HomeSports And EntertainmentPost-Injury Adebayo Is Hero As Luton Town Vs Everton Draw 1-1

Post-Injury Adebayo Is Hero As Luton Town Vs Everton Draw 1-1

Luton Town missed the chance to move out of the Premier League’s relegation places as they were held to a draw against Everton at Kenilworth Road.

Everton, safe from the drop before kick-off, went ahead from the penalty spot after 24 minutes.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin coolly converted after Luton defender Teden Mengi was penalised for hauling down Jarrad Branthwaite following an intervention from the video assistant referee.

Elijah Adebayo showed exactly what Luton have been missing as the striker marked his first start since early February with the equaliser seven minutes later, the big forward proving too strong for Ashley Young before shooting low past Jordan Pickford.

Both sides had opportunities after the break with Luton keeper Thomas Kaminski saving well from Jack Harrison’s deflected shot and Calvert-Lewin’s header but the stalemate was not broken.

The draw leaves Rob Edwards’ side in the bottom three, level on points with Nottingham Forest but having played a game more.

“We obviously wanted to win the game,” said Edwards. “We threw everything at it so I am disappointed right now.

“The supporters can see when the players are giving absolutely everything for the shirt. There’s pride.

“We’re still in the mix and the fight, we’ve got to keep believing.”

Luton’s Adebayo would have left his manager Rob Edwards harbouring mixed feelings after he made a goalscoring return with his 10th in the league this season.

Edwards would have been delighted to see 6ft 3ins Adebayo back on the mark but he will also be wondering what might have been had he not had that lengthy spell out through injury.

Adebayo’s all-round game gives Luton an added dimension and he was rewarded with a standing ovation when he was substituted late on after tiring.

Luton will be disappointed not to have taken more from this game having fought their way back and created chances in the second half, particularly headed opportunities for Mengi and Ross Barkley, before a frantic finale.

They mounted a late surge that required some desperate Everton defending but could not make the breakthrough that would have made such a difference as the season enters its closing phase.

As always, Luton were full of endeavour with energetic winger Tahith Chong the prime example. Kenilworth Road once more provided an outstanding atmosphere, with the home fans showing their appreciation for their players’ efforts with prolonged applause after the final whistle.

It was all tinged with regret, however, because Luton are now at the stage of the season where wins are required not draws.

Everton, perhaps understandably, did not show the same intensity that brought them three home wins in a week – including the outstanding 2-0 victory against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby – now safety had been assured.

They still put in plenty of effort and none of Luton’s relegation rivals can complain about Everton’s approach, several desperate late clearances and resolute defending proving their desire and determination to come away from Kenilworth Road with at least a point.

Everton are enjoying the relative riches watching the relegation battle from safety after the near misses of the previous two seasons so they should now play with more freedom.

This was, given the circumstances, a predictably attritional affair although manager Sean Dyche will perhaps question whether Everton could have controlled more of the ball against a Luton defence that, at times, looked nervous.

Dyche was also sure his side should have been awarded a second penalty, after Dwight McNeil appeared to be caught by Teden Mengi.

“I know there’s a lot of news and noise recently about penalties, but I’m amazed we didn’t have another one. That one, from the penalties I’ve seen this season, I’m very surprised they’ve not given that.”

For now, Everton can let those below them have the relegation worries as they close out another traumatic campaign.

BBC

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