Hylton scores his first ever Championship goal to rescue a point for wasteful Hatters
Championship: Bristol City 1 Luton Town 1
Town striker Danny Hylton scored his first goal in well over two years as Luton netted a stoppage time equaliser for the second game running to earn a last-gasp point at Bristol City this evening.
The Hatters looked like they would be heading back to Bedfordshire empty-handed, after a wasteful evening in front of goal, with a whole host of chances created and missed, as they appeared to be on the verge of defeat when Nathan Baker netted just before the hour mark.
But with the officials putting four minutes on the board, Town's three substitutes combined, Elijah Adebayo causing a nuisance in the area and Carlos Mendes Gomes' cross tapped home by Hylton from a matter of yards for his first goal since March 2019.
With City not tasting victory in front of their own fans since January, hopes were high for Nathan Jones' side going into the game, the Town boss making five changes from Saturday's thrilling 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers, as goalscoring hero Luke Berry was in for a first start since the 1-0 win over Watford in March.
He was originally joined by club captain Sonny Bradley, Tom Lockyer, Amari'i Bell and Henri Lansbury, the latter part of the Robins side who lost 3-2 to Luton back in April.
However, as had happened at the weekend with Admiral Muskwe, Town had to make a change ahead of kick-off, Bradley missing out with Kal Naismith replacing him in the starting 11.
With Allan Campbell and Dan Potts out injured, Gabe Osho and Carlos Mendes Gomes dropped to the bench, where they were joined by Hylton for the first time since March, Dion Pereira also a late call-up following Bradley's withdrawal.
Naismith almost put Town in trouble immediately, as his pass was straight to an opponent, forcing Lockyer into a hurried block as the hosts looked to start on the front foot.
Luton, and Naismith, began to settle though, a good move on the right finding Berry in space and his low cross was met Jerome, deflected behind, the striker having another snapshot cleared, with James Bree's 25-yarder rising over the bar.
An open first 15 minutes saw Alex Scott get his header all wrong from Cameron Pring's industrious run and cross, while Lansbury sprung Harry Cornick away on the right with a wonderful pass out of defence, the attacker forcing Dan Bentley into a stop with the angle always narrowing.
Han-Noah Massengo then broke into the area as Lockyer bravely blocked, while Tomas Kalas soon wound up one of his highly effective long throws, after almost a minute of towelling the ball down, Pring's header easy for Simon Sluga.
Lansbury, looking to dominate at his old club, pinged a glorious crossfield ball wide to Bree who found Cornick, the attacker's low cross cleared away for another set-piece.
Just after the half hour, Town then created three chances in the space of 60 seconds which really should have seen them break the deadlock.
First Lansbury's 20-yard rasping drive was parried by Bentley, the rebound falling to Berry just eight yards out, who miskicked with the goal gaping.
Then, Mpanzu did well to fashion a shooting opportunity, crashing against the bar, with the follow-up cross glanced wide of the target by Jerome.
Kalas, after his continued considerable and lengthy towelling efforts when launching his throws, which was a cause of frustration for Town boss Nathan Jones, put an ambitious volley from 22 yards wide of the target.
Luton then missed another gilt-edged chance when Cornick did superbly on the left to put the ball on a plate for Jerome, but the Town attacker from a mere eight yards out, side-footed straight at Bentley, who pulled off a fantastic point blank save.
On the stroke of half time, Cornick deliberated over a throw, as the towel for Luton players had mysteriously disappeared, told to play on by the officials, with the move eventually seeing Luton denied by the woodwork again, Lockyer's angled volley crashing against the frame of the goal.
The visitors kept on creating opportunities after the break, Cornick hammering a left footed volley over, while they were then made to pay on 57 minutes when a free kick from the left was driven into the area and Nathan Baker rose highest to find the bottom corner.
With Jerome cramping up on a charge forward, he was replaced by Adebayo midway through the half, while Hylton came on for Cornick as Town swapped their front two in search of what was now an equaliser.
Adebayo set up a good chance on 72 minutes, as his threaded pass found the advancing Bell who fluffed his lines, shooting tamely wide.
Jones threw on Mendes Gomes for the final 15 minutes and he almost made an immediate impact, Bree reaching Bell's deep cross at the far post, the subs effort charged down, while his cross-shot was flipped over by Bentley.
However, as time ticked down, the Hatters showed yet again they are never beaten, with Hylton on target from a matter of yards to score his first ever Championship goal in front of the jubilant travelling faithful.
Robins: Dan Bentley ©, Rob Atkinson, Matty James, Chris Martin, Andreas Weimann, Cameron Pring (Andy King 80), Nathan Baker, Tomas Kalas, Zak Vyner (Jay Dasilva 46), Alex Scott (Nahki Wells 38), Han-Noah Massengo.
Subs not used: Max O'Leary, Jay Dasilva, Tyreeq Bakinson, Antoine Semenyo, Kasey Palmer.
Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree, Amari'i Bell, Reece Burke, Tom Lockyer, Kal Naismith (C), Henri Lansbury, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Berry (Carlos Mendes Gomes 74), Harry Cornick (Danny Hylton 63), Cameron Jerome (Elijah Adebayo 63).
Subs not used: James Shea, Dion Pereira, Glen Rea, Gabe Osho.
Bookings: Pring 37, Lansbury 84, Bree 88.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson.
Attendance: 16,878 (572 Luton).