Hatters midfielder Danny Green scored a wonderful free kick as Luton Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Southend United in their Final Third Development League clash at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday afternoon.
The winger took aim from just outside the box early in the second half, firing into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of Shrimpers keeper Ted Smith.
Luton boss John Still, who was watching from the stands, couldn’t have failed to be impressed with the strike from a player who has been left out recently after what the boss termed was a poor attitude in training.
However, the wideman, like his team-mates came good in the second half, producing a number of excellent deliveries from the left flank, topped off by the set-piece.
Hatters picked a strong side for the contest including striker Paul Benson and defender Scott Griffiths, but fell behind on 13 minutes to Jason Williams’ close range header.
Williams should have bagged another as he got the better of Frankie Musonda and cut inside Mark O’Brien, only to send a timid effort straight at Elliot Justham.
The Luton keeper was then quick off his line to save well once more as Luton never really threatened a leveller, Ryan Hall and Zane Banton going closest.
After the break, Luton improved noticably with Green and Hall swapping flanks and once Howells was needlessly fouled trying to chase down a clearance, Green’s right boot did the rest.
A keenly contested enounter saw four bookings handed out, including one for Hall, as Luton searched for a winner, Howells’ fierce effort saved, while Musonda glanced wide.
Luton introduced trialist Charles Banya for Banton, the 22-year-old, coming through the ranks at Fulham, while also having spells with Woking and Crawley.
He showed a few promising bursts forward, although late on, the hosts were thankful to Mark O’Brien’s late clearance off the line to preserve a point.
Hatters: Elliot Justham; Andy Parry, Scott Griffiths (Cameron McJannett), Frankie Musonda, Mark O’Brien; James Justin, Danny Green, Jake Howells, Ryan Hall; Paul Benson, Zane Banton (Charles Banya).