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Match Reports

Report | Luton Town 0-0 Blackburn Rovers

29 January 2022

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The Hatters picked up another valuable point against a promotion-chasing side at Kenilworth Road this afternoon with a goalless draw against second-placed Blackburn.

Goalkeeper James Shea had a relatively untroubled afternoon as veteran striker Cameron Jerome came closest to giving the Town all three points, his first-half effort coming back off a post as Town moved up to tenth in the table.

Manager Nathan Jones made four changes to the starting XI that beat Bristol City 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Kal Naismith was making his 50th appearance for the Hatters in defence, captaining the side at Kenilworth Road as the gaffer stuck with the same back-line he trusted in midweek. 

Allan Campbell and Henri Lansbury both came into midfield, supporting Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, while Fred Onyedinma made his first start since the 0-0 draw against Nottingham Forest in November, alongside Cameron Jerome up-front. 

Elijah Adebayo was ruled out through injury, but there was a return to the matchday squad for Harry Cornick for the first time since the defeat against Cardiff City in November. 

The Hatters started on the front foot, Allan Campbell as lively as he has been in recent weeks, driving into the box but seeing his shot blocked, before Jerome had a header cleared off the line from a Kal Naismith corner.

Blackburn's first effort came from an angled Sam Gallacher shot, but James Shea saved comfortably and the game entered a stop-start phase, with Lansbury piling into a thunderous, but perfectly fair challenge on Tayo Edun, with the Rovers left-back eventually having to be substituted.

Onyedinma was looking a real threat, and having drawn a free-kick and yellow card for Jan Paul van Hecke by running at the visitors' defence through the centre of the pitch, Bree, Lansbury and Jerome combined to create a wonderful opening for Naismith, but the captain's volley went just wide shortly before the half-hour mark.

Blackburn midfielder Bradley Johnson headed wide at the other end, but Jerome went closer than anyone to opening the scoring in the opening 45 when Onyedinma tricked his way into the right-side of the box and crossed low for his strike partner to sidefoot across Thomas Kaminski.

The ball seemed destined for the bottom corner of the Rovers net, but it bounced back off the foot of the post and into the Belgian goalkeeper's grateful arms.

Goalless at the break, Lockyer was next into referee James Linington's notepad for an off the ball block on Gallacher, who was taken off after receiving treatment.

Chances were few and far between in the opening stages of the second half, with Johnson threatening in the 66th minute from distance, Naismith throwing himself in front of the midfielder's 25-yard shot to deflect it narrowly wide of Shea's right post.

With 20 minutes to go, Jones changed his front two, bringing on Admiral Muskwe and Cornick for Onyedinma and Jerome, who had both run themselves into the ground.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray threw Spanish centre-half Daniel Ayala on as a striker, signalling his intent to go long in the closing stages, while Jones replaced Campbell with Luke Berry, hoping the midfielder could repeat his two-goal game-changing cameo at Ewood Park in September.

There was no way through a well organised Blackburn backline, however, as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

 

Att: 9,987 (1,032)


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