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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
13:06 6th December 2010

CHARLTON ATHLETIC 2-2 HATTERS

Andy Drury's fantastic late equaliser put the Town's name in the hat for the third round draw after holding League One Charlton Athletic to a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Valley. The midfielder curled a fabulous right-foot strike from 25 yards over Charlton goalkeeper Rob Elliott's hand to send the travelling hordes of 3,300 into ecstasy. A second crack at the Addick is no more than the Hatters deserve after taking the game to a side 49 places above them in the pyramid. Charlton took the lead against the run of play as early as the sixth minute when Joe Anyinsah was free to head home unmarked past Mark Tyler. Undeterred by that set back, the Hatters stormed back: Drury saw a super free-kick tipped over by Elliott before Matthew Barnes-Homer hit the post with a 25 yard drive. But on the half hour the Town were level when Amari Morgan-Smith was fouled in the box. Drury saw his spot kick saved but he was on hand to nod the rebound home. Buoyed by that the Hatters sensed blood - Claude Gnakpa saw a goal ruled out for offside - but no sooner were they level, four minutes later they were behind again. This time a cross from the left saw Anyinsah force a save from Tyler. The ball fell kindly to Johnnie Jackson who nodded past the goalkeeper via a deflection. Charlton pressed after the break looking to put the tie to bed but gradually the Hatters worked their way back into the game playing some eye-catching football. Elliott had not been overly extended but, with seven minutes left on the clock, he was beaten all ends up as the Town drew level. Substitute Dan Walker surged through the middle of the park and found Gnakpa. He tried to be beat his man but was dispossed but the ball fell kindly to Drury who looked up and sent a first-time right-foot shot arching over the outstretched arms of Elliott to send the away support berserk. After that the Hatters looked for a winner but after half-chances from George Pilkington, Barnes-Homer and Taiwo Atieno, Gnakpa thought he should have had a last gasp penalty when sent tumbling by Jackson in stoppage time. It wasn't given and that proved to be the last action of a thrilling spectacle. It means a replay in 10 days time at Kenilworth Road and a place in Sunday's third round draw. Full report to follow, for minute-by-minute analysis see below. Charlton Athletic 2 (Anyinsah 6, Jackson 34) Luton Town 2 (Drury 30, 83) FULL-TIME  A roar from the away end, boos from the home end...it's end 2-2. What a fantastic game and peformance and fully deserved. See you in 10 days at Kenilworth Road for the replay. Report, reaction and photos all to come. 90 + 3 mins - Whipped in by Drury, nudged just wide by Pilks. So close. A minute left. 90 + 3 mins - Corner to the Town... 90 mins - Four added minutes for a winner. 90 mins - Pen? Gnakpa goes down in the box under pressure Jackson in front of the Town support after nutmegging the same man but the ref's not interested and no-one can believe it. 89 mins - One minute left. 85 mins - Five left and all the Hatters, they fancy this. Then, Atieno finds himself in isolation as he runs forward but with no support waits for Gnakpa but Charlton clear. Then, moment later, Barnes-Homer finds the side netting after bursting in the box. 84 mins - Six left - can they win it? 83 mins  GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Charlton 2-2 TOWN - WOW! What a goal. Walker maurauds through the middle of the pitch and finds Gnakpa. The Frenchman sets-up Drury who lets fly from 25 yards with a curling shot that arches over Elliot. Absolutely superb. 3,000 and one (me) go mental. 80 mins - 10 minutes left here. A draw and a replay is the least the Hatters deserved this afternoon. 78 mins Second change for the Town as Morgan-Smith, who has had a great first game back since his hamstring injury, is replaced by Dan Walker. 76 mins - With 14 left Charlton make their first change as Anyinsah is replaced by Akpo Sodje. 74 mins - What a great game, still end-to-end as this time Racon fluffs a decent chance when well places, shooting tamely at Tyler from 18 yards. 73 mins - Oh so close again. This time Howells beats his marker to edge into the area. He floats a right foot cross towards the penalty spot where the awaiting Atieno almosts gets a head to but is denied by the fist of Elliott. 71 mins - 19 left on the clock and getting colder by the minute. Still plenty of attacking from the Hatters. 