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REPORT: Cheltenham 2-2 Luton Town

11 November 2017

Defender Will Boyle snatched a dramatic late goal as Cheltenham Town roared back to claim a point against high-flying Luton Town in a Sky Bet League Two thriller at the LCI Rail Stadium.

The in-form Hatters took the lead after 11 minutes when Dan Potts got himself free and headed in at the far post from a corner. 

The Robins hit back just before the break when Jamie Grimes scrambled the ball home from close range after getting onto Harry Pell's flicked header across goal.

Substitute Elliot Lee popped up five minutes from time and looked to have snatched three points as a Luton free kick fell kindly into his path for him to make no mistake.

But in the 95th minute the most dramatic of twists saw goalkeeper Scott Flinders come up for a corner, win a crucial header and Boyle turn it home to spark wild celebrations.

Manager Gary Johnson had made three changes to the side that defeated Newport in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek with Jordan Cranston, Mo Eisa and Kyle Storer recalled to the starting line-up.

Cranston was soon in the thick of the action stopping Harry Cornick in full flow with a well-timed tackle as Luton looked to break out at pace at every opportunity in a lively opening first five minutes.

At the other end, Eisa was hungry for the ball as he skipped past Alan Sheehan with ease, but his low cross was just too far in front of a stretching Storer.

It was Luton who took the lead after 11 minutes as left back Potts peeled off at the back post from a corner and powered home a header.

And it could have been worse minutes later when Luke Berry went past his man out wide and his superb deep cross found Danny Hylton who amazingly headed wide from just three yards out.

Moments later Olly Lee produced another testing cross from the other flank that Grimes cleared over his own bar as Luton threatened to take the game away.

The home side were dealt a blow when Cranston was stretchered off and replaced by O'Shaughnessy on 34 minutes.

However, the Finnish defender was immediately part of the home equaliser, as his deflected cross was flicked on by Pell and Grimes poked the ball home from close range.

Luton continued to pose a real danger on the break, with Taylor Moore producing a superb tackle to deny Hylton from cross range as he looked to sweep home another cross.

The Hatters then cut Cheltenham wide open in injury time to set Harry Cornick clean through on goal.

But, one-on-one with Flinders, Cornick saw his shot brilliantly saved by Flinders who raced out and stood tall, with the ball cannoning off his chest and clear.

Cornick had chance to make amends seven minutes after the break as he wriggled his way into the penalty area but saw his shot flash over.

Cheltenham responded with a period of sustained pressure as Sellars fired in a low pass to the feet of Graham and he unloaded a powerful strike that was blocked on the edge of the area.

Pell then forced a corner that was met by Boyle, but his header fizzed over the top.

Cheltenham made a second change with 15 minutes to go, with the hard-working Graham replaced by Danny Wright.

The powerful forward almost had a dream introduction as he picked out Eisa, after some aerial ping pong in the Luton box, but his strike partner sliced a prodded shot wide.

It was to be Eisa’s last contribution in the game, as Freddie Hinds came on the final ten minutes.

Olly Lee saw an arrowed drive flash wide, with Flinders at full stretch, before Luton looked set to snatch all three points five minutes from the end.

A free kick on the edge of the box was blocked and rolled across goal and into the path of Lee who turned it home.

But then, in the fifth minute of injury time, it was Boyle who was to be the last action hero - with a little help from Flinders - for the Robins.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders; Cranston (O'Shaughnessy 34), Grimes, Moore, Winchester, Boyle, Sellars, Pell, Storer, Graham (Wright 75), Eisa (Hinds 80). Subs not used: Flatt (Gk), Bower, Davey.

LUTON TOWN: Stech; Potts, Cuthbert, Stacey, Lee, Hylton, Cornick (Ruddock Mpanzu 89), Rea, Berry, Collins (Lee 45), Sheehan. Subs not used: Shea (Gk), Justin, Cook, Shinnie, D’Ath.

REFEREE: Robert Lewis

ATTENDANCE: 3,900 (1,007 from Luton)

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