170902 Luton h

First half report...

There was one change to the City team that started the previous Sky Bet League 2 game against Carlisle United for this home clash against Luton Town with Billy Knott coming in for Jordan Maguire-Drew.

The atmosphere was electric as referee Tom Nield led the two teams out in front of a packed Sincil Bank crowd and once the pre-match formalities were completed with captains Luke Waterfall and Scott Cuthbert play got underway with Luton kicking off attacking their fans in the Stacey West Stand.

The Hatters were the first to threaten with Danny Hylton twisting and turning his way past both Waterfall and Sean Raggett before his effort was claimed by Paul Farman and as the Imps responded, Matt Green won the game's first corner which was headed away at the near post by James Collins.

Luton's first corner, in the fifth minute, ended with a high boot on Neal Eardley for a City free-kick and a couple of minutes later Hylton fired well over following a low cross from the visitors' left flank. Striker Hylton then had a low effort claimed well by Farman.

A quiet spell ensued before Nathan Arnold had a shot charged down in the 20th minute following good work by Matt Rhead, Green and Alex Woodyard and shortly afterwards Rhead was inches away from connecting with a Green centre.

Luton were forced to make a switch just 27 minutes in with a limping Collins being replaced by Harry Cornick. Seconds later Knott fizzed a left-foot bullet inches wide of Marek Stech's left-hand upright.

A highly questionable decision against Michael Bostwick quickly followed as the Imps' midfielder appeared to win the ball in a challenge on Cornick only for referee Nield to award the Hatters a free-kick. Justice was served though when Alan Sheehan drilled straight into the City wall.

City threatened again five minutes before the break with Waterfall's header back across goal after Stech failed to deal with a ball into the box being hurriedly cleared by the Luton defence.

At the other end Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu fired well wide before the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of two minutes were to be added on.


Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half and the Imps were the first to press with a looping Long cross being dropped by Stech under pressure from both Rhead and Green but the ball ran away from a red and white shirted player and the visitors were able to clear.

A break in play followed as visiting skipper Cuthbert came out second best after clattering into the back of Rhead. After City were awarded a free-kick the medical team were quickly on the scene to aid the stricken Hatters' defender, who got a good round of applause as he got to his feet before returning to the fray.

Good interchange play between Long and Arnold on the right ended with the latter's cross just going behind Green and shortly afterwards a long Farman free-kick led to a corner which was cleared.

Another corner followed as the Imps kept up the pressure but a few beads of sweat were shed at the oter end on the hour mark when a rare error from Raggett gave Hylton a half-chance but some resilient City defending repelled the danger.

Waterfall then got in a timely block to deny Hylton before Jordan Cook replaced Alan McCormack for the Hatters in the 67th minute. Two minutes later Harry Anderson for Matt Rhead was City's first switch.

Shortly after Knott had dragged a low 25-yarder wide of the target, Arnold got on the end of an Anderson cross only to be denied by a superb point-blank save from Stech who then did well to keep out Waterfall's back post header from the resultant corner.

With the game entering its final quarter hour, some patient City build-up play ended with Arnold firing over from range. Ex-Hatter Ollie Palmer then replaced Matt Green for the last 12 minutes.

Anderson forced City's eighth corner of the game and after this was cleared, Woodyard needed treatment close to the touchline before he was able to resume his midfield duties.

In the 87th minute Elliott Whitehouse came on for Billy Knott and after he was involved in the defending of a Luton free-kick, Arnold advanced with the ball only to be taken out crudely by Jordan Cook who picked up a deserved yellow card.

A minimum of five added minutes was indicated by the Fourth Official and these passed without further incident so both teams were forced to settle for a share of the spoils following an entertaining draw.


1    Paul FARMAN
2    Sean LONG
9    Matt RHEAD
10    Matt GREEN
11    Billy KNOTT
16    Michael BOSTWICK
23    Neal EARDLEY
25    Sean RAGGETT
28    Nathan ARNOLD
30    Alex WOODYARD
4    Elliott WHITEHOUSE (for KNOTT 87)
8    Ollie PALMER (for GREEN 78)
14    Jordan MAGUIRE-DREW
15    Rob DICKIE
21    Josh VICKERS
26    Harry ANDERSON (for RHEAD 69)


1    Marek STECH
3    Dan POTTS
4    Alan McCORMACK
6    Scott CUTHBERT
7    Jack STACEY
9    Danny HYLTON
16    Glen REA
17    Pelly-Ruddock MPANZU
18    Luke BERRY
19    James COLLINS
44    Alan SHEEHAN
5    Johnny MULLINS
8    Olly LEE
10    Jordan COOK (for McCORMACK 67)
11    Andrew SHINNIE
14    Harry CORNICK (for COLLINS 27)
36    James SHEA
38    Elliot LEE



REFEREE: Tom Nield
ASSISTANTS: Andy Newbold & Nigel Smith

ATTENDANCE: 9,332 (1,268 visiting supporters)