69 mins - Oh nearly 2-2. Fine flowing move from the Hatters as Keane picks out Barnes-Homer down the left who cuts inside and delivers a dangerous cross that is headed wide by Morgan-Smith. Agonising. 68 mins - Atieno looks up for continuing his goalscoring form and he and Gnakpa combine that the substitute dances past two Charlton defenders the hosts flood back and clear. 66 mins - The attendance is 8,682 - that includes at least 3,300 from Bedfordshire. No official figure yet. 65 mins - Reid's been a bag of tricks down the left and he almost makes it 3-1 but is denied by a fine block from Drury, chasing back. 64 mins First chance of the afternoon for the Hatters as Taiwo Atieno replaces Crow. 61 mins - So just under half-an-hour left - can the Town get one? Two maybe? Charlton are finding plenty of space on the counter. 60 mins - One extreme to the next at the minute for the Town. One bit of sublime skill (as shown by Pilks to cooly turn his man on the halfway) is then followed by mis-control by Morgan-Smith. The Hatters are really going for this now. 57 mins - All the Hatters now and Claude's looking in the mood but nice interplay between him, Keane and Morgan-Smith. End-to-end stuff. Terrific. 56 mins - Back come the Town and Gnakpa sends a volley bobbling across the Addicks penalty area but no Town man is there to turn it home. 55 mins - Almost a great opportunity for Charlton but Benson treads on the ball when in a great position and Kroca nips in to steal the ball. 54 mins - Gleeson the second man Town man in the book for a challenge on Reid as the winger looked to scamper down the left wing. Bit harsh from our vantage point. 51 mins - The Town are pushing plenty of me forward and spaces are appearing at the back as Reid skips away down the left and crosses looking for Benson but Tyler's there to make a good catch. 48 mins - Bright start to the second half by the Addicks and Tyler does well to get down to bravely keep out a header from Miguel Llera. 47 mins - Almost a bad start to the second half as Benson flashes a volley over Tyler's crossbar from a right-wing corner conceded by Kroca. Then, Tyler has to tip over a teasing effort from Simon Francis creeping in. 46 mins - Noticeably colder here at the Valley. Hopefully the Hatters can warm us up. 46 mins  Annnnnnd we're off for the second half as the Town kick-off, now shooting towards the gathered hordes in the Jimmy Seed stand. 16:02 PRE-SECOND HALF WARM-UP Now standard practise, the Town players are now out being put through their paces by physio Simon Parcell. HALF-TIME  Well after a thoroughly entertaining first 45 minutes of football the Hatters somehow finds themselves 2-1 down. Falling asleep to give the Addicks a 1-0 lead the Town roared back - Drury going close, Barnes-Homer hitting the post - before Morgan-Smith won a penalty that was missed by Drury but was on hand to nod the leveller. They went in search of a lead - Gnakpa had a goal ruled out - but they were punished just four minutes later. It's been all the Hatters but, we're not sure how, we're behind. Such a good game and performance so far. Stay tuned in 15 minutes. COYH. 45 mins - Three additional minutes here at the end of the first 45. 44 mins - Good possession football from the Town at the minute as we approach the break. Can they grab a leveller before half-time? 41 mins - Half a sniff for the hosts to extend their lead as they chase a third but Anyinsah, the scorer of the first, blasts a shot on the turn wide of Tyler's left-hand post. 38 mins - Back come the Town as they win a corner, from which pinged in by Drury, Crow's head is comfortable for Elliott. 37 mins - Now Charlton have upped it and a great block from Kroca prevents a rocket from Reid worrying Tyler. 34 mins  GOAL CHARLTON 2-1 Town - Typical. Against the run of play Charlton retake the lead. A cross from the right finds Wagstaff whose goal-bound shot is saved by the legs of Tyler, brilliantly. The ball then bounces the way of Johnnie Jackson who nods past Tyler, via the aid of a deflection. Damn - part 2. 32 mins - Ball in the Charlton goal and everyone thinks the Hatters are 2-1 ahead but Gnakpa's stunning finish is ruled out by the offside flag after super play from Drury, MBH and Morgan-Smith. Well and truly all the Town. 30 mins  GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Charlton 1-1 TOWN - Deservedly 1-1 and the away end goes bonkers. Not before a scare though as Drury's spot-kick was saved by the leg of Elliott before the ball fell kindly to the midfielder to nod calmly in the net from six yards. GET IN! 29 mins - PENALTY TO TOWN - MORGAN-SMITH FOULED 25 mins - Keano's the first man in white in the book as he handles a throughball as Charlton launched an attack. Still all the Hatters they deserve a goal but they keep being frustrated by the offside flag. That's about four in the past five minutes. 