Lawless holds his nerve from the spot as Hatters draw with Armed Forces

Luton Development 1 Armed Services 1

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 10:05 am
Conor Lawless scored a late penalty for Luton - pic: Gareth Owen

Midfielder Conor Lawless scored a late penalty as Luton Town's Development squad held Armed Forces to a 1-1 draw at Hitchin Town this afternoon.

The youthful Hatters, who had a number of their U18s involved, were forced to defend in the early stages, Matt Moloney making an excellent clearing header and Harry Isted punching the resulting corner clear.

Town threatened on 13 minutes, a high-class crossfield pass by Moloney on his left foot picking out Josh Allen perfectly, his low ball in diverted just wide by the onrushing Jacob Pinnington.

With half an hour gone, Town fashioned another opportunity of sorts, as good work by Ed McJannet and Tra Lucas saw Callum Nicolson cut in from the left flank and send a 25-yard drive in that was easy for keeper Christian Paulat-Brigg.

Just before the break, another rare attack sent McJannet forwards, but a good sliding challenge prevented his shot reaching the intended target.

The visitors started the second half strongly and took the lead on 53 minutes when Jake Gosling, the former Bristol Rovers and Exeter City player, was tripped by Moloney in the area for a spotkick that he dusted himself down to confidently send Isted the wrong way from.

Campbell then went close to a second, unable to get enough on his effort to beat Isted, before McJannet’s break saw his effort deflect harmlessly into Paulat-Brigg’s arms.

Second half sub Eddie Corbit's hooked volley failed to extend the visiting keeper, who was then clutching at thin air to try and claw out a 40-yard lob from Jake Burger that missed by a matter of inches.

During the closing stages, Luton almost levelled in wonderful fashion, Lawless’s quick free kick controlled with his right foot on the run by Nicolson, who with his next touch volleyed left-footed, only to miss the target with just Paulat-Brigg to beat.

With three minutes to go, the Hatters were level as sub Millar Matthews-Lewis broke into the box where he was strong armed to the ground by Drysdale, the referee pointing to the spot.

Lawless stepped up and showed no nerves to plant his spot-kick into the top corner, giving Paulat-Bigg no chance.

Drysdale then almost scored a contender for one of the most bizarre own goals ever seen, as facing his own area, thrashed a clearance from 40 yards that flew over the statuesque keeper and landed marginally the wrong side of the post.

An entertaining final stanza saw Isted collect Gosling’s hopeful drive from outside the box.

Parker's long range free kick was straight at the Town stopper, before the visitors were then reduced to 10 men, Mike Atkinson shown a straight red shown after a lunging challenge on sub Oliver Hemlin, just moments after the Luton youngster came on.

In the last seconds, Hatters almost won it too, Casey Pettit’s free kick met by the rising Corbit, but he couldn’t loop his header over Paulat-Brigg.

Hatters: Harry Isted, Jacob Pinnington, Casey Pettit, Matt Moloney, Callum Nicholson, Conor Lawless, Tyrelle Newton (Eddie Corbit 60), Ed McJannet (Millar Matthews-Lewis 75), Tra Lucas (Jake Burger 46, Oliver Hemlin 90), Josh Allen (Archie Heron 68), Oliver Lynch.

Subs not used: Jacob Cowler, Darcy Moffat, Zack Nelson, Jack Bateson.

Armed Forces: Christian Paulat-Brigg, Drysdale, Powell, Rawlings, Thomas, Woodhouse, Holmes, Kerr, Gosling, Campbell, Parker.

Subs: Girdwood, Atkinson, Dixon.