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Match Reports

REPORT: Luton Town 0-0 Barnsley

1 January 2019

It's a hard-fought point for the Reds on the road as they kick off the New Year with a 0-0 stalemate

Defenders won out on New Year's Day in Luton as Barnsley and their hosts had to settle for a point apiece in Sky Bet League One. 

Reds Head Coach, Daniel Stendel had made two changes to the side that had beaten Charlton in the last match of 2018, Kenny Dougall replacing Mike Bähre in midfield and an enforced alteration with Ben Williams in at left back with Dani Pinillos missing after the injury he sustained at Oakwell at the weekend. 

A rather flat opening 10 minutes to proceedings was sparked into life when Mamadou Thiam and Cauley Woodrow combined to break at pace, two-on-two, with the former slipping the latter in on goal, but the usually reliable Woodrow sent his shot fractions wide with an effort with the outside of his foot, the shot looked to have touched the woodwork on its way through. It was a huge chance for the Reds.

Just five minutes later and Thiam tricked his way into the box after a short-corner routine. He then beat his man, crossed low but before Liam Lindsay could get to the ball, it seemed to be stopped by a Hatters hand. The ref waved away the protests. 

Luton were struggling to get out of their own half until the half hour mark when Reds skipper Adam Davies had to be down fast to his right hand side to pluck out a deflected drive by Alan McCormack following a corner that wasn't adequately cleared. 

There was a half chance as we approached the break, Brad Potts slipping Woodrow into the box only to then see his attempted shot blocked and trickle through to Luton stopper James Shea. 

It had been a competitive first half for Stendel's side, clearly on top but left ruing that missed chance in the opening 10 minutes.

HALF TIME: Luton 0-0 Barnsley

Barnsley came out all guns blazing after the restart, with two chances in quick succession as they attacked the goal where the Reds fans were stationed. 

Thiam was onto a Dimi Cavaré cross and fired a powerful effort just a few inches wide before Potts looked certain to find the top corner only to see his effort from the edge of the box deflected just a few inches over the bar by the outstretched leg of ex-Red Matty Pearson.

Some dubious free-kicks were awarded to the hosts around the hour mark which allowed the home side to reset a little, even gaining momentum as full back James Justin sent in a few wicked deliveries that Danny Hylton headed wide. 

The outstanding Ethan Pinnock was harshly booked when he and James Collins tangled on the flank. The resulting free-kick was superbly arrowed into the six yard box but Davies fought his way through the crowd to punch clear. 

Dougall was withdrawn on 63 minutes, Bähre on as Stendel looked to help his side regain the initiative. 

It was frantic, but scrappy for the rest of the game, with Luton happy to launch balls forward, and sitting behind the ball allowing the Reds to play in front of them. 

Thiam was replaced by Jacob Brown on 76 minutes and he went alongside Woodrow as Stendel re-jigged the system trying to unlock the resolute Hatters rearguard. 

Brown was quickly into the action and he was away with men to his left and right when Shinnie cynically pulled him down, receiving a booking. 

Stendel threw on Victor Adeboyejo for Potts with five minutes of stoppage time announced, one last throw of the dice. 

And deep into that time added on, Barnsley thought they'd won it...

After some more good passing found Alex Mowatt in the middle of the park, the midfielder drove into space, worked the ball onto his left foot and rifled an effort towards goal, but it nestled inches wide, with Shea well beaten. 

It had been yet another terrific showing from the Reds, and confirmed four points from six against fellow promotion-chasers Luton Town this season. 

FULL TIME: Luton 0-0 Barnsley

Davies (GK), Cavaré, Pinnock, Lindsay, B.Williams, Potts (Adeboyejo), Mowatt, McGeehan, Dougall (Bähre), Thiam (Brown), Woodrow.

Unused: Greatorex (GK), Jackson, Moncur, Hedges.

Att: 9,962 (845 Reds - Superb support!)


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