Hatters hit back twice to defeat Shrewsbury

League One: Luton Town 3 Shrewsbury Town 2

Saturday, 25th August 2018, 7:13 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:15 pm
Defender Jack Stacey draws the Hatters level against Shrewsbury
Defender Jack Stacey draws the Hatters level against Shrewsbury

Luton produced a display with bags of character to come from behind twice and pinch all three points against Shrewsbury Town this afternoon.

Trailing 1-0 and then 2-1 with 17 minutes to go, after a bizarre second goal for ex-Hatter Lee Angol, the hosts had looked like they would fail to capitalise on the momentum gained from Tuesday night's win over Southend.

However, Jack Stacey and Elliot Lee struck in the space of four minutes, while Town could even afford to miss a late penalty with James Collins' denied by Joel Coleman from the spot.

Boss Nathan Jones kept the same team who had beaten the Shrimpers, while the visitors' side contained four ex-Luton players, Alex Gilliead, Shaun Whalley, Angol and Anthony Grant all starting.

For whatever reason, the hosts just couldn't get going in the early exchanges, Lee sending a free kick over, while Glen Rea's wayward left footer from range about the best they could manage.

Despite offering little, Shrews were ahead on 23 minutes when Whalley exchanged passes with Angol and drove into the box, brought down by the outstretched leg of Stacey for a penalty.

The winger got up to make no mistake, comfortably sending James Shea the wrong way, the keeper then having to gather a low effort from Angol.

Still Town could muster nothing of significance, Joel Grant's low shot from range deflecting behind, while a clever corner routine saw Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu flash off target.

Jones made one change at half time, bringing on James Collins, against his former club, for the out of sorts Hylton.

The Hatters were back on level terms just six minutes in when Lee was brought down on the edge of the box, Grant stepping up to curl home a wonderful free kick into the top corner.

Buoyed by the leveller, Lee sliced over the bar from inside the box after Stacey's cross rebounded invitingly into his path.

Town won another free kick when Andrew Shinnie was tripped just 20 yards out of from goal on the hour, but with the expectation bar now raised, this time he got underneath it.

The visitors went ahead in controversial and downright weird circumstances on 66 minutes, as a cross was claimed by Shea ahead of an offside-looking Angol.

Although there was no flag from the linesman or whistle by referee Carl Boyeston, Shea, clearly thinking a free kick had been signalled, put the ball down and could only stand and stare in disbelief as the ex-Luton man gratefully tapped into the empty net.

Grant tested Shea who turned behind, but Luton had a second equaliser with 17 minutes to go, an incisive passing move seeing Mpanzu pick out Stacey who rifled inside Coleman's near post.

Not settling for a point, the hosts then had the lead for the first time on 77 minutes from yet another set-piece, Lee's 22-yarder hitting the back of Josh Laurent to beat the wrong-footed Coleman and send Kenilworth Road into raptures.

Luton should have wrapped up the points with six to go, Mpanzu charged through and was felled by the sliding Luke Waterfall.

Collins took the ball from Lee but against his former club, saw his low effort well saved by Coleman.

It almost proved doubly costly, as Ryan Haynes got to the byline and crossed for Angol, with Shea redeeming himself, making an excellent low stop as Hatters held on.

Hatters: James Shea, Jack Stacey, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Dan Potts, Glen Rea (C), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jorge Grant (James Justin 78), Andrew Shinnie, Elliot Lee, Danny Hylton (James Collins 46).

Subs not used: Marek Stech, Jake Jervis, Lloyd Jones, Luke Gambin, Harry Cornick.

Shrews: Joel Coleman, Ryan Hayes, Mat Sadler (C), Shaun Whalley, Greg Docherty, Lee Angol, James Bolton, Alex Gilliead (Fejiri Okenabirhie 78), Luke Waterfall, Josh Laurent, Anthony Grant.

Subs not used: Omar Beckles,, Lenell John-Lewis, Steve Arnold, Doug Loft, Ryan Barnett.

Booked: Angol 36, Rea 87.

Referee: Carl Boyeson.

Attendance: 8,518 (379 Shrewsbury).