23 mins - You must be getting bored of this but the Town have another chance. Charlton have no answer at the minute as Barnes-Homer slips in Crow, beating the offside trap, to go one-on-one with Elliott. However, he's drawn wide by an off-touch and despite rounding the keeper the striker can't turn a shot or cross home. 20 mins - Yet more applause from the away end as another fine now move ends with an unfortunate offside flag against Gnakpa after good work from Crow and Morgan-Smith to fashion the chance. 18 mins - More joy for the Town but sadly not the leveller. Morgan-Smith finds Drury who in turns plays a super slick ball into the path of the on-running Howells, bombing on from left-back. However the 19-year-old, fresh from signing a new deal, can only poke way over from an acute angle. More great play. 16 mins - It's frustrating that they're behind considering the amount of chances and possession they've had and Crow, who now also fancies his chances from range, attempts a curler from 20 yards that Elliott catches. 15 mins - How the Town aren't level or even in front is anyone's guess as they hit the post. Barnes-Homer does brillaintly to take a Crow pass in his stride, show strenght to hold off one challeng before hitting a sweet low drive from 25 yards that hits the upright. We thought that was in. Unlucky. 13 mins - Still the Hatters press but as Howells shepherds the ball out of play, Benson decides to push him unnecessarily into the adverting hordings and earns a booking and the wrath of the Town following for his troubles. 9 mins - Decent response from the Hatters as they enjoy a period of possession with Keane finding MBH with a lovely first-time pass, seizing on a poor kick from Elliott. Nothing eventually comes of it but there is still plenty of positive aspects about the Town's play at the minute. Even if they're behind. 6 mins  GOAL - CHARLTON 1-0 Town - Well after such a great start the 3,000 plus shouting for the visitors are silenced as the hosts take the lead. Kyel Reid flies down the left wing, past Gleeson, and he crosses for an unmarked Joe Anyinsah who heads past an expose Tyler who can do nothing about it. 1-0. Damn. 4 mins - CHANCE. Almost 1-0 Town. Crow does well to free a free-kick 25 yards out. Up steps Drury who sends a terrific curling effort goalwards, heading for the top corner until the fingertips of Rob Elliott, the home goalkeeper, turns it over for a corner. So close. From the flag-kick, however, Charlton clear. Almost the perfect start. 3 mins - Hatters on top early doors here. Morgan-Smith's pace worrying the hosts already. 2 mins - As we mentioned once the teams were in the Town are lining up with Tyler in goal, Gleeson and Howells at full backs, Pilks and Kroca at centre half, Keane and Drury in centre mid, AMS on the left, Claude on the right and MBH and Crow up top. 1 min  And we're off as the Addicks get this cup tie under way. Superb atmosphere in the away end. What a prospect in store with the Hatters all set out to attack. COYH! 14:57 HERE THEY COME Great reception from the 3,000 Hatters hordes as the players are out on the Valley pitch. 14:55 OH WHEN THE TOWN... Go steaming in! The away end is bouncing now, five minutes to kick-off. 14:52 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS Andrew Barringer: 2-1 Luton, Simon Pitts: 2-1 Luton, Ian Pearce: 1-1 draw, Mark Wood: 2-0 Luton, Mike Simmonds 3-2 Charlton, Ian Ryan: 3-3 draw, Bill Cole: 2-1 Charlton. 14:45 UP IN THE GODS Sitting in the press box - which spans the almost the length of the pitch - we're position at the far right end - nearest the Town support which is filling up nicely to my right. COYH! 14:35 THREE CHANGES... So the Hatters starting XI is full of attacking options as Richard Money makes three changes to the side that beat Histon 5-1 last Saturday. There are returns for Dan Gleeson, Danny Crow and Amari Morgan-Smith. The latter makes his first appearance for the Town since scoring a hat-trick against St Albans in the fourth qualifying round of the competition last month. Craig Hinton, signed on-loan from Northampton yesterday, makes the seven-man bench. We're expecting Jake Howells at left back, AMS at left wing, Claude Gnakpa at right wing and Andy Drury in central midfield. Town: Tyler, Gleeson, Keane, Pilkington, Morgan-Smith, Barnes-Homer, Drury, Kroca, Howells, Gnakpa, Crow. Subs: Kidd, Hinton, Atieno, Asafu-Adjaye, Besta, Poku, D. Walker. Charlton: Elliott, Franics, Jackson, Llera, Wagstaff, Racon, Reid, McCormack, Benson, Anyinsah, Fortune. Subs: Worner, Abbott, Sodje, Mambo, Harriott, Warren, Cousins. 