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Report: Luton Town 2 Blackpool 2

Late Cummings Strike Denies Seasiders Chance To Take All Three

6 April 2019

A late equaliser from Jason Cummings denied Blackpool from becoming the first side to beat Luton Town in 28 matches, as the two teams played out a 2-2 draw at Kenilworth Road.

The Seasiders had initially fought back from finding themselves a goal down early on, with Nya Kirby scoring his first senior goal and Matty Virtue hitting his third of the campaign.

Virtue’s strike came just a minute after Luton saw striker James Collins receive his second booking of the game, yet the league leaders rescued a point with 10-men through Cummings in the 86th minute.

Manager Terry McPhillips made two changes to his side for the game at Kenilworth Road, with Ollie Turton returning from injury and Crystal Palace loanee Nya Kirby rewarded for his impact off the bench the previous week.

However, it was the The Hatters who made the decisive start to the match, finding the net inside seven minutes. Kazenga LuaLua got round his man down the left and cut the ball back for James Collins to slot in.

The hosts continued to dominate possession and cause Blackpool problems, getting in down the flanks and winning various set-play opportunities.

LuaLua was proving to be the biggest danger, finding space time after time to keep The Seasiders on the back foot.

Despite being without the ball for long periods, Blackpool continued to hold their shape and look to pounce on the counter attack.

As the half-hour mark approached, Nya Kirby drew the team level with his first goal for the club. Matty Virtue did well to beat Luton ‘keeper James Shea to the ball and lofted it back to the edge of the box, where Kirby volleyed into the bottom corner.

The goal clearly helped the side become more confident, while the home crowd grew frustrated.

A big save from Chris Mafoumbi kept Blackpool level at the interval though, as he tipped over a rasping strike from Matty Pearson.

Half-Time: Luton Town 1 Blackpool 1

After the restart, Armand Gnanduillet came close to putting Pool in front but was denied by James Shea, who got down well to save his header.

Nya Kirby then got round the back and sent a teasing ball across the six-yard box, where Sonny Bradley was forced to block a Gnanduillet header on the line.

The attacking momentum continued to come from Blackpool, who then saw penalty appeals waved away. Marc Bola slalomed his way past a couple of defenders and went down in the area. The referee waved away any protests, though.

At the other end, Andrew Shinnie watched a strike deflect over the bar and a team-mate fire wide from the resulting corner.

On the hour mark, Luton were then reduced to 10 men. James Collins, booked minutes earlier for a foul on Curtis Tilt, was dismissed for a late lunge on Matty Virtue.

Just seconds later, The Seasiders took the lead. A corner into the Luton box wasn’t dealt with and that allowed Matty Virtue to pounce and smash the ball into the back of the net.

After seeing Nya Kirby booked in the 67th minute, manager Terry McPhillips opted to change things in midfield and reduce the risk of also being reduced to 10 men. Jordan Thompson was the man to replace him.

The pitch opened up for Blackpool to pick Luton off and score a third but Gnanduillet ended up being denied by James Shea once again.

Luton substitute George Moncur saw two efforts go wide as the hosts pushed for a leveller, while some superb defending from Ollie Turton intercepted a dangerous attack.

Just as Blackpool looked to be keeping Luton at bay, substitute Jason Cummings found the equaliser, firing in to the bottom far corner.

Six additional minutes went up on the board with both sides chasing a winner, and it took a 96th minute block from Ben Heneghan to deny Luton from snatching a winner.  

Full-Time: Luton Town 2 Blackpool 2


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