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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 30 Apr 05 at 19:44 PM

LUTON TOWN 4 BRENTFORD 2

Three goals in the last ten minutes gave Luton Town a 4-2 victory over Brentford at Kenilworth Road. Brentford had fought back from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 and seemed set for a win to boost their play-off hopes but Luton struck those hopes with their late blast. Brentford made two changes from the team that was defeated by Huddersfield Town last week. Eddie Hutchinson returned after injury and John Salako was promoted from the substitute's bench, they replaced Jay Tabb and Isaiah Rankin. Brentford got off to the worst possible start when Ahmet Brkovic gave Luton a fifth minute lead. Steve Howard headed a Paul Underwood cross into the path of Brkovic and his bobbled finish beat Stuart Nelson and rolled in, despite Sam Sodje's attempts to stop it. Despite that disappointing start Brentford were not going to lie down, a great piece of interplay on the left between Deon Burton, Marcus Gayle and Andrew Frampton resulted in a cross which Sol Davis had to clear inside the six yard box. Stewart Talbot forced Marlon Beresford into a fine save when he let fly from 25 yards and at the other end Howard headed just past the post from a Steve Robinson cross. Brentford were causing problems with the balls they put in Luton's penalty area. From a Salako long throw Hutchinson headed over after Sodje had flicked on, and when Marcus Gayle headed a Michael Turner free-kick across goal Chris Coyne had to be alert to beat Burton to the ball. It looked as if an equaliser was coming and so it proved. Another long throw from Salako wasn't dealt with by Beresford, who was under pressure from Burton and Gayle, and Sodje rose highest to head home. Brentford continued to push forward, Frampton strode forward through the midfield and curled a shot over the bar and in the 26th minute Brentford exploited more space in the home midfield to take the lead. A misplaced pass by Kevin Nicholls presented the ball to Turner, he galloped forward, running 40 yard unchallenged before knocking the ball to Burton, who curled the ball round Beresford and into the far corner. Luton were determined not to let Brentford spoil their party and continued to attack. Davis created a great chance for Howard when he slipped a ball through to the powerful front man but Howard's finish went across the face of goal. Nelson saved well from Robinson, Feeney put the rebound wide and Curtis Davies headed narrowly over. They started the second half in a similar vein; Nicholls curled a free-kick against a post and another narrowly wide. The home side continued to pile on the pressure, from a Robinson free-kick, Coyne flicked on and Howard turned the ball toward goal but Nelson reacted well to block. Kevin O'Connor produced a brilliant tackle to prevent Robinson shooting inside the six-yard box, Howard headed wide and Nelson was again athletic to deny Underwood when he unleashed a scissor kick volley from only eight yards out. Luton came even closer in the 72nd minute when Howard headed a Robinson free-kick against the base of the post. Brentford almost grabbed a third with 14 minutes to play when Darren Pratley's corner was headed by Sodje but Brkovic cleared it off the line and at the other end Nelson produced another fantastic save to deny Howard after a ball had found its way to him on the far side. Luton seemed to have run out of ideas when they were awarded a penalty with seven minutes to play. Howard's knock down fell to Robinson and Turner's tackle on him was deemed to be unfair; Nicholls sent Nelson the wrong way from the spot. It almost got worse minutes later when substitute Enoch Showunmi missed his kick when well placed in front of goal and then headed over from eight yards out. With just a minute to go Luton did get a goal, Robinson's corner was met by Showunmi and Nelson had no chance. Robinson made the Bees day even worse when he scored the fourth in the last minute, substitute Rowan Vine ran down the left and cut the ball back to Robinson who finished excellently from the edge of the area. Brentford: Nelson; O'Connor, Turner, Sodje, Frampton; Hutchinson, Talbot (sub Harrold 67 mins), Pratley; Salako (sub Fitzgerald, Scott P. 89 mins), Gayle; Burton (sub Rankin 74 mins) Subs (not used): Myers, Bankole Attendance: 9, 313 Written by Chris Wickham

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