Match Reports

Report | Hatters pick up first Premier League point


Town 1 Morris (pen) 65

Wolves 1  Neto 50

The Hatters are off the mark.

How good does that sound?

Well, within the first few moments after referee Josh Smith had blown the full-time whistle there was a muted reception. But once the achievement had been realised everyone of a Town persuasion came to life again and Kenilworth Road was bouncing once more.

The ‘what might have been’ that we came away from Craven Cottage with last weekend was evident here again as the Hatters showed character in a match full of emotions to level through Carlton Morris’ penalty after coming behind against ten-man Wolves.

Rob Edwards’ men were terrific in the first 25 minutes and on another day may have walked off the pitch at half-time ahead.

The positive start was carried by Chiedozie Ogbene – one of two changes to the side that lost at Fulham – with the Republic of Ireland international getting the visitors on the backfoot from the get-go.

Chances soon came and on 10 minutes the woodwork – which had denied the Town at Fulham last week – was being cursed once more when Morris’ brilliant curling shot from 20 yards thundered back off the goalframe. It deserved better.

A shot from Jacob Brown inside the box was then blocked and the attacker then saw a header plucked away by Wolves keeper Jose Sa as the Hatters upped the ante.

With half-time approaching you felt Wolves had ridden the storm. A flat period of 15 stop-start minutes came and went - and then Jean-Ricner Bellegarde did something silly, needlessly lashing out at Tom Lockyer after competing for the ball on halfway. Referee Smith was quick to brandish the red and following a VAR check, the Frenchman was heading for an early bath.

The Town sensed blood before the break. Ogbene was close to forcing one home before Albert Sambi Lokonga saw a shot saved by Sa.

After the restart the Hatters began with gusto again and Morris’ near-post header was pawed away well by Sa.

Much has been made about the Town’s need to take their chances as this higher level and on 50 minutes the Hatters’ fears were realised with Pedro Neto beat Tom Lockyer and cooly finished past Thomas Kaminski to give the visitors the lead with their first shot of the game.

The Town wobbled a bit after that setback and Kaminski needed to be alert as Wolves pressed for quickfire second to deny Mario Lemina and then Max Kilman.

Heads cleared, the Hatters – with a man advantage – came again. And on 65 minutes they were level when Joao Gomes was adjudged to have handled in the box and after a VAR check, a penalty was given.

Morris, ever-reliable from the spot, sent Sa the wrong way and it gave the Town the final 25 minutes to find a winner their endeavours deserved.

Yet, for their possession only half-chances fell the Hatters’ way as time ticked down. Ogbene, who had impressed with his electric pace and willingness to run, had the ball in the net only to be denied by a tight offside call, and substitute Cauley Woodrow saw a shot locked at the death – and that was that.

So a first point of the Premier League season and the Town are up and running with their first point in the top-flight since 1992.

With more shots (20), more shots on target (4), completed more passes (330), completed more passes in the opposition half (201) and averaged more possession (56.6%) it was the best Town performance of the season in terms of these stats.

It's coming. Keep the faith.

See you at Exeter.

Town: Kaminski; Kaboré (sub Adebayo 85), Doughty (sub Giles 72), Burke, Lockyer, Bell; Nakamba, Lokonga (sub Mpanzu 57); Obgene, Morris, Brown (sub Woodrow 72).

Sub not used: Krul, Andersen, Berry, Chong, Mengi.

Attendance: 10,893.

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