Baker still believes Hatters Ladies can finish third

Shannon Pratt in action for Luton

Shannon Pratt in action for Luton

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Luton Town Ladies manager Nikki Baker insists her side need to be more clinical after they were held to a goalless draw by Denham United on Sunday.

Despite the stalemate, Baker believes a third place finish in the FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One is still possible, although knows it will be tough with just five games to go.

She said: “We need to go on a good run now and finish the season strongly. Third place is definitely not out of our reach, but at this stage of the season I have to look at it as two points dropped.”

Against Dereham, Town created the most chances with Natasha Fensome, Shanice Jiminez and Erica Byron all going close.

The Hatters had a goal ruled for offside after 20 minutes when Jiminez fed Fensome who fired past Elizabeth Rose, only to see the flag raised.

At the other end, Hollie Staples made three routine stops to deny Denham.

Byron then had a great opportunity to put Town ahead after Fensome’s pass put her in on goal but instead of shooting, she tried to set up Jiminez and Denham were able to recover and clear their lines.

Just before the break, Fensome picked up the ball in Town’s half and beat two Denham players before finding Jiminez whose effort was comfortably save.

Town continued to create some openings in the second half with brilliant build-up play but they simply couldn’t find the net.

Rose was forced into a good stop from Joanne Rutherford’s shot on 70 minutes, while Fensome sent another attempt over the top.

Hatters pressed for a late goal and Byron came close to grabbing all three points but Rose made another fine stop at her near post to deny Luton as the game finished goalless.

Luton travel to seventh-placed Ipswich Town this weekend.