Hard fought match ends in a draw for the Hatters
Luton were denied a second win this season in frustrating fashion as they drew 1-1 with Yeovil Town at Kenilworth Road.
The Hatters had their chances to take all three points after Stephen O’Donnell’s first half thunderbolt gave them the lead, but Tom Eaves’ second half header earned Darren Way’s men a point.
Nathan Jones made three changes to his side after Wednesday’s EFL Cup win over Aston Villa as Dan Potts returned from suspension in place of James Justin, whilst Scott Cuthbert and Jordan Cook started in place of Jake Gray and Olly Lee.
The Glovers made just one change to their starting line-up after their midweek success against Walsall as Bevis Mugabi replaced Liam Shepard.
After an energetic start the first real chance came for Yeovil just before a quarter of an hour as Bevis Mugabe’s low cross was missed by Scott Cuthbert and fell to Matthew Dolan, but his shot from outside the box was acrobatically blocked.
Luton had their first opening just a minute later as Cook’s dangerous free-kick was met by the head of Glen Rea, but Artur Krysiak was there to keep him out.
Town’s first home game of the season was really opening up as from the corner the away side broke through Kevin Dawson, but after a smart pass to Ryan Hedges, the midfielder could only fire wide of Christian Walton’s far post in the Luton goal.
A break in play allowed the Kenilworth Road faithful to pay their respects to Luton fan Brett Webb, who died a short time ago, with a poignant minute of applause.
Five minutes later, O’Donnell put the Hatters a goal to the good with a screamer from right-back.
A cross from the left found its way to the Scot in acres of space on the right, who took his time before firing a 25-yard thunderbolt out of the reach of Krysiak into the top right-hand corner.
Luton almost doubled their lead shortly after as Cook’s defence splitting past found Jack Marriott, but he could only fire straight at Krysiak who made a comfortable save.
After going down earlier with injury, Yeovil were forced into their first substitution on 32 minutes as Alex Lacey was replaced by Tahvon Campbell.
Pelly Ruddock came agonisingly close to doubling the home side’s lead before half-time as the ball broke to him after some penalty-box pinball, but after buying himself a yard in the box couldn't find the back of the net.
O’Donnell was in the action once again before the break as he took the ball from Ruddock and drove into Yeovil’s box from the right, but Danny Hylton couldn’t poke his low cross home from just two yards out.
Luton weren’t done for the first half yet and after Ruddock picked up the ball on the edge of the box after a corner, he found Marriott whose cross-come-shot slid just centimetres wide of the far post.
Despite their domination, Luton were almost pegged back late in the half after Hedges’ forced a good save from Walton down to his right before the hosts manage to get the ball to safety.
Referee Nick Kinseley issued the first yellow card of the game on 49 minutes when Ryan Dickson prevented a Luton break by bringing down Cameron McGeehan.
However, Town were still on top and created their first chance of the second half when Walton’s punt forward was latched onto by Marriott, but he could only fire high and wide with his left foot.
Yeovil struck back with a chance of their own seconds later as Tom Eaves speculative effort was well saved by Walton.
Luton’s first change of the afternoon came just before the hour as the impressive Ruddock was replaced by Jake Gray, fresh off his first Luton goal during the week. The early League Two leaders rode their luck as some neat interplay involving Dickson set Yeovil into Luton’s box. After Campbell couldn’t finish with his back to goal, Dickson fired against a Luton defender before the quiet McGeehan was replaced by Jonathan Smith and Eaves became the second Yeovil player in the book after a foul on O’Donnell.
Luton’s next chance came somewhat fortunately to Hylton as the striker’s shot ballooned up off a Yeovil shin and looped a shade wide of Krysiak’s goal.
The game was now played end to end and after a pair of chances for Yeovil through Campbell and Mugabi before Marriott shot just wide of the far post once again.
Marriott became the only Luton man in the book 15 minutes from time when he dragged down Dawson.
Yeovil’s equaliser had been getting back into the game and Tom Eaves earned Yeovil a point. Dawson received the ball on the right and his high, hanging cross was met by Eaves, who placed a well controlled header into the top corner, well out of the reach of the despairing Walton.
Eaves was the second Yeovil player forced off with injury seven minutes from time and he was replaced by Omar Sowumni, whilst Luton made their final change as Jack Marriott was replaced by Isaac Vassell.
O’Donnell nearly gave Luton the three points as well as double his tally on 89 minutes when he fired inches over from range two minutes from time, but despite piling the pressure on the Yeovil rearguard in extra time, could not find a breakthrough.
Dolan’s free kick at the death clipped the top of the Luton bar, but the home side were forced to settle for their first draw of the season.
LUTON TOWN: Walton, O'Donnell, Mullins, Cuthbert, Potts, Rea, Mpanzu (Gray 58), McGeehan (Smith 65), Cook, Hylton, Marriott (Vassell 90). Subs: Smith, Gray, Lee, Vassell, McQuoid, King (GK), Justin.
YEOVIL: Krysiak, Mugabi, Lacey (Campbell 32), Butcher, Hedges, Dawson, Dolan, Lawless, Dawson, Eaves (Sowumni 83), Khan. Subs: Smith, Maddison (GK), Sowumni, Campbell, Lea, Bassett
Yellows: Dickson, Eaves
Att: 7,800 (303 Yeovil)