League Two: Luton Town 1 Yeovil Town 1
An absolutely stunning strike from centre half Alan Sheehan was one of the only bright sparks on another disappointing night for Luton Town at Kenilworth Road this evening, as their poor home record continued with a 1-1 draw against Yeovil Town.
With seven minutes to go, Hatters were staring down the barrel at yet another defeat in front of their own fans and setting an unwanted home record of going four consecutive home games without a goal for the first time in their history.
However, when a corner was cleared up rather than out, Sheehan watched the ball drop out of the night sky before unleashing a truly magnificent angled volley that flew like an exocet into the top corner.
Before that, there was precious little for Hatters’ supporters to get excited about as boss Nathan Jones saw for probably the first time, the enormity of the task that awaits him going forward.
The Luton chief brought in Joe Pigott and Olly Lee for Jonathan Smith and Paddy McCourt as early on, Craig Mackail-Smith’s long-ranger took a bobble forcing Artur Krysiak to parry and then claim the rebound.
From then until the half hour, there was absolutely nothing worth mentioning with Luton more often that not going backwards, unable to build any kind of momentum.
Mackail-Smith eventually set off on a burst, winning a corner that Scott Cuthbert glanced wide, but that was pretty much it, until Justham saw a low shot squirm out of his grasp, but put wide by an offside Yeovil attacker.
With the PA announcing two minutes until the break, Luton then managed to pack in more excitement into those 120 seconds than the previous 45 minutes.
Mackail-Smith burst into the box, while Pigott’s shot had Luton screaming for handball, as Yeovil’s defending grew slightly desperate, but just as a head of steam was being built up, the referee’s whistle went for half time.
In the second period, Luton improved slightly, as McGeehan, which was to become a theme for the night, wasteful from range with Mackail-Smith screaming for the ball.
Mackail-Smith then broke with purpose once more, feeding Alex Lawless who could only shoot straight at Krysiak.
On corner duties, Sheehan found fellow centre half Scott Cuthbert, who could only head over the top when unmarked on the hour, colliding with Krysiak.
The keeper then took an age to try and recover, finally going off injured to be replaced by Chris Weale.
Luton then fell to a sucker punch on 70 minutes when a hopeful free kick was picked up by Liam Walsh and although his shot was blocked, he had the freedom of the area to convert the rebound.
Walsh almost had a second moments later, his left-footer moving in the air as Justham nervously palmed away.
Olly Lee tried from range, but Luton had a baffling lack of urgency about their play, as still they weren’t throwing their proverbial kitchen sink at the visitors.
That all changed with seven minutes to go thanks to Sheehan, finally ending a goal drought that was timed at 378 minutes.
Paddy McCourt came for a late cameo, his trickery almost setting up a winner, as fellow sub Paul Benson’s shot was spilt and McGeehan’s rebound hit the post.
Jack Marriott was wide too, with McGeehan taking the selfish approach once too often, shooting waywardly, as Hatters kept it at a mere three wins on home soil this term, the last back on November 14, worryingly some six games ago now.
Hatters: Elliot Justham, Stephen O’Donnell, Jake Howells, Scott Cuthbert (C), Alan Sheehan, Alex Lawless, Olly Lee, Cameron McGeehan, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu (Paddy McCourt 78), Joe Pigott (Paul Benson 90), Craig Mackail-Smith (Jack Marriott 77).
Subs not used: Mark Tyler, Jonathan Smith, Magnus Okuonghae, Zane Banton.
Glovers: Artur Krysiak (Chris Weale 60), Ben Tozer, Nathan Smith, Matt Dolan, Jakub Sokolik, Ryan Dickson, Jack Compton (Simon Gillett 85), Harry Cornick (Kevin Dawson 49), Connor Roberts, Liam Walsh, Francois Zoko (C).
Subs not used: Marc Laird, Ryan Bird, Tahvon Campbell.
Booked: Mackail-Smith 69, Weale 90.
Attendance: 7,538 (132 Yeovil).
Referee: Nigel Miller.
Hatters MOM: Craig Mackail-Smith. Gave everything to the cause once more.