Thursday, May 13, 2021
HomeUncategorizedMiddlesbrough hit back to hold Luton

Middlesbrough hit back to hold Luton

Luton made it five games unbeaten with a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough at Kenilworth Road.

Glen Rea gave the hosts a short-lived lead before Duncan Watmore levelled.

The visitors started well despite neither side having much to play for, Grant Hall denied by an important block from Hatters skipper Sonny Bradley.

However, Town had the lead after 19 minutes when a corner from the left by James Bree was met by Kal Naismith, whose header was clawed on to the bar by Jordan Archer only for the lurking Glen Rea to head home his third of the season.

Boro were only behind for just two minutes as a cross from Marvin Johnson saw Duncan Watmore left unmarked to head past Simon Sluga via a Naismith deflection.

With 35 minutes gone, Luton threatened again, James Collins’ acrobatic volley not testing Archer as it flew over the top.

Some wonderful build up play by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall led to a great chance for Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu on the stroke of half-time, only for the midfielder to try and come back on his right foot as the opportunity went begging.

In the second period, Collins diverted his header wide from Bree’s dangerous free-kick from the right.

Boro looked to respond, on-loan Everton winger Yannick Bolasie getting on the outside of Matty Pearson and whistling over on his left foot.

Pearson then bravely managed to block George Saville’s fierce effort from inside the box, while Luton were denied what they thought was a clear penalty when Elijah Adebayo appeared to be hauled down by Marc Bola, with referee Jeremy Simpson waving the shouts away.

The official did point to the spot after 71 minutes though following a foul on Dewsbury-Hall in the area by Paddy McNair, as Collins saw his weak attempt easily parried behind by Archer.

From the corner, Mpanzu couldn’t keep his cool, blasting well over when the ball dropped to him 10 yards out.

Boro had a decent opportunity to move in front themselves with 78 minutes gone, Bola’s whipped delivery from the left met by Bolasie, who was unable to keep his header down.

With four minutes remaining, the woodwork denied Middlesbrough a potential winner as Saville’s close-range shot cannoned off home skipper Bradley and hit the underside of the crossbar.

Luton then went close themselves, Bree’s fierce cross-shot just out of the reach of Sam Nombe, who could not connect with Adebayo’s low ball into the box either.

In time added on, Dewsbury-Hall set off on a mazy run, teeing up Mpanzu on the edge of the box only for the midfielder to shank wide.

What the managers said…

Luton’s Nathan Jones: “I think that’s why we’re not top eight and pushing for top six at the minute as we’ve missed opportunities. Both Swansea games, both Middlesbrough games, Birmingham here, Forest here, there’s a lot of ones where we should have taken more and we should have a greater points haul and be closer to those who are challenging for play-offs.

“But it’s another point, a point against Middlesbrough, we’re kind of saying we should be beating these sides, so we’ve come a long way and let’s not forget that, but I’m disappointed today as we should have taken three points.”

Middlesbrough’s Neil Warnock: “It was two honest sides both giving everything they’ve got and I thought we deserved that. I thought we were a bit unfortunate when Sav’s shot hit their man, I thought that would have gone in, but you’ve got to take your hat off. Nathan’s got a real honest, hard-working side and I think we had to work hard to get that result.

“It was a good move for the goal, Duncan’s been lively and I feel a bit sorry for him as he’s had to do a little bit more work today with the system they play, but overall I thought he put another good shift in.”

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