14:20 GOING FOR IT Breaking news: Attacking line-up from the Town: Tyler, Gleeson, Keane, Pilkington, Morgan-Smith, Barnes-Homer Drury, Kroca, Howells, Gnakpa, Crow. Subs: Kidd, Hinton, Atieno, Asafu-Adjaye, Besta, Poku, Walker. 14:06 FILLING IN The away end is slowly building up. 13:34 OPEN FOR BUSINESS The turnstiles are open at the Valley. Time to let those 3,000 Hatters inside... 13:20 WARMTH In the press room we're keeping warm, drinking coffee and eating jaffa cakes. It's alright for those at home or those in the stands jumping around to keep warm...we'll be freezing (cue the violins!) 13:10 WEATHER WATCH I Cold, bitterly cold, but game on still. Blue sky is trying to poke through the clouds. 12:45 BEHIND THE SCENES   The shirts are up - but who will play? Stay tuned for team news on your official website     The calm before the storm (or before dirty, messy footballers get in there anyway!) 12:25 A WORLD A WAY We're now at the Valley, and have just looked around the plush dressing room with the Hatters' kit all ready hanging on the pegs and sitting on the benches. Kit man Darren Cook's been here for a while preparing for the players' needs. 11:00 UP FOR THE CUP Fresh and fighting fit the Hatters are ready for their biggest test and most eagerly anticipated game of the season so far. The magic of the FA Cup still reigns supreme in these parts. In an age when squad rotation and resting players for important league fixtures, the Hatters go to the Valley this afternoon ready to rumble even with the prospect of facing Blue Square Bet Premier leaders AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night. The schedule has been punishing so far but that's why a squad strong enough to cope with such rigours has been assembled. With the likes of Danny Crow and Amari Morgan-Smith back after injury and after a 5-1 thumping over Histon last weekend, what better way to go into a game against a Charlton side who are flying high in League 1. That's a position that we would all love be in right now. But, as Richard Money often, says "we are where we are". The last time two sides met at the Valley it was a real humdinger. The Town were in League 1 that day, just seven years ago, whilst the Addicks were in the Premier League. How times change. The Hatters gave it a real go that September night. However four goals were not enough to win the tie after extra time. The drama of penalties followed and with it heartbreak for the travelling hordes from Bedfordshire who ultimately saw their heroes defeated 8-7 in the spot-kick lottery. Just like that night in 2003 they'll be 3,000 in the away end again, roaring on their team. Whether or not the Town's name is in the hat to face the big boys on Sunday will remain to be seen. But if both sides continue their red-hot form of late it could be every bit the cracker that was witnessed back at the Valley seven years ago. Watcht this space. What ever happens this afternoon lutontown.co.uk will be following every step of the way. As usual we'll have all the goals and incidents as it happens live with the usual news in the run-up to kick-off with team line-ups and plenty of chat as your official website has, as ever, 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 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. Remember, Player is available as ever which means you all have access to our live commentary. If you haven't heard it yet then where you have been? It's still brought to you by Simon "Statto" Pitts but he's got company this time! The DiverseFM team have collaborated with BBC Three Counties radio and the Club to bring you the Luton Town Show. Following the final whistle we'll have all the reaction from the men that matter this after, bringing you exclusive video content from Richard Money and from the dressing room. We'll have plenty of content to keep you interested as we'll have all of the post-match reaction from Richard as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle. Be sure to check out www.hatterspics.co.uk - our online image library. Like a picture you see and fancy having that on a mug? Well, fancy no more - with Hatters Pics it's a reality. Remember, we want you to get in touch. Join the updates and get in touch. Email andrew.barringer@lutontown.co.uk and we'll pick the best comments to go live on the site during our live updates. Don't forget we're also on twitter and Facebook so feel free to interact with your fellow fans online. Enjoy the game. COYH!
 
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