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Match Reports

Emirates FA Cup R4 Report | Luton Town 4-0 Harrogate Town

9 January 2022

Match Reports

Emirates FA Cup R4 Report | Luton Town 4-0 Harrogate Town

9 January 2022

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The Hatters made it through to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup by overcoming League Two club Harrogate Town at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

Elijah Adebayo, Cameron Jerome, Kal Naismith and Luke Berry - on his return after two and a half months out with injury - were the goalscorers to see off a spirited Harrogate side, on a day when the Mick Harford returned to the Town dugout after his treatment for prostate cancer.

Manager Nathan Jones has made three changes from the side that drew with Fulham in the Championship almost a month ago, with four games having been postponed over the festive period.

Henri Lansbury came into midfield alongside Jordan Clark with Carlos Mendes Gomes ahead of them, while Cameron Jerome started with Elijah Adebayo up-front as manager Nathan Jones named a strong starting line-up as the Hatters bid to book their place in round four of the competition.

Harrogate started the game well and forced four corners in the opening six minutes, which also included a lengthy hold-up for treatment for Reece Burke, but the Hatters were soon on the front foot with Adebayo flicking on and Jerome going past his man on the right edge of the Harrogate box before standing up a cross intended for Mendes Gomes, but it was just too high.

The same combination produced the opener in the 19th minute, this time Jerome winning the header from James Shea's clearance and Adebayo gathered the ball, turned and shot brilliantly into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Harrogate were continually posing problems for the Hatters' defence, however, especially down their right with Ryan Fallowfield and George Thomson delivering several dangerous crosses into the Town six-yard box.

The closest they came was from a free-kick, however, after Lansbury had been booked for a late challenge on Fallowfield 25 yards from goal. Thomson struck it hard and low, but just wide of the foot of Shea's right post.

The Hatters had to wait until two minutes before half-time for another chance to present itself, but Jerome's volley at goal after a poor headed clearance from Rory McArdle was easily gathered by visiting keeper Mark Oxley.

The League Two side had enjoyed the better of the opening half, but it was the Town who took the advantage into the break and goalscorer Adebayo who went close to extending the lead in the 48th minute, but his left-footed shot drifted just the wrong side of the far post.

The second didn't take long to arrive, however, with Mendes Gomes tricking his was past his man on the right side of the area and driving a low cross into the six-yard box that Jerome scrambled home from almost on the line.

Once again Harrogate came back, Luke Armstrong latching onto Lansbury's loose back pass and lifting an effort over the onrushing Shea, who was outside his area, but the ball landed safely wide from a Hatters perspective.

Jones made his first changes on the hour, Luke Berry and Allan Campbell entering the fray in place of Lansbury and Jerome, before bringing on Fred Onyedinma and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu ten minutes later, with Amari'i Bell and Jordan Clark the men to make way.

Armstrong reminded the Town back four of his threat with 15 minutes to go, meeting a right-wing cross from Burrell with a glancing header that was off target, before impressive debutant Brahima Diarra - signed on loan this week from Huddersfield - flashed a shot just wide soon after.

Danny Hylton replaced the opening goalscorer, Adebayo, on 77 minutes on as Jones made his fifth and final petrmitted substitution in FA Cup matches. Fellow sub Campbell soon fired high over the bar.

Naismith added the third goal with eight minutes to go, his first attempt from outside the box being blocked, but his reactions were razor-sharp, winning the loose ball with a nod of the head and clipping a beautiful finish past the onrushing Oxley for the second goal of his Town career.

Shea made a brilliant save from Armstrong with five minutes to go, to preserve the clean sheet after a loose pass from Burke presented Harrogate with a chance.

Diarra shot wide soon after, but Berry added a fourth goal, and his fifth of the season, after some wonderful left wing play by Onyedinma.

The Hatters were safely into the draw for the fourth round, which will be screened on ITV1 from 4.50pm this evening. Look out for ball number 22!


Goals: Adebayo 18, Jerome 50, Naismith 82, Berry 88

Att: 4,834 (330 away)

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