Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Report | Hatters earn point in pulsating eight-goal thriller

3 February 2024

Club News

Report | Hatters earn point in pulsating eight-goal thriller

3 February 2024

Sponsored by

Newcastle 4
Longstaff 4, 23, Trippier 67, Barnes 73

Town 4
Osho 21, Barkley 40, Morris 59 (pen), Adebayo 62


Where to start? Perhaps just three-and-a-half miles away.

September 2010 the Town were beaten 1-0 at Gateshead. Heads were low. 1,075 fans – the majority Hatters – trudged out of the International Stadium and another season in the Conference would beckon.

Fast forward 14 years and 11 minutes’ drive down the road, and over 50,000 fans watched the Town go toe-to-toe with Newcastle United in one of the top-flight’s most mind-boggling matches of the season.

Twice behind. Twice level. 4-2 up. 4-4. And both sides could have found a fifth.

The story of this game would take a novel to tell. We don’t have the time or patience for that.

But it all began so quickly when Newcastle took the lead on seven minutes. At that point it looked as though the Town might be in for a long afternoon when Sean Longstaff rifled home to finish an intricate home move.


Yet the Town’s response to going behind was truly excellent. Settling into the game as if nothing had happened, they were soon level when Gabe Osho rose highest to nod on Carlton Morris’ flick to deservedly bring the Hatters level.

However, no sooner were the Town on terms they trailed again two minutes and three seconds later when Longstaff restored the Magpies lead, converting after Thomas Kaminski had parried Anthony Gordon’s effort.

Behind again but once more no panic from those in orange.

Undeterred, the Hatters built once more and, as they seized control of the football, their efforts were rewarded with a second equaliser five minutes before the interval.

It was a goal all about Ross Barkley. The Town midfielder won the ball on halfway, drove goalwards and slipped Alfie Doughty inside the area. The wing-back’s shot was parried by Martin Dubravka but the ball fell at the feet of the Hatters number six and he poked home into an empty net.

It was breathless stuff as the half-time whistle blew. But that was literally just the half of it.

As the game swung from end to end in the early stages after the restart, suddenly, on 57 minutes, Rob Edwards’ side finally wrestled destiny into their own hands.

One major observation from the first 45 minutes was how much harm the pace of Chiedozie Ogbene was causing the home defence down the right. And the former Rotherham man was instrumental in leading to the Town taking the lead for the first time. His surge into the box was ended by Dan Burn in the penalty area and after a sustained VAR check, captain Carlton Morris stepped up – at the second time of asking – to roll home. 3-2.


It was good. It was great. But things got even better three minutes later when the Town stunned St James’ with a fourth. A wonderful flowing move beginning down the left saw Doughty find Barkley and Barkley square to Elijah Adebayo and the man who netted a hat-trick in midweek made no mistake to steer home from close range for his ninth of the season.

You felt, honestly, that it was too good to be true. From non-league to Premier League, our story’s been one for Hollywood, but surely it couldn’t get much better than leading 4-2 to the good at St James’ Park in the top-flight. If you were a betting man, you’d want to cash out. Here, in the real world and on the pitch, there was still 20 minutes to play.

With our – that’s ours, not the players’ – heads in the clouds, in dreamland, we were given a quick reality check and were brought back down to earth with a bump as Newcastle hit back.

The Magpies, who had thrashed PSG in the Champions League earlier this season, upped the ante and got to within one goal on 68 minutes when captain Kieran Trippier found the target.

And the turnround was complete six minutes later when substitute Harvey Barnes dispossessed Barkley and send a low finish beyond Kaminski from the edge of the box.

Back level you felt, with the roar of the 50,000 Geordie voices, there was going to be only one outcome.


Yet this Luton Town team is stacked with resolve and resilience.

A period where holding onto your hats was a genuine necessity, though, as the hosts pushed for a fifth. Kaminski came to the rescue with eight minutes left to turn away Barnes’ goal-bound shot and the Magpies came even closer two minutes later Jacob Murphy spurned a chance at the back-post after a wonderful cross from Bruno Guimaraes had dissected the Town backline.

One more, the Hatters responded brilliantly to adversity and when ten added minutes were added by the officials the Town found a second wind and it was Ogbene who had the game’s final glorious chance. Barkley was the architect, pinging a ball to the back-post but the Irishman’s fine side-foot effort was held by the relieved Dubravka.

Moments later the final whistle blew and both sides could breathe a sigh of relief on a rollercoaster afternoon on Tyneside that will live long in the memory.

A precious point – not many teams have taken those from here over the past 18 months – and a performance to be proud of.

Forget 14 years ago. The Town have moved on and are moving up the table and deservedly so. 16th and out of Rob Edwards’ relegation zone.

We’ll take that thank you very much.

Not since 1959 have the Hatters scored four in back-to-back games in the top-flight.

The past week has been nothing short of brilliant.

We’ll see you for more next weekend.

Up the Town.

Town: Kaminski; Mengi, Osho, Bell, Ogbene, Doughty (sub Burke 79; Lokonga, Barkley; Clark (sub Mpanzu 68), Morris (sub Brown 79), Adebayo (sub Woodrow 88).

Subs not used: Krul, Berry, Kaboré, Chong, Townsend.



Advertisement block

Hatters Player Next Match Tickets Account