of the capabilities of the Conference side.
He said: “I know the Luton Town manager, Paul Buckle, quite well. I played with him for about a year at Brentford towards the end of my playing career.
“It will be a good cup tie and a great atmosphere, but it won’t be easy against Luton – we’ve seen just what they can do with the way they knocked out Wolves at the weekend, and although they are a team that has dropped out of the league, they have a good history in the FA Cup.
“It will be our responsibility to put on a good performance for our supporters and make sure we progress to the next round of this competition.
“Again, though, the most important thing is that we’re at home with another chance to play in front of our fans, and it will be great to see as many there as possible.
“They showed just what a fantastic atmosphere they can create when over 5,000 went to Peterborough on Saturday.”
Luton beat Wolves with a 46th-minute goal from Alex Lawless in front of a crowd of 9,638.
Buckle told Sky Sports News. “I am delighted for the players as one thing they wanted was a Premier League team.
“I am also pleased it’s away from home. It was fantastic to knock out Wolves at home but it will be great for our fans to take in a Premier League atmosphere.
“I know Chris Hughton well and he has already texted me to says he’s looking forward to the game, which was really good of him.”