Hatters unable to break Huddersfield down in Kenilworth Road stalemate
Hatters After witnessing 11 goals in their last two home games, the Hatters fans never came close to enjoying such excitement this afternoon, their side held to an almost predictable goalless draw by Huddersfield.
The result was on the cards long before the final whistle as Town found their defence-minded opponents increasingly hard to break down, and they might have left with nothing in the closing stages, full back Harry Toffolo skying a presentable chance.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying that Luton couldn’t add to their goals for tally this term, as they created a host of opportunities, particularly in the first half, but a disappointing final ball on too many occasions, plus a crowded penalty area, meant keeper visiting stopper Lee Nicholls wasn’t often over-extended.
An unchanged Hatters had made a positive start to proceedings, hardly surprising given the confidence gained from the 5-0 midweek thrashing of Coventry, Kal Naismith seeing a blast from fully 40 yards skid wide on the sodden surface, Harry Cornick’s angled effort gathered by Nicholls.
Danny Ward volleyed off target for Huddersfield as Luton had a great chance on 10 minutes when ex-Hatter Matty Pearson could only flick a long ball into the path of the advancing Amari’i Bell who burst into the area, but scuffed his left-footer well wide.
Luke Berry then arrived in the box well to meet James Bree’s deep cross after Jordan Clark’s excellent hooked crossfield pass, unable to divert on target this time.
Ward seemed the Terriers only attacking outlet, shanking well wide from outside the box, as Town, although not able to create anything clear-cut in the opening half hour, were still dominating possession and territory, putting some pleasing moves together.
Town somehow weren’t ahead on 39 minutes when Cornick, whose trickery was causing the Huddersfield defence a real problem, did superbly to beat his man and cross for Bell, who from a couple of yards out, could somehow only volley against the post.
The follow-up saw Elijah Adebayo shoot low, with Nicholls doing well to cling on in the increasingly tricky conditions.
After the break, the visitors began positively, finally deciding to show up as an attacking outlet, Josh Koroma causing some dangerous moments on the left, one attempt deflecting up into the gloves of the previously unworked Simon Sluga.
Town looked to reassert their authority, Bell’s cross headed narrowly over his own bar by Pearson and then Cornick’s 25-yarder deflected behind.
Terriers midfielder Danel Sinani looked like had had broken the deadlock on the hour when he cut in from the right and wrapped his left foot around a curler, which was narrowly wide with Sluga clearly beaten.
The on-loan Norwich player appeared to have developed a taste for it, trying his luck again from even further out, this time shooting straight at Sluga.
Luton boss Nathan Jones swapped the tiring Cornick for Cameron Jerome, as still Terriers fancied their chances from outside the box, Scott High unable to keep his attempt down.
The Town chief also brought on Henri Lansbury and the midfielder’s eyes lit up when Bree’s corner was punched out as far as him, but slipping he could only send his volley careering into the home fans.
Town did have a penalty shout, but Jordan Clark appeared to slip when colliding with Pearson and referee Leigh Doughty waved the appeals away.
The Terriers looked for a strong finish to the game, Koroma’s reverse ball finding the run of Toffolo with time running out, only for the full back to sky his effort over the bar when faced with Sluga.
Late on, Lansbury’s cross was gathered by Nicholls as although Luton dropped to 13th in the table, they could still reflect on another hard-earned point in what has been an injury-hit few weeks ahead of the international break, and their fifth clean sheet of the season.
Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree, Tom Lockyer, Sonny Bradley ©, Kal Naismith, Amari’i Bell, Glen Rea, Jordan Clark (Henri Lansbury 73), Luke Berry, Harry Cornick (Cameron Jerome 67), Elijah Adebayo.
Subs not used: James Shea, Reece Burke, Allan Campbell, Gabe Osho, Carlos Mendes Gomes.
Terriers: Lee Nicholls, Harry Toffollo, Matty Pearson, Lewis O’Brien ©, Josh Koroma, Scott High, Sorba Thomas, Naby Sarr, Daniel Sinani (Duane Holmes 72), Danny Ward (Frazier Campbell 82), Tom Lees.
Subs not used: Rolando Aarons, Josh Ruffels, Ollie Turton, Jon Russell, Nicholas Bilokapic.
Bookings: Rea 33, Thomas 42, Lees 58, Sarr 80.
Referee: Leigh Doughty.
Attendance: 9,977 (1,009 Terriers).