Match Report: Luton Town 1-1 Huddersfield Town

A poor performance from Town that lacked urgency and passion for the majority of the match means that Town are still yet to win in 2021. Town did manage to pull back a lucky equaliser with fifteen minutes to go which sparked a frenzied and thoroughly enjoyable end to the game.

Carlos Corberan made two changes from last week’s underwhelming draw against Stoke City as he prepared his squad to face Luton Town. The changes saw midfielder Jonathan Hogg return from injury and Duane Holmes come in to make his first start since resigning for Town a couple of weeks ago. These changes saw the impressive Alex Vallejo drop to the bench alongside January signing Rolando Aarons – who has to be managed carefully, having not played prior to his move to Town for eleven months.

Town came into this one in poor form having not won in their last six. Nathan Jones’s Luton Town meanwhile came into this one having not won in the last three games in all competitions – although one of those results came against Premier League giants Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Luton’s first chance came just under two minutes into the game, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall ran onto the end of a scuffed Town clearance and managed to slip and slide his way through the right hand side of Town’s defence before hitting a low cross towards James Collins, luckily for Town though Naby Sarr was there to clear the ball to safety.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was the focus of attention again several minutes later, a scuffed clearance from Town eventually found its way to Duane Holmes, who was fouled cynically by the Leicester City loanee. No prizes for guessing who the first yellow card of the game went too.

Duane Holmes looked bright in the opening minutes, combining on several occasions with Harry Toffolo and Juninho Bacuna down the left side to calve out some half chances.

Luton Town took the lead just twelve minutes into the game, their high line paid off when Naby Sarr gifted them the ball on half way, Luton quickly broke forward in numbers and the ball quickly broke to winger Harry Cornick, who had a free run into the box to hit a low cross to the far post, where James Collins was waiting to tap the ball into the back of an empty net, leaving Ryan Schofield stranded.

Luton again nearly pounced on some poor play from Town. Pipa’s poor pass dropped straight to a Luton player, allowing the Hatters to make a quick, sharp passing move forward. Luckily for Town though, Cornick’s low cross from the right was well defended by Town.

Town’s first shot of the game summed up Town’s performance to that point. Lewis O’Brien picked the ball up twenty five yards out, he shuffled and shimmied but couldn’t catch his shot right and it spiralled way over the bar and into the depressingly silent backdrop of an empty stand.

The first half continued at Luton’s dictated tempo, with the hatters continuing to press Town whenever they attempted to play it out from the back – and usually managing to win the ball back on the halfway line. On the rare occasion that Town did break forward they were usually unable to work a shot on goal.

Town nearly equalised just before the half hour mark, with Juninho Bacuna making a brilliant, driving run forward rounding a pair of Luton defenders before firing a low, slow effort just wide.

Luton nearly doubled their lead just three minutes before half time, a brilliant curled ball from Mpanzu curled over the Town defence to find former Charlton defender Tom Lockyer at the far post. He could only watch however as his header somehow struck the bar, much to the relief of the Town faithful.

The halftime whistle rang out a few minutes later and Town went into half time having played the first half without any passion or intensity in their play and, despite Duane Holmes looking bright, looked like a side seriously deprived of creativity.

Half Time: Luton Town 1-0 Huddersfield Town

Town came out for the second half to darkening skies around Kenilworth Road with Rolando Aarons having replaced Isaac Mbenza in a like for like change.

Luton Town’s first chance of the half came just seconds into it, a long throw finding the head of James Collins, whose header was well smothered by Schofield.

Town’s first chance followed, Town worked the ball right to Pipa on the far side, who struck it from the edge of the box but could only watch as it flew agonisingly wide.

Town had another chance just seconds later; Harry Toffolo did well to break past Harry Cornick on the Town left before firing a low, bobbling cross towards the near post. The ball bounced off Campbell’s knee and went agonisingly wide yet again.

Town’s next chance came just after the sixty minute mark. O’Brien worked the ball to Aarons who played a brilliant pass out wide to an onrushing Bacuna; Bacuna dribbled into the box and, despite having several men unmarked in the middle, decided to go alone and could only divert his low shot into the outside netting. Much to Town fans frustrations.

Luton worked a good chance just a couple of minutes later. Collins resceved the ball on the edge of the box and fed through Mpanzu, who struck it on the run and watched it fly just over the crossbar.

Despite being one of Towns brightest players throughout the second half, Pipa found himself substituted in place of playmaker Alex Pritchard in the sixty-seventh minute.

Naby Sarr made up for his mistake with fifteen minutes to go, Bacuna’s free kick was tipped away by Simon Sluga and into the path of Naby Sarr who couldn’t miss from two yards out. 1-1! Town were back in it!

Bacuna let his temper flare up a couple of minutes later,  after winning the ball back in his new position of right back, he was immediately dispossessed before fouling his opponent, after the foul was given he found himself losing control squaring up to Luton manager Nathan Jones.

The game would then spiral into a frenzy, with a brilliant chance for Duane Holmes and a chance for James Collins. Both of whom were unable to convert.

Town kept the pressure on and nearly got the winner in the eighty-eighth minute, Rolando Aarons showed his skill in beating a Luton defender before launching a low cross into the six yard box. Had it not been for a brilliant piece of defending by Tom Lockyer, Lewis O’Brien would have found the back of the net.

Town’s chances of getting a winner were all but dashed from under them with just over a minute to go. The referee, who had already made several questionable decisions throughout the match, decided to make himself the centre of attention by dismissing full back Harry Toffolo for a challenge on a Luton midfielder that was worthy of a yellow, but looked soft for a red.

Luton very nearly got a winner from the resulting free kick; the free kick was taken short for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall who hit a cross to the far post. The resulting header struck the post and bounced away, luckily for Town.

Town’s display for the large majority of the match was dire and at times almost unwatchable. Once they got the equaliser they put some intensity and passion into their performance for the first time in the match and had their chances to steal a winner. But there is no doubting that Luton deserved to have got more the match and can feel slightly unlucky to have only walked away with a point.

Full Time: Luton Town 1-1 Huddersfield Town

Written by Will Marriott

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: