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Match Reports

Report | Derby County 2-2 Luton Town

19 October 2021

Match Reports

Report | Derby County 2-2 Luton Town

19 October 2021

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The Hatters came from behind twice to take a point from Derby County tonight, extending their unbeaten run in the Championship to four matches.

The hosts took a first-half lead through Tom Lawrence, only for substitute Fred Onyedinma to mark his return from injury with his second goal of the season three minutes after half-time.

Derby regained control again with Jason Knight netting on the hour, but Elijah Adebayo headed in a second equaliser for his sixth of the campaign with seven minutes left to earn the Town a share of the spoils.

Manager Nathan Jones named an unchanged team to the one that won 2-0 at Millwall on Saturday, with the Hatters seeking a first win at Derby since 1990, and third in four Championship matches.

A cagey opening period, played on a pitch saturated by a pre-match soaking from the sprinklers and driving rain, saw the Hatters threaten briefly with Elijah Adebayo forcing his way to the byline and cutting the ball back, but Derby cleared and soon had an openin of their own, Max Bird firing wide from 20 yards in the 13th minute.

Kal Naismith picked up his fifth yellow card of the season a minute later, for a late challenge on Jason Knight, and the hosts were soon in front.

The Hatters were architects of their own downfall, gave the ball away 25 yards from their own goal, with Jason Knight robbing Sonny Bradley and slipping it to Tom Lawrence, who made no mistake from 12 yards out.

It was the first time the Hatters had conceded since the 31st minute at Bournemouth on September 25th, goalkeeper Simon Sluga's run of blanks ended after 349 minutes.

Jones made a double change on the half-hour, taking off Naismith and Jordan Clark and replacing them with Fred Onyedinma and Admiral Muskwe, switching from three centre-halves and wing-backs to a 4-2-3-1.

Derby continued to dominate possession and attacking threat, however, and Knight tried his luck in the 38th minute, his 25 yarder well off target, before Phil Jagielka produced an overhead-kick that flew straight into Sluga's palms with three minutes of added time being announced.

There was time for the Hatters to break up the right, with Cornick crossing for Muskwe to get a header in that was deflected wide for the Town's fourth corner of the half, but nothing came of it and they went in for the break a goal down.

Within three minutes of the restart, the Hatters were level, and the two game changers were at the heart of it.

Muskwe drove down the right and tried to cross, but it was blocked for a throw-in that Cornick arrowed towards the near post. It flicked off the head of Graeme Shinnie, brother of former Hatters midfielder Andrew, and Onyedinma got in front of his man to force the ball home.

Ravel Morrison tried to engineer another opening for the Rams, carrying the ball from inside his own half to the edge of the Town box, where he slipped a pass through for Knight, who Sluga raced off his line to close down, forcing the hosts' forward to lift his shot over keeper and bar.

Town were starting to threaten on a more regular basis, and when Nathan Byrne failed to clear a low cross from Cornick, Adebayo controlled and shot towards goal, but a sliding block from Jagielka removed the sting and Derby keeper Ryan Allsop gathered easily.

Derby were back in front on the hour though when Knight turned Bell inside the box and shot low past Sluga at his near post.

The Hatters mounted an immediate response, Bree fouled on the right, then delivering a free-kick that Bradley met, but couldn't get a clear connection on his header, before Jones made his final change on 63 minutes, replacing Rea with Henri Lansbury.

Bree was looking the best outlet to get the Hatters back into it, Lansbury picking him out with a raking ball with just over 20 minutes to go, but Cornick's attempt at steering his low cross in at the near post was off range.

Home boss Wayne Rooney made a change with just over quarter-of-an-hour to play, taking off Morrison and introducing veteran striker Colin Kazim-Richards, and it was the Rams who had the next sight of goal, Lawrence hitting a 25 yarder wide on 78 minutes.

Town weren't going to lie down, however, and they drew level again in the 83rd minute when Bree stood up a cross that Adebayo rose highest to nod into an empty net, with Allsop racing off his line to try to punch clear.

It had been a frustrating night up to that point for the striker, but he drew level with Cornick at the top of the scoring charts once again, on six, and almost assisted a second goal for Onyedinma moments later, flicking on for the winger to lift the ball over Allsop, only to see it bounce back off the crossbar.

The comeback specialists earned themselves another point on the road, moving up to 9th position in the process ahead of Saturday's match against Hull City.



Derby: Lawrence 20, Knight 60

Town: Onyedinma 48, Adebayo 83

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