Luton Town came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City in a game that the home side dominated for 85 minutes. The Blues ended the game very strong and were unlucky on a couple of occasions not to grab a winner.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, when Lukas Jutkiewicz converted from the penalty spot. Matty Pearson then volleyed home an equaliser 13 minutes later, after a well worked corner
Story of the match
The hosts started the game off on the front foot, but could nt create anything meaningful in the early exchanges.
In the 12th minute, Luton had the first opportunity of the game when James Collins glanced wide from Luke Berry's teasing cross.
However it was Birmingham who had barely threatened up until the 23rd minute, when Lukas Jutkiewicz made no mistake from the penalty spot, after Elliot Lee had been penalised for hand-ball.
Ivan Sunjic then had a chance to make it two, when he blasted over from just outside the area, after Gary Gardner did well to retain possession and set the central midfielder up.
In the 36th minute, Pelly Ruddock's deflected cross nearly lobbed over Neil Etheridge, but the former Cardiff City shot-stopper managed to scramble back and tip the ball over for a corner.
However, The Hatters drew level from the following corner, when Berry's drifting ball to the far post was nodded down by Glen Rea to the makeshift full-back Matty Pearson, who blasted his effort into the back net with help from Etheridge and the post too.
Luton then piled the pressure back on after the equaliser, with winger Harry Cornick and the midfield three looking particularly sharp in the minutes leading up to half-time.
The Hatters started the second half in similar fashion as they continued on the front foot.
In the first minute of the second half, Berry burst into the penalty area unfollowed, but his strike across a goal was expertly cleared by Harlee Dean.
Birmingham then had an opportunity to go ahead themselves, when full-back Maxime Colin saw his left-footed effort sail narrowly wide.
In the 72nd minute, Ethderidge made a brilliant save to deny James Collins from 10 yards out, after excellent work from George Moncur on the left flank.
The Birmingham goalkeeper then made another great save two minutes later, when he acrobatically tipped Jordan Clark's effort from just outside the box over the bar.
Substitute Jeremie Bela then had a golden opportunity to snatch the winner, when he volleyed an effort from Colin's cross straight into Simon Sluga's arms.
Deep into added time, Sunjic burst through the Luton defence, but Sluga stood tall and denied the midfielder from close range.
Luton saw a lot of the ball and had a couple of brilliant chances to edge ahead, but a combination of Birmingham’s defence and some wonder saves from Etheridge kept The Blues well in the game.
The Hatters midfield were particularly busy all night, with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Luke Berry going forward at any given opportunity.
Jeremie Bela and Riley McGree both made a huge impact from the bench late on, and seemingly changed the whole dynamic of the game. The Blues were then unlucky not to go on and grab a late winner.
Stand out performers
For The Hatters, Luke Berry impressed on his 100th appearance for the club. He was clever in possession and was a real threat going forward with his intelligent runs into the box.
From a Birmingham perspective, Neil Etheridge had a fantastic game in goal. He made two wonderful in saves in quick succession late into the second half, when he denied Collins and Clark.