Adebayo on target against former side Fulham to earn Luton a deserved point

Championship: Luton Town 1 Fulham 1

Sonny Bradley clears his lines against Fulham this afternoon
Sonny Bradley clears his lines against Fulham this afternoon

Ex-Fulham striker Elijah Adebayo was on target against his former side to earn Luton a richly deserved share of the spoils against the league leaders at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

The striker, who began his career at Craven Cottage, executed a wonderful diving header from James Bree's cross just after the hour mark, gaining just reward for what was a spirited second half in front of an engrossed and vociferous Kenilworth Road crowd.

Although Fulham turned up with an expensively assembled side, including Serbian international Aleksander Mitrovic and £12m addition from Liverpool Harry Wilson, once Town had got to grips from the challenge from midway through the first period, they went toe-to-toe with their Premier League opponents, never giving an inch and might have won it during an absorbing final period.

Boss Nathan Jones made two changes for the clash, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Admiral Muskwe coming in for Henri Lansbury and Carlos Mendes Gomes who dropped to the bench.

Goalkeeper James Shea stayed in the side following his excellent display at Blackpool last weekend, with Simon Sluga fit again, named among the substitutes.

The stopper was flying to his left early on, Joe Bryan's daisycutter screaming inches wide of his far post, as Town looked to press when possible, Muskwe almost taking advantage when the hosts capitalised on a misplaced pass in defence.

Shea came off on his line positively to punch clear, before Town fell behind on 19 minutes with a goal that was disappointingly of real ease for the table-toppers.

Wilson's deep free kick was met by the completely unmarked Tosin Adarabioyo at the far post, his downward header cleared off the line by Sonny Bradley, only for the division's stand-out striker Mitrovic to escape the hosts' attentions and tap in for goal number 22 of the campaign.

With 71 per cent possession, the visitors began to suck the life out of Town's players and crowd, Luton left feeding on scraps, the odd moment of pressure all they could really muster, before Marco Silva's side regained the ball once more.

Midway through the half, something clicked though and the hosts began to mount a sustained spell of pressure, stepping on to their opponents and looking like they could knock the Cottagers out of their stride, just their final ball frustratingly letting them down.

Muskwe took matters into his own hands, cutting in from the right and shooting with his left, the ball flicking the side-netting on its way behind.

After the break it was imperative that Luton maintained the head of steam they were building, and they did just that, Muskwe advancing into the box but then slicing well wide when a cross would have been the wiser option.

Adebayo went for goal when others were better placed, before Reece Burke overlapped to whip in an excellent cross, the visitors defence back to clear the danger.

As Luton committed men forward, the visitors looked to counter with their many attacking talents, Tom Cairney blasted way over, Neeskens Kebano's effort easy for Shea.

With 62 minutes gone, Luton got the just rewards for their persistence, Bree the architect.

The full back, who had been getting stick once more from some home supporters for his set-pieces and crosses, unleashed a glorious free kick from deep that was perfect for Adebayo to meet at full stretch and bury his diving header beyond Mark Rodak.

Bree swiftly turned to the home fan who had been on his case ahead of the delivery, to celebrate his part in the equaliser, as Kenilworth Road erupted.

As expected, Fulham came back strong, a corner leading to some pinball, Mpanzu clearing off the line, Tim Ream's follow up header deflecting off Muskwe, Shea doing superbly to dive to his left and claw away.

He then showed excellent handling in increasingly slippery conditions to keep out Wilson's bouncing effort from 25 yards at his near post, as although the Cottagers tried to dominate, they were met by a wall of orange as Town put their bodies on the line and stood up to the challenge with a real determination.

Jones' side weren't without their opportunities either, Mpanzu sliding into rob his opponent, Adebayo unable to get his effort of before Rodak intervened.

Kal Naismith then almost brought the house down, as he stepped out of defence, going on a mazy run to beat no less than four defenders in a truly wonderful display of dribbling, teeing up Bree who drilled wide.

Fulham sub Rodrigo Muniz might have done better after finding space, but opted to shoot from distance, straight at Shea, while at the death, Luton thought they had a penalty.

Fred Onyedinma raced into the box to try and catch a ball over the top, only to be sent sprawling by Bryan, referee Thomas Bramall waving the appeals away, as the Hatters had to make do with a hard-fought and battling point.

Hatters: James Shea, James Bree, Reece Burke, Sonny Bradley, Kal Naismith, Amari'i Bell, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Allan Campbell (Gabe Osho 78), Jordan Clark, Admiral Muskwe (Fred Onyedinma 78), Elijah Adebayo.

Subs not used: Simon Sluga, Danny Hylton, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Henri Lansbury, Cameron Jerome.

Cottagers: Marek Rodak, Kenny Tete, Neeskens Kebano (Fabio Carvalho 76), Harry Wilson (Rodrigo Muniz 87), Aleksander Mitrovic, Tom Cairney (C Josh Onomah 76). Tim Ream, Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Tosin Adarabioyo, Joe Bryan, Jean Michael Seri.

Subs not used: Michael Hector, Denis Odoi, Paul Gazzaniga, Antonee Robinson.

Booked: Campbell 42.

Referee: Thomas Bramall.

Attendance: 9,992 (1,029 Fulham).