Hatters sting the Bees on penalties

Elliot Lee scored Town's equaliser against Barnet this evening
Elliot Lee scored Town's equaliser against Barnet this evening
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Checkatrade Trophy: Luton 1 Barnet 1 (Town win 4-3 on penalties).

Luton Town made it two bonus point wins in a row as they saw off Barnet on penalties in tonight's Checkatrade Trophy Southern Section Group F clash.

After the game finished 1-1 in normal time, Hatters then went to the newlook ABBA spotkicks and triumphed 4-3 once Bees skipper Ricardo Santos wildly skied his effort.

Hatters' previous forays in this competition have always led to entertaining goal-laden games, with plenty of excitement on offer.

This, however, was anything but, as bar the odd moment, there was very little to enthuse the crowd of 1,500 or so inside Kenilworth Road as both sides laboured for long periods.

Town made 11 changes from Saturday's 3-1 win over Newport, Lawson D'Ath back for his first appearance of the season, while Aaron Jarvis was handed a first start, with James Justin and Johnny Mullins in, along with the available Luke Berry and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, whose suspension didn't count in this competition.

Hatters should have been ahead on 13 minutes when a corner was flicked on and Akin Famewo volleyed badly wide at the far post.

The Bees then wasted a glorious chance shortly afterwards, as Ruben Bover's free kick found Jack Taylor all alone, who glanced into the empty stands behind James Shea's goal.

Very little happened from then on, with the game stuck in midfield and little quality mustered from either side, although Lee impressed, swivelling and half volleying over.

The game then improved slightly after the break, as Lee turned in the box and curled a delightful effort that beat keeper Craig Ross all ends up, only to crash against the point of post and bar.

Cook's free kick didn't quite have enough whip on it, before Bees missed a glorious chance, Malakai Mars prodding wide when unmarked from Ephron Mason-Clark's cross.

The Bees then won a penalty with a moment of controversy as Mullins sold Shea badly short with his backpass on 63 minutes, the keeper bringing down Andre Blackman.

Referee John Busby produced a red card, seemingly unaware of the law change where a keeper doesn't have to be dismissed if a genuine attempt is made for the ball.

On being reminded by the Luton stopper, he quickly downgraded his punishment to a yellow, although Shea was unable to prevent Jack Taylor's effort finding the corner of the net.

Town weren't behind for long though, two minutes in fact, Lee getting the goal his performance deserved, with a seriously classy finish, bending beyond Ross from 20 yards.

That led to a period of ascendancy for the Hatters, Cook curling wide and then being picked out by Justin's pass, his low shot repelled by Ross's legs.

Bees threatened too though, Taylor powering through the middle and his low shot taking a slight deflection, not missing by much.

The Hatters should have won it in stoppage time, Cook sending Lee away only for Ross to once again save the day, the keeper also preventing Mpanzu from notching a decider too.

With the game going to penalties, Lee, Cook, Justin and Mpanzu were all successful, Berry's effort saved, before Shea kept out David Tutonda's casual attempt and once Santos wellied over, Town kept the extra point.

Hatters: James Shea, James Justin, Jack Senior, Johnny Mullins (C), Akin Famewo, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Berry, Lawson D'Ath (Frankie Musonda 46), Jordan Cook, Elliot Lee, Aaron Jarvis.

Subs not used: Arthur Read, Harry Isted, Jack James, Joe Mead, Connor Tomlinson, Josh Neufville.

Barnet: Craig Ross, Charlie Clough, Ricardo Santos (C), Jack Taylor, David Tutonda, Ruben Bover (Fumnaya Shomotun 73), Wesley Fonguck, Andre Blackman (Nana Kyei 69), Ephron Mason-Clark, Malaki Mars, (Benjy Aghadiuno 61) Dwight Pascal.

Subs not used: Simeon Akinola, Harry Taylor, Darnell Smith, Renell McKenzie-Lyle

Booked: Bover 32, Tutonda 54, Cook 57, Shea 63.

Referee: John Busby.

Attendance: 1,530 (68 Barnet).

Hatters MOM: Elliot Lee. Excellent finish on his return to the side.