Luton at Wembley now more likely
By Cam Melling
It's Sunday 13th April, Luton Town kick off at Wembley against Manchester United for their first FA Cup final since 1959. Seems unrealistic? Well, it most likely is but after Sunday's events and fifth round draw, the dream lives on. Maybe not the final but the semi-finals look very much a possibility.
Half of the Hatters' fans will no doubt be disappointed with a home draw to Millwall, with many fantasising a momentous away day to Old Trafford. On the other hand for the Blue Square Bet Premier side's chances of winning the cup, it has done them a world of good.
The lowest ranked side left in the cup are now just one win away from the quarter-finals. With one other non-Premier League side also guaranteed through, Luton fans can dare to dream of a trip to Wembley. Although, memories of another Hatters visit to Wembley will still be fresh in their minds, a Johnstone's Paint Trophy victory over Scunthorpe in 2009, an FA Cup date at England's most prestigious of venues will surely eclipse any comparisons to that the day.
Of course, Luton will still have to defeat a Millwall side who deserve their place in the last sixteen after defeating Aston Villa. However, a visit of the Championship's ninth placed side with just one league win in their last six is unlikely to scare them as back to back scalps of higher placed opposition in Wolves and Norwich, will have them brimming with confidence with belief of another upset come mid-February.
Then in the sixth round, a fortunate draw of either MK Dons or Barnsley could potentially see a semi-final spot up for grabs for a team below the highest level. This is all just 'ifs' and 'buts' and there is still a long way to go for Luton, however there would not have been many teams in the hat for Sunday's draw that would have fancied the Hatters at Kenilworth Road and this is something of a reward for them after their heroics at Carrow Road.
In the meantime, the giant-killers will have to return to the reality of the likes of Barrow away and the slightly more exciting prospect of an FA Trophy quarter-final, which although could result in an additional route Wembley, will be overshadowed with the club's run in the FA's premier tournament. Their league form has been good up and to now with, currently just one point outside the playoffs with several games in hand.
Whether this will remain as the cup hysteria builds momentum is yet to be seen but would the Hatters' fans sacrifice the possibility of promotion for a cup semi final? It's a question which sums up the beauty of the world's oldest cup competition.