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Match Reports

Report | Luton Town 1-1 Rotherham United

12 November 2022

Match Reports

Report | Luton Town 1-1 Rotherham United

12 November 2022

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Game changer Luke Berry grabbed a deserved 90th-minute equaliser, his second goal in a week, as the Hatters fought back from a Rotherham goal after just 55 seconds to take a point under interim manager Mick Harford.

The Luton legend, taking charge of a Town side in a fourth different division following Nathan Jones' departure for Southampton in midweek, had walked out to a standing ovation from every corner of a sold-out Kenilworth Road before kick-off.

The 63-year-old described it a "hairs on the back of the neck moment", and everyone of the 9,000 Hatters fans present would no doubt say the same, before the Remembrance Weekend tribute that followed, with a minute's silence impeccably observed.

Big Mick made two changes from the side that lost at Stoke in Jones' final game in charge at Stoke on Tuesday night. Ethan Horvath had recovered from illness that ruled him out of that one, and Alfie Doughty came back into the starting line-up to make his fifth league start, replacing Harry Cornick who was named amongst the substitutes. 

Development Squad left-back Josh Williams joins Casey Pettit on the bench with Under 18 Head Coach Alan McCormack overlooking from the sidelines, joined by Alex Lawless and Adrian Forbes.

But there were just 55 seconds on the clock when the crowd were silenced as Jamie Lindsay volleyed Rotherham into the lead from just inside the area, with the Hatters struggling to clear a ball in from the left.

Town had to wait until the 12th minute for their first effort on goal, but Rotherham keeper Viktor Johansson was perfectly positioned to gather Morris' glancing header from Doughty's cross.

The Millers' Wes Harding was the first player to be shown a yellow card for a 19th-minute foul on Morris, and although Lockyer got his head on Bree's deep free-kick, his glancing header was well off target.

It was the same end result in the 24th-minute for the man called up by Wales for the World Cup this week, as he met Bree's left-wing corner at the near post this time.

Clark and Adebayo combined on the break to present Morris with a good chance to level just before the half-hour, but the top scorer's first-time effort from outside the box was a yard wide of the target.

A driving 32nd-minute run from Adebayo ended with his shot being blocked on the edge of the box, before Campbell took it upon himself to have a go, receiving Doughty's pass infield and driving towards the penalty area before letting fly from 20 yards, Johansson denying him with a fingertip save over the bar.

The Millers keeper had to beat away a fiercely struck cross-shot by Bree on 42 minutes as the Hatters continued to push for the equaliser their play merited.

Rotherham made a change at the break, taking off former Hatter Peter Kioso - who had gone down injured shortly before half-time - and replacing him with Brooke Norton-Cuffy.

Harford didn't wait much longer before making his first switch, bringing Berry on for Osho in the 56th minute, and it didn't take long for the midfielder to be breaking into the box in his trademark style, as Rotherham defender getting back just ahead of him to turn Doughty's cut-back behind.

The visitors' attempts to clear the corner were thwarted by a perfectly timed challenge by Mpanzu on the 18-yard line, forcing the ball out to Bree, whose cross was met by Adebayo, climbing above Johansson, but the Town striker's header landed on the roof of the Rotherham net.

Rotherham were given a helping hand for their next chance, with ref Martin penalising Doughty for a handball that actually came off his thigh, and Cohen Bramall curling in a free-kick that Horvath gathered at the second attempt.

Harford turned to the bench with 20 minutes left, calling on Cornick and Luke Freeman in place of Adebayo and Campbell, but it was Doughty who would go closest, Johansson having to dive at full stretch to tip his left-foot curler around the post.

Berry had the ball in the back of the Rotherham net on 79 minutes when he intercepted Cornick's deflected shot and placed it in the bottom corner, onlt for a linesman's flag to rule it out.

Then the other sub, Freeman, tried his luck from 18 yards, only for his shot to be deflected over.

The door was finally knocked down with 90 minutes up, as Morris headed Freeman's free-kick back to Clark, who directed his shot on target, but with Johansson looking likely to save, Berry was in the right place at the right time, as ever, to divert the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

It was richly deserved, and sends the Hatters into the World Cup break a place lower in the table than at kick-off, but just a point off the play-offs with 25 matches to go.

While an old manager signs off to continue his part in the recruitment process, the next boss, whoever that may prove to be, will be relishing the prospect of coming into another potential promotion push. 

Enjoy the break, Hatters - and thank you Big Mick!


R - Lindsay 1'

L - Berry 90'

Att: 10,071 (1,040 away)

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