Skip to main content

MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:01 28th November 2009

ROTHERHAM UNITED 2-2 LUTON TOWN

The Hatters' name will be in the hat for the FA Cup third round draw on Sunday but they will need a replay to take part in it following a 2-2 draw with League 2 high-flyers Rotherham United. At a freezing Don Valley Stadium the Town were good value in an entertaining cup tie that saw both sides lead. It looked as though the Hatters would go in at the interval a goal to good following Tom Craddock's 20th minute penalty after Claude Gnakpa was upended by the Millers' left-back Andy Nicholas. But three minutes into added time at the end of the first 45 minutes the hosts' leading goalscorer Adam Le Fondre tapped home from close range to level the scores. The second half began with the Millers in the ascendancy and Ronnie Moore's outfit took the lead for the first time on 62 minutes when man-of-the-match Stephen Brogan headed home Gary Roberts' deep right-wing cross. At that point it looked as though the Hatters were heading for a cup exit but substitute Mark Nwokeji had other ideas when he calmed slotted past Andy Warrington after latching onto a superb through-ball from Craddock to earn a replay. Full report to follow. For minute-by-minute analysis, see below. Result from the Don Valley Stadium Rotherham United 2 (Le Fondre 45, Brogan 62) Luton Town 2 (Craddock 20 (pen), Nwokeji 74) Final score FULL TIME  Rotherham United 2-2 Luton Town - It's all over and we're all going back to Kenilworth Road a week on Tuesday. All the reaction to follow. 90 mins + 2 - Third and final substitution from Richard Money as Asa Hall replaces Kevin Gallen who salutes the travelling Hatters fans. 90 mins - Terrible effort from Millers' goalscorer Brogan who lashes a wild shot way, way over Pilkington's crossbar. We've got three additional minutes... 90 mins - Time running out for either side as we enter the final minute and it looks like a replay at Kenilworth Road a week Tuesday. 87 mins - Still two a piece can the Hatters get a winner? COYH! 84 mins - Hearts in the mouth time for the Town as Rotherham substitute Danny Harrison lets fly with a shot from 25 yards that looks to be arrowing for the top corner but thankfully the ball whistles the right side of the post as far as the Hatters are concerned. Phew. 83 mins - Second change for the Hatters with Jake Howells on to replace Craddock. 80 mins - Ten minutes left. Can the Town get a winner? Plenty of pace on the break now to utilise should Rotherham get caught short. George Pilkington then does well to clear with Pope lurking at the back-post. The clearance was onthe stretch. Super defending. 76 mins - The Town's tails are up now and Nwokeji is proving to be right menace for the Millers' defence. He holds off the attention of his marker to tee-up Gallen but his first time shot goes wide. 74 mins  GOAL!!! Rotherham 2-2 HATTERS - Well there you go. A sublime throughball from Craddock finds substitute Nwokeji, who, beating the offside trap, strokes home a lovely finish past Warrington for his first for the club. Get in! 72 mins - It's 2-1 and the chances seem to be drying up for both sides. Craddock has a shot charged down by three Rotherham defenders but that's about as good as it gets. 67 mins - First change of the game for the Town and it's Mark Nwokeji on for Gnakpa. The move sees Newton switch to the right flank, Craddock to the left and the substitute joins Gallen in attack. 65 mins - The Town have got 25 minutes to get back into this but it's going to be difficult as the Rotherham tails are up now. 62 mins  GOAL - ROTHERHAM 2-1 Hatters. The Millers fans are happy as they've turned things around and lead 2-1. Roberts does well down the right to dig out a cross that finds Brogan who sends a header arching over Pilkington and into the net. I'm not sure if that ball went out of play down the right but we'll have to ask Richard Money afterwards. It was tight. 61 mins - The attendance has just been handed to me: 3,210 including a very healthy contingent of 648 shouting for the Hatters. 59 mins - A period of lovely keep-ball from the Hatters involving Nicholls, Pilkington, Keane, Gnakpa and Gallen but the visitors are unable to turn the possession into any meaningful chance but it was great to watch. 54 mins - It's been a relatively quiet start to this second half but the hosts are looking dangerous with Le Fondre a bag of tricks. However, Pilkington does well in the Town goal to claim a lofted cross from Roberts from the right-flank. Again, safe hands. 50 mins - Early chance for the Millers in the second half as Sharps sees a good header deflected around the post but from the resulting corner the Hatters are able to clear. 46 mins - First sign of difficulty of the Hatters dealing with the dodgy half of the pitch as White is unable to keep the ball in play under no pressure on the right-hand touchline. 