Report | Berry hits late leveller to give Town precious point

For the second Saturday running  the Town found a way to earn one of their most important points of the season.


It came, with one minute left of the 90, from the sweet left boot of Luke Berry. The importance of the equaliser ensured the Hatters remain with three points of Nottingham Forest in the battle to stay in the Premier League.

The difference between a six-point gap and a three-point gap means the Town will sleep easier tonight thanks to Berry’s leveller – the 17th game in succession the Hatters have scored in the top-flight.

Battered, bruised and down to the bares bones – the Hatters hauled themselves back into this game despite injuries to Alfie Doughty and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu adding to an already packed treatment room.

An injury sustained to Mpanzu shortly before the hour was harsh on the midfielder, who had enjoyed a fine afternoon on his 397th appearance for the club.

The Town began brightly – Ross Barkley firing three warning shots inside the first 15 minutes but Forest, however, had their noses in front at the break thanks to Chris Wood.

It came after a sustained period of pressure that firstly saw Reece Burke somehow hack a certain goal off the line following Divock Origi’s shot. For the goal, Morgan Gibbs-White swung over a teasing cross from the right and the striker reacted first to guide a shot beyond Thomas Kaminski.

The physiological impact from Wednesday’s defeat at Bournemouth allied with going a goal down here meant it was an uphill task for the Town – especially as Doughty was withdrawn at half-time with a hamstring injury.

With the Hatters having to shuffle an already weary pack, the Town had Teden Mengi to thank seven minutes after the restart to clear Anthony Elanga’s goalbound shot.

The two goal-line clearances would prove to be huge come the final whistle.

As time ticked down, the Hatters continued to huff and puff yet for all their possession they struggled to call Matz Sels, the Forest keeper, into any meaningful action.

Berry was called from the substitutes’ bench with four minutes left on the clock and within three minutes the former Cambridge man had the Town level. Reece Burke nodded down Ross Barkley’s corner and Berry spun to drive a left-foot finish beyond Sels.

The Town sensed an extraordinary win with seven added minutes shown but it was Forest who came closest to snatching all three points with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ryan Yates flashing shots wide.

But it finished all square to signal sighs of relief all around Kenilworth Road and, more importantly, two weeks until they resume their fight for survival – and to get much-needed bodies back.

See you at Tottenham.

Town: Kaminski; Kaboré, Ogenbe, Doughty (sub Woodrow 46), Burke, Mengi, Mpanzu (sub Townsend 60), Barkley, Clark (sub Berry 85), Chong, Morris.

Subs not used: Shea, Krul, Hashioka, Nelson, Piesold, Martins.

Attendance: 11,630, including 1,260 in the away end.

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