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MATCH REPORT: Luton 1 - 0 United

14 February 2015

Match report from the Luton Town away game

Ten-man Luton held on to a first half lead to claim their victory as United couldn't quite find a way through on what became a frustrating afternoon.

A long ball over the top was kept in on the byline by Oduwa, with just 60 seconds on the clock, but his cross into the box was eventually cleared.

More good football on the left flank brought an exchange of passes between Smith and Drury but O'Hanlon did well to stretch and hook it away from the danger area.

Grainger whipped a return from a short corner towards the far post as United responded, but it was just above Sweeney as he arrived late at the back stick.

The pace of the game slowed but good movement from Cullen allowed him to send Stockley on the overlap. Franks called for it but Hanford was there to pluck the cross out of the air.

Team captain Danny Grainger blazed a 23-yard free kick over the bar as United gave as good as they got, and a high cross from Young had to be dealt with as Dempsey tried to feed it back across the face of goal. Tyler dropped low to gather that off the floor.

A quick break from back to front found Stockley with the ball at his feet on the edge of the box but his shot on the spin curled past the post and behind for a corner. Archibald-Henville unwittingly guided the first set piece past his own target, and there was a sigh of relief from Hanford as a half clearance was lobbed high into the air. He came to claim it, spilled it under pressure, and watched as Cullen swept the loose ball just over the bar.

It was a good spell for the home side and Oduwa went close with a measured shot as he cut in from the left flank. Hanford watched it all the way and completed an easy save. 

Carlisle had a brief sight at the other end when Grainger dug a cross out, but Drury came away with it, at pace, as he drove through the midfield area. Oduwa called for it and his low cross just needed a touch as he beat Young and put the ball in the mix.

Wyke rifled a shot on the run over from distance as Carlisle attacked, from a perfect Meppen-Walter ball over the top, but O'Hanlon was needed at the other end when Griffiths came up in support. The defender blocked the first stinging shot and watched as the second flew past the upright.

The Hatters took the lead with 38 minutes on the clock when Cullen appeared to get a heavy touch on a defence splitting pass. He recovered quickly to leave Hanford rooted to the spot as he rattled an unstoppable shot into the back of the net.

Dempsey and Sweeney put shots wide as Carlisle tried to find a response but they had to be on their guard as Oduwa ran clear and carried the ball to the byline. Meppen-Walter raced back to make a vital block at the near post.

Luton pushed for a second and they were thwarted by Hanford in time added on, when he blocked from Harriman, and then from Smith as the ball pinged around the box from a wicked corner delivery.

The Hatters almost doubled their lead within 60 seconds of the restart when Cullen was left with time on the edge of the area. He stabbed the ball at the far post and Oduwa was a whisker away from tapping it in.

Cullen let fly again as he found space on the edge of the area, but Hanford went long to palm it away with both hands as it swirled awkwardly in the air.

Luton peppered the box from wide as they attacked in numbers but Carlisle kept their work rate up and a long punt forward from Meppen-Walter had Wyke on the chase. He shot early but he scuffed it and Tyler was able to adjust his position and make his save.

Oduwa had another shot blocked as the attacks came in waves, and O'Hanlon had to clear off the line as Smith tried to find Cullen with the blues shirts stretched at the back.

Cullen almost turned provider when he drilled a low cross across the face of goal but Stockley couldn't make the connection despite throwing himself at the ball.

Wilkinson recieved a straight red card when he felled Sweeney in full flight, and the incident gave the visitors a lift as Rigg and Sweeney went close when they were first to good deliveries from Amoo.

A crunching effort from Drury rebounded out via the underside of the bar, and then the inside of the post, and Cullen was flagged for offside moments after he poked the loose ball past Hanford and into the back of the net.

Rigg, Sweeney and Wyke had half chances blocked as Carlisle tried to build up a head of steam, and Grainger thumped an injury time volley over from 19 yards, but Luton stayed tight and chances were few and far between for the visitors as they left the ground with nothing to show from another frustrating day.



Luton - Cullen (38)



Luton - Stockley (81)

Sent off - Wilkinson - professional foul (66)

United - Sweeney (72), Archibald-Henville (90)



Luton Town - Tyler, Harriman, Griffiths, Franks, Wilkinson, Smith, Robinson (Ruddock 76), Drury, Oduwa (Lacey 67), Stockley, Cullen (Howells 83). Subs - Whalley, Guttridge, Hall, Justham.

Carlisle United - Hanford, Young, Archibald-Henville, O'Hanlon, Grainger, Dempsey, Meppen-Walter (Potts 60), Griffith (Amoo 46), Sweeney, Rigg (Beck 73), Wyke. Subs - Eccles, Kearns, Brough, Asamoah.


Referee - Mr James Linington

Attendance - 8,502 (276 away fans)

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