46 mins - The Town gets us off again for the second 45 minutes. No changes for either side at the break as dark desends on the Don Valley. It's getting colder...COYH 15:58 LIFE'S A PITCH This is the area of pitch that the Hatters will be defending in the next 45 minutes. HALF-TIME  Rotherham United 1-1 Luton Town - The half time whistle sounds and there are no boos and the music is decidely upbeat. The Hatters had done so well to lead but have got to do it all over again in the second half to get ahead and earn themselves a place in the third round of the FA Cup. Check back for more updates in 15 minutes. 45 mins + 3  GOAL - ROTHERHAM 1-1 Hatters. Well I didn't see that coming and with all the most the last kick of the first 45 minutes it's all square. Taylor finds Pope down the Millers' right and his low cross disected the Town defence and Adam Le Fondre is on hand to tap-home from five yards. Damn. 45 mins + 1 - There would have been plenty of boos around the DV had Gnakpa seized on White's flick from Nicholls corner but again the ball falls kindly for Warrington. 45 mins - We've got an additional two minutes at the end of this first half. I reckon they'll be boos from the home supporters. 42 mins - Another half-chance for a confident Craddock. He again turns his man inside the left-hand edge of the penalty but after taking the ball back inside the Town's leading goalscorer can only shoot high and wide when off balance with a frustrated White waiting in the middle of a cross. 41 mins - More good play from the Town sees Craddock denied a second goal by a last-ditch block from Millers captain Ian Sharps. The striker took a pass from Newton,  turned his man and struck a decent left-foot shot goalwards before Sharps' intervention. 38 mins - As we approach the break the Hatters are looking good and more importantly - confident and much safer at the back. I hope that's not the kiss of death. But I thought I'd tell it as it is at the minute. 36 mins - The home crowd are getting restless as Nicholls takes his time to deliver a free-kick. Once he does it's a good one as Blackett leaps above everyone to flick the ball goalwards. It looks dangerous but with White lurking, Warrington is grateful to see it fall nicely into his arms. 33 mins - White's got his head in his hands as he comes inches away from meeting Nicholls' left-wing corner at the near-post. Unlucky. Money's men are in control now. 30 mins - A melee in the Hatters penalty area sees the ball hacked off the line following Law's right-wing corner. There looked to he a push but the ref's not interested but the Hatters clear the ball and launch an attack themselves which sees Nicholls pick-out Gnakpa but the Frenchman can't quite do the same when looking for Craddock. 27 mins - That pitch in the Rotherham half is a real lottery. Craddock, sensing a second goal and the potential to force a mistake, tries an effort with his left-foot that bobbles slowly towards Warrington in the the Millers goal but it's easy for the veteran stopper. 23 mins - It's certainly all change and the Town are playing some great stuff. Newton sends a ball into the chest of Gallen who holds the ball up well and sees a shot blocked. The rebound falls to Gnakpa but after working a yard of space he can only fire a shot disappointingly over the crossbar. This is all good so far. 20 mins  Rotherham 0-1 HATTERS - Super move from the Hatters on the counter-attack stemming from a great interception from White sees Gallen feed Newton down the left. He draws the defenders in and spots Gnakpa alone on the right-hand edge of the area and after beating his marker Nicholas who can only trip the Frenchman in the box. Up steps Craddock to roll the ball down the middle of the goal for the Hatters' opener. Against the run of the play but who cares? Get in! 20 mins - PENALTY TO LUTON 16 mins - First bit of action for Pilkington between the sticks for the Town as he gets down well to deny Roberts' shot from creeping into the bottom corner with Le Fondre and Pope waiting for any mistakes from the on-loan stopper. Good hands. 13 mins - The Hatters are struggling to get a strangle-hold in this at the minute and Pope scampers down the left delivers a cross towards Taylor but the winger can't divert the ball goalwards as he attemtps to knock it in with a Cruyff flick. 9 mins - More pressure from the Millers as Pope whips an effort over the crossbar with a snap-shot from the edge of the area. 8 mins - Howls of derision around the DV as Claude Gnakpa sends Gary Roberts tumbling but referee Tierney - who is closer than all of us sitting here - says no free-kick. 6 mins - The Hatters are under a bit of pressure at this early stage as the hosts win a second corner of the afternoon that is swung in by Nicky Law and is met by Tom Pope who flashes a header well wide of the right-hand post. 4 mins - Half of the Don Valley pitch is in an awful state. Apparently that half - which the Millers are defending and the Town are attacking this half - was used for a recent U2 concert. The Hatters are attempting to play through the rough, the mud and patches of sand. 2 mins - First opportunity of the match falls to the hosts as Stephen Brogan tries his luck with a looping effort direct from a free-kick that dips just over Pilkington's crossbar. Some of the home fans thought that had crept in. 1 min And we're off as the Millers get us underway kicking towards the end of the stadium where the several hundred Town fans are sitting. COYH! 14:58 THE JOY OF SIX The Town are gunning for their sixth successive victory on their travels and there is a healthy following from Bedfordshire who have made the journey up the M1 for this crucial cup tie. We're almost set - Come on you Hatters! 