FOREST AWAY: Luton Town, Saturday 16th March – Fan Guide

For about an hour on Wednesday night, we caught a glimpse of our potential future. Luton had glided into a 3-nil lead at Bournemouth and our survival prospects had never looked as bleak. That the final score perhaps serves as Forest’s best result of 2024 is telling.

The visual of Forest below the dotted safety line was perhaps the biggest realisation yet that we are in real jeopardy. Yet I must say, at times during our performance against Brighton last weekend, it was hard to get that feeling. It was a hugely disappointing display which was poor reward for 3,000 who made an awkward journey down on a Sunday.

Aside from us conceding stupid / set-piece goals, what worries me is that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong. There is a flatness about us, and it is certainly passing into the stands. It’s hard to believe this is the same club as a year ago when togetherness and defiance was fundamental to our survival. We can bemoan potential PSR injustice and refereeing performances, but I think this is deeper than that. If anything, they could be used to galvanise us, but the response to the Liverpool decision was a tepid display, although the uncertainty of our PSR punishment is surely part of the problem.

We feel like a club with a grey cloud above our heads at the moment. A looming decision on a points deduction, one league win in 2024 and the club at war with the City Council putting our beloved City Ground in jeopardy are all factors in what could be described as a malaise that enveloped the club in recent times. Some may disagree but I also think it’s an issue all season long that we are constantly having to forge relationships with new players. We built up such wonderful relationships with the sides of the last two seasons, and while some still remain, how do you keep up affection for a team that very rarely stays the same?

We look like a club yearning for a spark – something, anything, to get us foaming at the mouth just a tad. Maybe that sick feeling we all got from seeing Forest briefly mired in the bottom three can help force us out of our malaise or perhaps a high stakes game at Luton might do the trick. Saturday will not save us or condemn us, but if our squad is not blustering into Kenilworth Road like a hurricane then there is something wrong.



TRAINS: As we communicated on our Twitter page earlier this week, supporters hoping to travel by train should be warned that services from Nottingham will all terminate at Bedford and a rail replacement bus will complete the journey to Luton. This is not a particularly long journey, but it does extend the travel time fairly considerably.

As an example of what a typical journey now looks like:

Depart Nottingham 08:50

Arrive Bedford 10:07

Depart Bedford (BUS) 10:18

Arrive Luton 11:03

The same applies after the game too which could be more difficult as fans looks to squeeze onto buses at Luton station, but we have been part of comms between East Midlands Railway and the club to try and arrange for a suitable number of buses to be ready to take Forest fans back to Bedford.

The first buses are scheduled to leave Luton at 17:20 and another not due until 18:20, but I would hope that buses will be ready to depart as soon as they are full.

Luton Station is just over a mile from Kenilworth Road.

ROAD: The most direct junction on the M1 to use for Kenilworth Road is 10a, although this will take you through some of the city centre. Depending on where you plan to park, it might prove better to use Junction 10 or 11.

There is decent street parking around Kenilworth Road, although be wary of restrictions and permit areas. If you are looking for a specific suggestion (although I’ve not used this myself), then come off at Junction 11 and head into the Leagrave / Biscot areas. Both are large suburban areas north of Kenilworth Road / city centre and should allow some free street parking close enough to the ground.

The B579 road that comes off the roundabout at Junction 11 pretty much takes you all the way to Kenilworth Road, if you follow this you should hopefully start to spot some decent spots a mile or so out. Just don’t get too close as parking will start to become limited, especially if you aren’t arriving early.

For those who may want to park closer to the town centre for a pre-match drink, you may have some joy finding some parking close to the train station. There is a road behind it called Hitchin Road with plenty of streets off it which may be an option. Alternatively, we have regularly noted Luton Airport Parkway station as a good option for leaving the car for London away games. This is a bit more of a walk to the ground but very easily placed off Junction 10 and there is a decently priced multi-storey car park which will be around £4-5 for the day.



In recent days, we have been in dialogue with Dedicated Football officers Forest and Luton regarding the treatment of Forest supporters at this same fixture in 2022. At the time we submitted feedback about what we perceived to be unfair holding and escorting of fans both before and after the game. Predominantly this was concerning a large number of fans being rounded up at the Red Lion pub in Luton and being made to endure a very slow and frustrating walk to the ground. This escort arrived only shortly before kick-off and some, we understand, missed the start of the game.

A similar incident occurred after the game when Forest fans walking back into town were suddenly surrounded and held, before being marched under escort back to the Red Lion.

We have received assurances directly from Bedfordshire Police that there are no plans this time such over-zealous methods of controlling fans. Part of the statement we received from Bedfordshire Police reads:

‘At the moment there is no plans to escort, pre or post-match, Nottingham Forest fans to and from Kenilworth Road. However, if there are any significant incidents that warrant an escort for the safety of fans, then we will do this. But at the present time, and if there is no issues or concerns around the safety of supporters, then there will be no escort.’


The official advice from the Dedicated Football Officer for Bedfordshire Police is that the main pubs to welcome Forest fans are as follows:

The Red Lion – A mile from the ground in the middle of the town centre. This was where most Forest fans congregated on our last visit in 2022 although this seemed to take them by surprise as they only had one person serving to begin with. There was another pub opposite called The Castle which opened a little later.

The Whitehouse – A Wetherspoons close to the train station, this will be a mix of home & away fans.

