Luton 1-1 Wolves: Hatters off the mark after come-from-behind draw
Luton claimed their first point of the Premier League season with a 1-1 draw against 10-men Wolves at Kenilworth Road.
Carlton Morris’ penalty cancelled out Pedro Neto’s earlier strike to share the spoils in a positive Hatters performance.
Rob Edwards will be proud of his side’s display but will leave thinking his side should have used the extra-man more effectively after Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was sent off in the 39th minute.
Edwards experimented with a 4-4-2 and the change in shape worked in the early stages as the Hatters enjoyed possession and space out wide through Chiedozie Ogbene and Jacob Brown, who nearly got on the end of a dangerous cross in the fifth minute.
Kenilworth Road’s vocal support set the tone and striker Morris nearly rewarded it in the 10th minute when his thunderous long-range effort cannoned off one of Jose Sa’s posts.
Edwards would have wanted a response after a poor second half against Fulham last week and he got that through midfield duo Marvelous Nakamba and Albert Sambi Lokonga who relentlessly pressed, tackled and played dangerous passes as the hosts began to ramp up the pressure.
Wolves began to work their way into the game after 30 minutes and strung neat passages together before the creative Bellegarde produced a stunning through ball in behind, but there was no one there to get on the end of it.
But the Frenchman undid his positive work when he was shown a straight red card. The midfielder was dispossessed by Tom Lockyer and he kicked out at the Luton captain before he was given his marching orders by referee Josh Smith.
Wolves held on during added time but the home side were hot out the traps in the second half when Morris got on the end of strike partner’s Ogbene’s cross in the 48th minute but his effort was saved by Sa.
Luton were on top but it was Wolves who took a 1-0 lead against the run of play in the 50th minute.
Neto gambled on a long ball and beat Lockyer in a foot race before he shrugged the defender off, cut in on his left foot and produced a thumping strike past Thomas Kaminski.
The Premier League newcomers paid the price yet again for a simple lapse of concentration.
Kenilworth Road cried out for a response and in the 65th minute Luton levelled the contest.
Joao Gomes handled the ball in the box and after a VAR check Morris stepped up, stuttered in his run up and finished calmy past Sa into the bottom left corner.
Target man Elijah Adebayo was brought on by Edwards and orange shirts marauded down the flanks and whipped in crosses in search of the striker but they were denied by Wolves’ tight defence.
Nakamba’s shot was deflected into the path of Ogbene who finished his effort but it was ruled offside and Luton could not get the goal they searched for in six minutes of added time.