After last week’s horror show against Birmingham City, Luton was hoping to return to form against former Premier League side Sheffield United. The first ten minutes wouldn’t have filled anyone with confidence though as the Blades looked to follow the Blues blueprint from last week and get balls wide before putting high balls into the box. Luton nervously dealt with them with United having two early corners that nothing came of. From then on it was the Hatters who had the better chances.
As the game went on Luton dealt with the threat much easier and didn’t look like the shambles of a side who lost 5-0 the week before. Having Gabriel Osho playing the CDM role helped as he dropped deeper into a back three beside Reece Burke and Kal Naismith when needed, but when in possession looked to break Fred Onyedinma and Harry Cornick at every opportunity.
Despite the gulf in quality between the sides (Sheffield United had a £23.5 million striker on the bench), Luton had the best chance of the first half in the 17th minute. A decent spell of possession saw the Hatters fluidly move the ball from left to right before James Bree set Harry Cornick loose. His cross found Elijah Adebayo at the far post but he was always leaning back and his header went well over the bar.
It was a sign of things to come though as Luton dominated the second half right from the off. Adebayo won a free kick on the left in the first two minutes that should have seen referee Andy Davies play the advantage as Fred Onyedinma was clear through. That was a clear testament to his performance today, as he got very few decisions right for either team and seemed out of his depth.
In the 49th minute, Luton had another chance but Naismith decided to head across the goal instead of towards it but it was Cornick’s chance in the 60th minute that should have given Luton all three points in their return to form.
Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu put Sander Berge under pressure forcing him backward to Jayden Bogle who’s back pass to goalkeeper Wes Foderingham was beyond bad. The keeper needed to take a touch which allowed Adebayo to apply the pressure and block his shot. The rebound fell to Cornick who took a touch and tried to place it in the top corner instead of just putting his boot through it and watched as it bounced back off the post.
Half chances were the order of the day after that with the last talking point being how far away from goal Rhian Brewster put his shot/cross in the 85th minute. After beating Amari’i Bell on the right he cut inside and fired (not sure if it was a shit or cross) only to watch the ball go out of play for a Luton throw at the halfway mark of the pitch. That’s what £23 million gets you these days.
Before the game began most sane Luton fans would have been happy with a draw and a return to form. Yet those same Luton fans, myself included, will be feeling a little bit disappointed the Hatters didn’t come away with all three points. Could be worse though. Could be getting spanked by Man City on a much bigger budget.
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