Striving to rise from the relegation zone once again, Rob Edwards’ Luton Town headed north on Saturday afternoon – with the Hatters seeking to build upon their comprehensive thrashing of Brighton in midweek. Newcastle United had also emerged victorious in midweek though, securing three points at Villa Park.
NEW: Dubravka; Burn, Botman, Schär, Trippier; Miley, Guimarães, Longstaff; Almirón, Gordon, Murphy
LUT: Kaminski; Bell, Osho, Mengi; Doughty, Barkley, Sambi Lokonga, Ogbene; Morris, Clark; Adebayo
It took just 7 minutes for Sean Longstaff to fire the Magpies into the lead at St James’ Park, with the midfielder setting the tempo for an enthralling clash as he drove home a low effort from a Kieran Trippier cross.
But Luton Town, as they have shown so many times this season, weren’t willing to go down without a fight – and it wasn’t long before Gabriel Osho restored parity when his headed effort got the better of Martin Dubravka.
The excitement would be short-lived in the away end though, with Longstaff netting his second of the match before the Hatters’ fans had returned to their seats. Anthony Gordon saw his initial strike blocked well by Thomas Kaminski after cutting inside, though the midfielder was on hand to bundle home the rebound.Embed from Getty Images
The visitors were not done by any means though, and Ross Barkley was able to level this captivating clash for the second time before the break after Dubravka’s parried save fell generously to his feet, allowing him to dispatch home from five yards out.
The Hatters would seize the lead for the first time just before the hour mark, after Dan Burn was judged to have dragged Chiedozie Ogbene on the edge of the penalty area. It would take Carlton Morris two attempts from the penalty spot though – his first effort was disallowed as the referee wasn’t ready.
Rob Edwards’ side had seemingly found form, and Elijah Adebayo – who netted a hat-trick in midweek – extended their winning margin in the 62nd minute with a curling effort into the far corner after receiving the ball from Ross Barkley.Embed from Getty Images
But Eddie Howe’s Magpies showed a remarkable grit and determination to fight back and seal a point, with Kieran Trippier netting his first goal in over a year before substitute Harvey Barnes netted the equaliser in the 73rd minute on his long-awaited return from injury.
Jacob Murphy was handed a golden opportunity to seize all three points as the match drew to a close, but the forward could only blaze over the crossbar. Dubravka also played a pivotal role in the dying minutes of the clash, denying Ogbene inside stoppage time to keep the match at 2-2.
Luton Town rise out of the relegation zone with a well-earned point, and they’ll look to continue their fine goalscoring form next weekend when they host a struggling Sheffield United side. As for the Magpies, they now turn their attention to next Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.