Luton skipper unsurprised to see Berry make such an impact from the bench at Ewood Park

Town defender has watched equaliser back 15-20 times

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 10:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 10:02 am
Town midfielder Luke Berry scored twice at Blackburn on Saturday
Town midfielder Luke Berry scored twice at Blackburn on Saturday

Hatters captain Sonny Bradley wasn’t surprised at all to see midfielder Luke Berry make his goalscoring impact when coming off the bench during Saturday’s thrilling 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers.

The pair were both involved in a match-day squad for the first time this season after Bradley had recovered from a serious bout of Covid, with Berry finally over a persistent calf injury.

With the skipper on at half time, he was soon followed by Berry after an hour, the 29-year-old taking 13 minutes to pull one back, sliding in to convert Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s cross from close range.

He then ensured Town left with a point in the eighth minute of stoppage time, controlling Cameron Jerome’s knock down beautifully on his chest before finding the net to make it 2-2.

On his team-mate's double, Bradley said: “When Luke came on, I expected him to make an impact.

"As I have built up my fitness in the last few weeks, Luke has been out with a calf injury and I have trained alongside him for a couple of weeks.

"I have been able to see what he’s been doing and he’s been working incredibly hard.

"Technically he is brilliant and when he came on, I know it is easy to say in hindsight but I knew he would make an impact.

"He looks really good both technically and physically so I think like myself, if he is called upon against Bristol City he will be ready to go.”

Although it was Berry who was quite rightly grabbed the headlines, Bradley had a part to play in creating both goals himself too.

The first all began when his raking crossfield ball was headed into the path of Mpanzu by James Bree, allowing the midfielder to get to the byline and set up Berry.

Then, in the closing seconds, Town's captain collected Kal Naismith’s pass before feeding Mpanzu whose lofted ball into the area led to the equaliser.

Bradley continued: “I can’t quite claim any assists or anything!

"I think the ball to Breezy is slightly overhit but it turned into a good ball when Pell makes a late dash from midfield.

"All of a sudden it looks like a great ball and after that, he has put the ball in a great area and it is a tap-in for Luke.

"For the second one, I stepped into midfield, we’re going for it because it is the last minute and I think for the majority of the game we just needed one more pass to open the door.

"I felt we needed to move it a little bit quicker, Kal has played the ball to me, I couldn’t quite hit the diagonal so I played it across to Pell.

"Great control from Cam who has peeled off the centre-half, then the entry from Luke for the goal is what we work on every week.

"The manager likes us to work on movement like that pretty religiously.

"It was a great ball, great knockdown and great finish.”

The equaliser was right in front of the away end, with 810 Luton supporters going mad, as the players celebrated in front of them.

Like most fans, Bradley has taken to the internet to watch the replays of the strike, more than once too, as he added: “Normally a goal like that, I watch it back a few times but that goal I’ve watched back maybe 15 or 20 times because I like to watch other people’s reactions.

"It is good to watch and with the fans back now, we’ve got 40 games to go so I’m sure there will be many more moments like that and I’m looking forward to it.”