Luton are knocked out by Bedford Athletic

Action from Luton v Bedford Athletic on Saturday
Action from Luton v Bedford Athletic on Saturday

Luton failed to cause an upset in their East Midlands Cup semi-final tie at the weekend as they lost 29-17 against Bedford Athletic on Saturday.

The Newlands Road side put in a performance to be proud of but it was not enough to defeat their near rivals and Midlands One East league leaders.

It was in the 20th minute mark that the first real chance came as Thomas Mahendran’s grubber kick was ushered into touch in a very dangerous position.

Luton then set up a catch and drive which was grounded over the line by Steve Allen to make it 5-0.

Not long after, against the run of play, Steve Smith broke through the Luton defence and looked sure to score, but it was Mahendran who delivered the try-saving tackle.

Luton tried to maintain their pressure but didn’t make the most or their opportunities.

Attacking from deep Bedford’s Steve Smith managed to get over this time with James Mortimer kicking the extras, and he then scored a penalty to make it 10-5.

With very little time to go in the first half, Luton were doing all they could and forged ahead through a second Allen try.

After good work by Davies, Hamm and Geraghty, Allen managed to bundle himself over the line, with the conversion making it 12-10 at the break.

The second half didn’t start well for the home side after Athletic managed to get over straight from the re-start through Rob Watkins, with Mortimer converting.

More misery came for Luton as they conceded two quick tries, the first from Smith and the second by Liam Walsh, making it 29-12 at the hour mark.

In the 65th minute, Luton managed to reduce the deficit through Alex Dola-Lami following constant sustained pressure from the home side, but it was the final chance of the game, meaning Bedford Athletic were through to the final of the EM Cup.

Luton’s number 8 Stephen Allen blamed a lack of concentration for their loss as he said: “I thought we played really well, but we just struggled at the breakdown. They were a lot quicker than us but we looked really dangerous when the ball went wide.

“We just have to pull ourselves together, get back to training on Tuesday, work on things, try and win a few games on the bounce and just go from there.”

Luton are back in London One North action this weekend when they host Letchworth.