14:56 HERE THEY COME The two sides are out on the pitch, the Town are in their away white shirts, Rotherham in their traditional red. We're almost ready here at the Don Valley as the excitement builds. A place in the hat with the big boys awaits on Sunday. 14:52 EAGLE EYED There's a chap sitting behind me with the biggest set of binoculars that you wouldn't see out of place at the races. What a clever idea. It'll be him I'll be asking then if I miss something. 14:48 MINUS FIGURES The public address announcer has just admitted it's "minus four million degrees pitchside". He's not far wrong. 14:45 THE GLAMOUR OF THE CUP Venue: The Don Valley Stadium. Competition: The world's most famous cup in the world. It's hardly the glitz and glamour of the FA Cup but that said this is better than Grays. For those of you who don't know the layout of the Don Valley, it's an athletics stadium that has one big stand on one side of the pitch which is separated by the athletics track complete with the long/triple jump pit which is covered up with a big black tarpaulin weighed down with sand bags. Terrific. Did I mention it was cold? 14:40 COLD UP NORTH Right, let's make this known to you all reading this in the comfort of your own home all in sunnier climbs abroad (I'm talking to you exiles Hatters!) - it's freezing and we've not even hit December yet. Gloves, scarves and hats can be seen all around. As well as plenty of empty seats. 14:30 TEAM NEWS Hatters boss Richard Money makes one change to the side that drew 2-2 with Cambridge United last Saturday as Alan White returns to centre-back after recovering from a blow to the head. That means Ed Asafu-Adjaye drops to a seven-man bench that includes Lewis Emanuel who hasn't featured for the first team since the opening day of the season draw at AFC Wimbledon. It's also the first time in three ties the Town have named the full quota of seven substitutes. Millers manager Ronnie Moore makes two changes to his side that beat Lincoln City 2-0 on Tuesday night with Stephen Brogan and Ryan Taylor drafted in. Hatters fan Drewe Broughton is named amongst their subs. Hatters: K. Pilkington, Blackett, White, G. Pilkington, Murray, Nicholls, Keane, Newton, Gnakpa, Craddock, Gallen. Substitutes: Gore, Hall, Jarvis, Howells, Asafu-Adjaye, Nwokeji, Emanuel. Rotherham: Warrington, Lynch, Fenton, Sharps, Nicholas, Brogan, Law, Roberts, Pope, Taylor, Le Fondre. Substitutes: Annerson, Broughton, Green, Harrison, Mills, Cummins, Joseph. 13:45 WELCOME Good afternoon all supporters to lutontown.co.uk to our text updates service as the Hatters look to earn a place in the third round of the FA Cup here at the Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield the temporary home of Rotherham United. Unbeaten in four games under Richard Money the Town although in the good form face a Millers side riding in League 2. It's a freezing cold November day but hopefully the boys will fire ud up with a performance to remember so stay tuned to your official website this afternoon if you can't make it. Over the course of the day, and in the run-up to kick-off, be sure to keep an eye on lutontown.co.uk as we'll have team news, minute-by-minute updates, reaction and match action for you. On lutontown.co.uk we'll have all the usual updates keeping you bang up-to-date with all the action - and in a number of ways. There's none of those boring ball-by-ball "defensive thrown-in taken by Luton left-back" updates as we continue to try and bring you an updated and detailed text commentary. This is a great way to keep in touch and has been popular to those supporters not able to get to a computer or a radio as the service is also available and is updated live on our WAP site. On Hatters Player you all have access to our live commentary. Simon "Statto" Pitts is once again here calling home the shots. We're quite a distance from the pitch but it' still offers a great view of the action. Of course after the action has finished, Hatters Player will have all the post-match interviews from all the men that matter this afternoon. Whether on Hatters Player or not, we'll have plenty of content to keep you interested as we'll have all of the post-match reaction as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle. Be sure to check out www.hatterspics.co.uk - our brand new online image library. And if you want more and feel like interacting with us and fellow Town fans, don't forget we're also on twitter and Facebook so feel free to get involved! Join the updates and get in touch! Email andrew.barringer@2020mission.com during the game and we'll pick the best comments to go live on the site during our live updates. Enjoy the game. COYH!
    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.