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MATCH REPORT | LUTON TOWN 2-1 BRENTFORD

Baptiste own goal and Cranie strike give the Hatters all three points

25 February 2020

The Town made it three wins in four as they stunned a Brentford side pushing for promotion at Kenilworth Road this evening.

An own goal from Bees midfielder Shandon Baptiste and Martin Cranie’s thumping volley gave Luton a 2-0 lead, and although Ollie Watkins pulled one back for the visitors late on, Luton held firm to see out the win.

Graeme Jones made one change from the side that lost at Charlton at the weekend, with Cranie coming in for James Bree at right-back. Izzy Brown missed out once again through illness, alongside injured duo Kazenga LuaLua and Sonny Bradley.

Brentford took control of the game early on, but it was Luton who held firm and took the lead after just nine minutes. Luke Berry swung a wide free-kick in from the right flank, it missed everyone and was eventually turned in at the back post by Baptiste.

Brentford reacted well, working the ball out to Mads Roerslev on the right, who pulled it back to Said Benrahma, forcing Simon Sluga into a great save high to his right.

Brentford continued to create chances but Luton held firm, Sluga once again pulling off a fine save half-an-hour in. Josh Dasilva was given space on the edge of the box, and his shot was saved low by the Croatian keeper with the rebound scrambled away by Spurs loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers.

However, the Town continued to create chances of their own. The lively Harry Cornick played Ryan Tunnicliffe in behind the Brentford defence, but his fizzed ball across the six-yard box just evaded the onrushing Collins.

Berry’s free-kicks continued to trouble Brentford, his deep delivery from the halfway line just going over the rising Dan Potts.

It was a Berry free-kick that doubled Luton’s lead in first-half stoppage time. Another out-swinger from the right-flank wasn’t cleared by Brentford, falling to Martin Cranie who unleashed a thunderous half-volley that nestled in the top right corner to give the Hatters a 2-0 half-time lead.

As expected, Brentford came flying out of the blocks. Roerslev once again found space down the right flank, his floated cross found Mbeumo at the front post but his header went straight into the hands of Sluga.

Brentford continued to pile on the pressure as the clock struck the hour mark, with Luton pinned back into their own penalty box, but once again they held firm.

After numerous blocked crosses and shots, Brentford again found space down the right-flank, but Dasilva’s powerful cross missed everyone.

In an attempt to get back into the game, Brentford threw on forwards Emiliano Marcondes and Tariqe Fosu on the hour mark, and Joel Valencia with 20 minutes to play, but Luton continued to stand firm and create chances of their own. Raya’s pass was intercepted by Berry on the right, who fed Cornick but his shot was saved low.

With eight minutes to play, the Brentford pressure told. Roerslev was played in down the right flank, he pulled it back to Watkins who finished low to Sluga’s right for his 22nd goal of the season, setting up a tense finish at Kenilworth Road.

Late on, Benrahma went close from the edge of the box, his curling shot scraping Sluga’s left post.

Brentford threw keeper Raya forward in the closing stages, as Valencia’s corner from the right was headed down and cleared off the line by Luton.

But Luton, buoyed by a raucous Kenilworth Road crowd, continued to press and harry Brentford, seeing out the four minutes of additional time and sealing a third win in four games, leaving them just four points from safety with 11 matches still to play.

 

TOWN: Sluga, Cranie, Carter-Vickers, Pearson, Potts, Rea, Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Berry, Cornick (Hylton 87), Collins (C). Subs not used: Stech, Bree, Bolton. Shinnie, Moncur, McManaman

Goals: Baptiste OG, Cranie

Yellows: Rea, Potts

 

BRENTFORD: Raya, Henry, Pinnock, Roerslev, Dalsgaard (C), Nørgaard (Marcondes 62), Dasilva, Baptiste (Valenica 71), Mbuemo (Fosu 62), Benrahma, Watkins. Subs not used: Dervisoglu, Daniels, Zamburek, Racic

Goals: Watkins

Yellows: Nørgaard

 

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 10,008 (1,032 away)


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