Hatters held to goalless draw by Brackley
LUTON Town continued their pre-season campaign with a drab goalless draw against Brackley Town at St James’ Park, writes James Heneghan.
Neither side could create much in front of goal with the best chance of the match falling to Town striker Stuart Fleetwood, but his free header was well saved by Billy Turley.
Luton looked fragmented throughout as they played some neat football at times but the pre-season rustiness was obvious.
The biggest plus for Town manager Paul Buckle will be how comfortable his side looked throughout the entire 90 minutes as they kept Brackley at bay.
Hatters boss Buckle gave striker Jon Shaw a first start for the club while goalkeeper Dean Brill also played after signing a two-year deal.
Despite playing a league above, Town made a shaky start as Brackley put some early pressure on with a series of set-pieces.
The Blue Square North side looked composed on the ball with Luton taking time to gel following a complete transformation of the squad over the summer.
The early exchanges were tentative, with both sides struggling to stamp their authority on the match.
It took until the 20th minute for the first shot of any note as Lathaniel Rowe-Turner forced a decent save out of Turley following a surging run down the right.
Town had their moments as they strung together several tidy moves and begun to assert some pressure in the final third.
And they should have taken the lead on the half-hour mark when Alex Lawless superbly found Fleetwood but his free header was tipped on to the bar by Turley.
Luton continued to look dangerous down the right with Lawless and Rowe-Turner both looking threatening.
But they couldn’t find a way through the resilient Brackley defence as the match remained goalless at the break.
It was much the same story after half time as Town dominated possession but they found it difficult to break down the hosts.
The fragmented flow of the match wasn’t helped by the mass substitutions, which prevented either side from finding their groove.
Brackley defended well and restricted Town to long shots with Adam Watkins going close from 25 yards.
There was little action in the closing 15 minutes with the two sides looking content to play out for the draw.
Saints: Turley (Zyricki 45), Clifton, Hatswell (Josh Green 72), Solkhon (Grimes 83), McDonald (Myles 82), Story (Barry Quinn 69), Corcoran, Omoabei, Walker (Winters 51), Sandy (Will Green 60), Mulligan (Diggin 65).
Hatters: Brill, Henry (Beckwith 60), Kovacs, Rowe-Turner (O’Donnell 46), Taylor, Howells (Ann 78), Lawless, Kasim (Robinson 60), Fleetwood, Shaw (Watkins 46), Gray (Woolley 60). Substitutes not used: Tyler.
Referee: Carl Henry
Assistant Referees: Anthony Griffiths and Mark Weatherall.