Chequers – This is a little further out but may serve those well who are coming in via Junction 10 and parking at Parkway or nearby.

The only other suggestion I will throw into the mix of Off the Wall which is just around the corner from the Red Lion and had no issues serving Forest fans last time. Many of us headed there when the Red Lion could not keep up with demand.


Q&A with Jacob of the ‘Oh When The Town’ Podcast


Although we haven’t quite reached the finale of the season, this is clearly a huge game for both clubs. Can we expect a feisty Kenilworth Road welcome?

This could potentially be a season defining game for Luton Town, in the same way that it could have been for Steve Cooper and Nottingham Forest who were making the charge to the Premier League the last time we met at Kenilworth Road.

Every Luton fan knows how important it is to get a positive result from this game so I would expect an electric atmosphere on match day. It’s almost our duty to make sure that the atmosphere is as uncomfortable as possible for Nottingham Forest and, as we all know as fans, hope that the intensity and closeness to the pitch either spurs our team on or make the opposition flustered.

I think Nottingham Forest fans will be the same knowing that any negative result and possible points deduction may seriously dent your survival hopes. It should make for a very intense day for us all.

I don’t think I’d be alone among Forest supporters in seeing some similarities between Luton this season and ourselves last season. While we spent a huge amount of money we still found ourselves relying on a togetherness and unity behind our manager to steer us over the line.
Is it this which is behind your fight to stay in the Premier League and that is giving you the advantage over Sheffield United and Burnley who you were promoted with?

Like Nottingham Forest last season we have had our fair share of people not giving us any chance of survival. Whilst Forest may have been disparaged by those who thought that the massive spend on new players and the complete rebuild of the team was excessive it only served to pull you all together and with obvious results.

Our whole journey back to the Premier League without a doubt has relied on the togetherness of our club, team and fans. Without question, having fans as owners has been one of the biggest driving forces in our quest to reach and stay in the premier league. There are no prima donnas at the club, each fighting to achieve their best for this campaign. Equally most of the fanbase understand that we never want to be back in the position that we were once in due to the actions of former incompetent owners who no longer had any connection to the club. 40 points over two seasons, with 30 in one season alone was enough to bond our club in a way that not many others could comprehend.

We have been constantly dismissed during our rise up the leagues, even after promotion we were written off before kicking a ball, ridiculed for our stadium and dismissed by pundits who couldn’t take Luton Town seriously. All this is enough to bond and unify our team and prove that with this togetherness the seemingly Impossible could actually happen.

From the outside looking in at Sheffield United and Burnley there doesn’t seem to be the same reactions by fans in the same way. Perhaps expectations were too high and as each week went by and results didn’t come the more agitated and resigned the fans have become. Clearly as a Hatter long may that continue!


We’ll both be hoping for different outcomes to the recent PSR hearing which will aim to apply a punishment to Forest (and Everton) for spending breaches. What do you make of these rules?

It’s easy for me to say rules are rules. We had no real sympathy when we had our massive points deduction so why should I really care if other teams don’t comply to rules and are subsequently punished for them? Well, it seems that there are two agendas here, one for the top clubs and a different one for those not so lucky to be in the coveted top six.

Why should Manchester City reap the rewards of breeching ffp rules while still facing 115 charges? Meanwhile, the deductions for both Everton and Forest could result in relegation for either team. At the time of writing this the Premier League have announced that they are working to change the regulations for next season which will only ring fence the top clubs and those with billionaire owners.

It’s not, and never will be, a level playing field. In life money talks and football is no different. Sadly, the days when a smaller club might have actually won the league are well and truly behind us, that is what disappoints me.


An unwelcome narrative to your season has been the health of Tom Lockyer. Is it possible that he will play for you again?

Tom Lockyer has been incredible throughout his ordeal. The medical staff at Luton and Bournemouth saved his life and everyone is grateful for all their skills and endeavours.

Whether he plays football again remains to be seen, will he do the same as Christian Eriksen will the recent birth of his daughter make him feel that the risk is too great to take? Whatever he decides he will have the backing of the club and the fans, and he will always have a place in our history and our hearts.

When we last spoke a couple of seasons back, you mentioned that there were plans taking shape for a new ground for Luton. Is this still progressing?

The plans have been revised, the stadium has been approved (again) and the ground clearance has truly begun. Power Court will be a reality.

It is hoped that the work on the stadium will commence towards the end of this year, and we will finally realise the dream of moving to our new home hopefully by 2026.


With engineering works preventing fans travelling direct to Luton on the train, there is likely to be many more driving down from Nottingham on Saturday. Any useful parking tips for us?

Although there are lots of street parking opportunities on a Saturday, especially this season, they can be hard to find.

There is ample parking in the town centre and in fact using the site of our new stadium Power Court to park there is a short walk through the town to get to Kenilworth Road.


Finally – let’s have your predictions…
What will the score be on Saturday?
Where will Luton finish?
Where will Forest finish?

My predictions for the game. I think both sides have too much to lose in this one, it could be quite tight but I’m hoping that we can get a win, so going with my heart I’m saying 2-0 Luton Town.

I said at the start of the season I though with a bit of luck we could survive, so I have to say we will finish 17th

Forest due to points deductions 18th but I would much rather see Everton finish in that position.

Thanks to Jacob for his insight.


For those of you fortunate to get tickets, we’ll see you there.

Up the Reds.