Hatters fail to build on early goal as Terriers hit back to earn a point

Championship: Luton Town 1 Huddersfield Town 1

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 6th February 2021, 6:23 pm
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall gets a header in against Huddersfield Town
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall gets a header in against Huddersfield Town

Luton were unable to heap even more misery on Huddersfield Town's poor run of form on their travels, as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

Going into the game, the visitors were on a run of eight matches without a win away from the John Smith's Stadium, taking just two points in that time.

The Hatters gave themselves every chance of making that two from nine, going in front with their quickest goal of the season so far, James Collins netting on 11 minutes, but they failed to build on that, and were undone with 15 minutes to go, Naby Sarr scoring an equaliser.

Town chief Nathan Jones made just the one change from last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Blackburn, with Luke Berry in for Glen Rea, as both deadline day signings Tom Ince and Elijah Adebayo started on the bench.

The hosts made a bright opening, Matty Pearson's deflected cross bouncing kindly for Jordan Clark, whose close range header was straight at keeper Ryan Schofield.

Although the visitors then had a mini spell of possession, it was Town who took the lead, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu dinking a pass to the right for Harry Cornick.

He sped into the box and this time picked out the perfect ball across goal for Collins to tap into the net for his 10th of the season, ending a nine-game drought and becoming the first Hatters striker to score since December 12, 10 matches ago.

Luton looked for a quickfire second, determined to keep the pressure on their visitors, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall firing over from range.

Lewis O'Brien lashed off target for the visitors on 20 minutes, while Juninho Bacuna dragged wide after a powerful run upfield.

Town couldn't break through again before the interval, although had a great chance on the stroke of half time, Mpanzu's delectable cross to the far post met by the towering head of Dan Potts, who somehow nodded against the post.

After the break, Huddersfield threatened immediately, Pipa racing forward and shooting low from the edge of the box, not missing by much, while half time substitute Rolando Aarons couldn't divert Harry Toffolo's cross on target.

The Terriers were starting to get closer, Luton losing the ball through Clark, and Bacuna found on the left hand side of the area, shooting into the side-netting when others were better placed.

Luton thought they might have got the second goal they were beginning to crave midway through the half as Collins cleverly teed up Mpanzu on the edge of the box, but under pressure from Sarr he hammered over.

Hatters were then pegged back on 74 minutes when a low free kick from Bacuna was parried by the unsighted Simon Sluga for Sarr to equalise from close range.

The visitors almost completed the turnaround moments later, Frazier Campbell's pinpoint cross from the right met the unmarked Duane Holmes, Sluga saving at the second attempt.

Skipper Sonny Bradley then stabbed over his own bar as Huddersfield kept the pressure on, but Luton had openings of their own, a strong run by Mpanzu leading to his cross-shot deflected wide.

Collins was inches away from a second as he met Clark's low ball in, with Schofield out bravely at his feet to ensure all Luton had was a corner for their troubles.

In stoppage time, the visitors were reduced to 10 men, Toffolo seeing red for a lunging challenge on Glen Rea as the Terriers looked to break.

From the free kick, Luton might have snatched victory, Rea meeting the cross, only to see his glancing header hit the outside of the post and rebound to safety.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, Matty Pearson, Dan Potts, Tom Lockyer, Sonny Bradley ©, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Luke Berry (Glen Rea 72), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jordan Clark (Kal Naismith 87), Harry Cornick (Tom Ince 83), James Collins.

Subs not used: James Shea, George Moncur, Danny Hylton, Sam Nombe, Elijah Adebayo, Martin Cranie.

Terriers: Ryan Schofield, Pipa (Alex Pritchard 67, Alex Vallejo 90), Harry Toffolo, Jonathan Hogg (C), Juninho Bacuna, Lewis O'Brien, Duane Holmes (Scott High 90), Richard Keogh, Isaac Mbenza (Rolando Aarons 46), Frazier Campbell, Naby Sarr.

Subs not used: Jayson Leutwiler, Demeaco Duhaney, Sorba Thomas, Romoney Crichlow-Noble, Kieran Phillips, Scott High.

Bookings: Dewsbury-Hall 7, O'Brien 23, Pipa 53.

Sent off: Toffolo 90.

Referee: Leigh Doughty.