Hatters midfielder Jim Stevenson scored a 40-yard stunner as Luton Town were held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Wimbledon in their Final Third Development League clash at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Stevenson picked up a loose ball and hit a quite magnificent half volley which beat back-pedalling AFC keeper Joe McDonnell and dipped just underneath the bar,
Hatters handed a trial to Australian striker Matt Fletcher, who has played for Cambrige United, while most recently been with Hull City, with the likes of Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Matt Robinson, Alex Lacey and Paul Connolly all featuring.
The Dons threatened early on as Kevin Sainte-Luce fired against the post, while he had a major hand in the opener, sliding in Callum Kennedy who crossed for George Oakley to head home from close range.
Unfortunately, Fletcher’s afternoon was ended early on as he received a blow to the head and U18s defender James Justin took his place.
Luton threatened a leveller when Luke Rooney’s free kick was parried, while Lacey and Robinson were denied by last ditch challenges.
Town started to get a grip on proceedings as Ricky Miller warmed the palms of Joe McDonnell and then Robinson couldn’t reach Rooney’s inviting cross.
Ruddok Mpanzu also came close as his angled volley from Justin’s lofted cross was inches wide.
Justham had to scramble across his goal to claim Kennedy’s free kick while he then flipped another set-piece from the winger over the top.
Quality approach play from Hatters saw Rooney’s backheel into the path of Ruddock Mpanzu but his shot was deflected over and Danny Fitzsimons headed the corner wide.
After the break, Saint-Luce should have made it 2-0, badly scuffing straight at Justham from eight yards.
Luton began to dominate as Rooney went clear and saw his low shot parried by McDonnell, with Miller’s follow up kicked off the line by Ben Harrison.
McDonnell then produced a breathtaking reaction stop to somehow tip Stevenson’s close range header over the bar.
Justham showed his reflexes to save impressively from Kennedy, while Rooney beat his man only to shoot against the outside of the post.
Stevenson then produced his moment of magic to bring the scores level, while Town could and should have gone on to win it.
First Lacey saw his header cleared off the line by Callum Wilson, while Leeroy Maguraushe shot at McDonnell and then Lacey charged forward to send Miller away.
The striker bore down on goal, but with just McDonnell to beat, slammed over the bar with the final kick.
Hatters: Elliot Justham, Matt Robinson, Danny Fitzsimons, Alex Lacey, Paul Connolly, Luke Rooney, Ian Rees, Jim Stevenson, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu (Leeroy Maguraushe 66), Matt Fletcher (James Justin 10), Ricky Miller.