Benson nets as Hatters are held by Peacehaven

Paul Benson
Paul Benson

Pre-season friendly: Peacehaven & Telscombe 1 Luton Town 1

Striker Paul Benson marked his first appearance of pre-season with a goal as Luton Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Peacehaven & Telscombe this afternoon.

The forward pounced moments before half time after Peacehaven had taken the lead on 27 minutes of the contest at a picturesque Sports Park on the south coast.

What happened in the first half will forever remain something of a mystery for this reporter though, thanks to the marvels of the M25.

However, after an error in a pre-printed team sheet that had Craig Mackail-Smith listed as playing, along with Paddy McCourt and Steve McNulty, Luton fielded a far different side.

Summer signing Magnus Okuonghae made his first appearance since joining the club, completing an hour, while Zane Banton partnered Benson upfront, with Danny Green, Alex Lawless and Luke Guttridge all starting too.

After the break, Hatters always looked the more likely to score, particularly with winger Green in possession, especially when he found his crossing range as the game wore on.

The recent addition from MK Dons fired off target when teed up by Guttridge after Banton’s trickery and saw his free kick fly over the bar.

Green then took aim from distance, dragging wide, when a ball inside to Guttridge might have paid dividends, while from his pinpoint delivery, Banton headed at the keeper.

It was Green again who was at the heart of another fine move, beating two players and from Lawless’ header back, Guttridge thumped a volley over.

Scott Griffiths had a powerful header comfortably stopped, before Hatters thought they had the lead with Guttridge dinked his effort beyond the home stopper.

However, a Peacehaven defender got back to hack off the line and then get up to impressively repel BEeson’s follow up header too.

Green’s right boot created yet another opportunity for Banton, with the unmarked striker heading into the ground and behind at the back post.

Benson’s blast didn’t locate the target as Town searched for a winner, while although Luton forced a number of corners at the end, they just couldn’t end their run of pre-season draws, after being held by Boreham Wood and Hitchin recently too.

Hatters are back in action on Monday night at Gosport Borough.

Hatters: Elliot Justham, Curtley Williams, Scott Griffiths, Magnus Okuonghae (Luke Trotman 60), Mark O’Brien, Alex Lawless, Luke Guttridge, Jonathan Smith, Danny Green, Paul Benson, Zane Banton.