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Report | Morris hits winner as Town seal priceless victory

6 April 2024

Club News

Report | Morris hits winner as Town seal priceless victory

6 April 2024

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Ten games without a win and ten players missing through injury – never has there been an excuse and never have this team given up.

Whatever has been thrown at the Hatters this season they always find a way and here, a goal down and staring down the barrel of an eighth defeat in 11 Premier League matches, Rob Edwards’ side found a way to breathe new life into the quest to avoid the drop.

And after a second half performance of unrelenting pressure, they fought back to deservedly draw level on points for Nottingham Forest and lift the roof of Kenilworth Road.

On a day in which the Town knew they needed a result after a sequence that had seen them slip below the dotted line, you could argue that Edwards’ team were fortunate to go in at the interval goalless after Bournemouth – one of the form teams in the division and chasing down a European spot – had gone close following several moments of real quality.

But clearly aware of the importance of the performance, both the Town and the Hatters faithful began with gusto – but slowly it was the Cherries who gained a foot-hold in proceedings and Tavernier struck a well-hit free-kick onto the post on 11 minutes to signal the visitors’ intent.

Five minutes later Bournemouth struck the exactly same post when Justin Kluivert’s low shot hit the base of the woodwork much to the Town’s relief.

As the visitors pushed for the opener, Thomas Kaminski was called into action for the first time on 25 minutes, batting away a mis-kick from a Hatters defender in the box and moments later Issa Kaboré, who excelled all afternoon in central defence, cleared brilliantly under pressure to clear the danger with the lively Antoine Semenyo lurking for a tap-in.


Kaboré wasn’t alone in his determination among the Town defence with Teden Mengi showing extraordinary resilience to continue despite being down twice to receive treatment.

Goalless at the break the Hatters upped the ante at the start of the second period with Ross Barkley fizzing a low shot into the hands of visiting keeper Neto five minutes after the restart.

However, the Town were mighty close to taking the lead moments later when Carlton Morris was denied by a world class save by Neto, getting down to his right to keep out the captain’s goal-bound effort.

Results, though, in the Premier League can hinge on such moments and 73 seconds after Neto’s heroics, the Hatters trailed when Tavernier arrowed a wonderful low shot into the far corner beyond Kaminski.

With 38 minutes of the game still to play, however, the Town had plenty of time and, urged on by the Kenilworth Road faithful, they continued to chip away at the Cherries.

Edwards made a double change on 62 minutes, with Luke Berry and Fred Onyedinma introduced, and 30 seconds later the Hatters came agonisingly close to levelling when Morris’ left-foot effort from ten yards agonisingly came back off the post.

Still the Town kept going. A fine move saw Alfie Doughty sent a right-foot shot into the arms of Neto but, finally, with the pressure building, the Hatters’ efforts were rewarded when Jordan Clark scored his first Premier League goal. Berry did the hard work, blocking a Bournemouth clearance on the edge of the box and Clark, who celebrated the birth of son Charlie last week, fired an unerring finish beyond Neto. 1-1.


Town tails were well and truly up now and the Kenny was bouncing. Yet for all their possession, the Hatters could not force a meaningful chance to test Neto again.

But then, with 16 seconds of normal time left on the clock, the Hatters struck at the death to win it.

Another substitute, Cauley Woodrow, was the architect, arching in the perfect left-wing delivery. Morris was there and waiting. After being denied by Neto and seeing another big chance hit the post, to take this chance on took guts. This was not easy but the captain cooly guided a first-time side-foot beyond his nemesis Neto to bring the house down.

Kenilworth Road debauchery followed and after seeing out six added minutes, the Hatters could celebrate their first victory since seeing off south coast opposition, Brighton at the end of January.

“1-0 and ####ed it up” sang the delirious Hatters fans who had been reminded by their Bournemouth counterparts of the two sides’ previous meeting all afternoon.

This time, the Town had the last laugh to climb close to Premier League safety.

With a trip to Manchester City next on the agenda, securing back-to-back wins might be tough.

But, as Rob Edwards put it perfectly after the final whistle, “it’s never dull being a Luton fan”.

Enjoy your week. See you at the Etihad.

Town: Kaminski; Hashioka (sub Onyedinma 62), Doughty, Mengi, Burke, Kaboré; Barkley, Clark; Chong (sub Woodrow 80), Townsend (sub Berry 62), Morris.

Subs not used: Shea, Krul, Mpanzu, Johnson, Nelson, Piesold.

Attendance: 11,779, including 1,260 in the away end.


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