Ruddock Mpanzu gets 90 as Hatters are held by O’s

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu in action against Leyton Orient
Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu in action against Leyton Orient

Midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu gave Hatters a welcome boost as he completed 90 minutes in their 1-1 Final Third Development League clash against Leyton Orient at Kenilworth Road this afternoon,

The 23-year-old has been restricted to just eight appearances this season, his last coming against Plymouth Argyle on October 24 after a variety of different injury problems.

However, he showed some trademark rampaging runs forward, particularly in the first half during the game, where Nathan Doyle, Mark O’Brien, Dan Potts, Paddy McCourt and Luke Wilkinson all got through 90 too.

An entertaining encounter saw McCourt’s low free kick turned behind by O’s keeper Charlie Grainger as he then did even better, tipping Wilkinson’s close-range blast on to the crossbar.

Elliot Justham came out to save at the feet of Montel Agyemang and then Scott Kashket fired the rebound wastefully over on 20 minutes.

Just before the half hour, U18s striker George Murray was denied by the post as his curler clipped the outside of the woodwork.

Luke Trotman, recently recalled from his loan spell at Histon, went close too as he tested Grainger low down after a good burst forward.

In the second period, Hatters were ahead on 55 minutes when they were awarded a controversial penalty as Sandro Semedo was deemed to have handballed after a tangle with Trotman.

Murray stepped up and although his penalty was saved by Grainger, kept his cool to slot home the rebound.

Luton looked to have done enough for victory but with five minutes to go, Orient levelled when Kashket rolled his effort past Justham.

Hatters almost won it late on as the impressive McCourt was wide and then Frankie Musonda blasted off target.

Hatters: Justham, Trotman, Potts, O’Brien, Musonda, Wilkinson, Ruddock Mpanzu, Doyle, Murray (Atkinson 75), McCourt, Galliford.