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Cambridge United 1-1 Luton Town

11 March 2014

Cullen denies U's at the death

Mark Cullen popped up in the last minute to equalise for Luton Town and deny Cambridge United three points at the R Costings Abbey Stadium.

The match ended 1-1 after Cullen turned and smashed home from six-yards. United had been the better side for long periods, and led through Tom Elliott’s header. But Cullen’s goal meant it was the visiting fans who were celebrating at the final whistle having claimed a point they barely deserved.

Richard Money made four changes to his side, with Tom Bonner, Kevin Roberts, Luke Berry and Elliott coming into the starting line-up.

And in the first half the U’s, with Elliott at the heart of much of their good work, dominated proceedings. Ryan Bird forced Mark Tyler into a fine save with an angled drive, while Liam Hughes and Tom Champion saw shots go narrowly wide. Luton struggled to test Will Norris, with only a flicked header wide from Alex Lawless to show for their efforts.

After the break United continued to press, and were reward when Roberts drifted in a teasing cross from the right and Elliott powered home a close range header, Tyler getting a hand to the ball but failing to keep it out.

Inevitably the U’s retreated somewhat following the goal, but they were defending stoutly until Cullen’s late intervention sent the travelling supporters into raptures.

However, United can take great heart from a fine performance, and will now move on to Saturday’s home game with Dartford.

May I Claim Man of the Match: Liam Hughes

Cambridge United: Norris, Roberts, Taylor, Bonner, Coulson, Hughes, Donaldson, Champion, Berry, Elliott, Bird. Subs not used: Tait, Austin, Sam-Yorke, Arnold, Gillies.

Luton Town: Tyler, Henry, Griffiths, McNulty, Franks, Lawless, Howells (Robinson 70), Ruddock (Parry 81), McGeeham, Gray (Cullen 79), Benson. Subs not used: Shaw, Justham.

Referee: Mr K.Johnson

Attendance: 6,050 (away 2,286)

21.31: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-1 LUTON TOWN. Heartbreak for United, as Luton steal a point in the dying seconds. Cross in from the right, nodded down to substitute MARK CULLEN, who turns and smashes in. All square. 

21.28: Corner to the Hatters on their right, in it comes, met by McNulty, who heads over.

21.21: Couple of changes for Luton, with Cullen and Parry on for Gray and Ruddock. Champion was down briefly with a worrying looking ankle injury but seems ok now.

21.13: Back and fourth since the goal, nothing of note has happened at either end. Luton have made a change, Robinson on for Howells.

21.02: GOAL CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1-0 LUTON TOWN.  The R Costings Abbey Stadium erupts as TOM ELLIOTT puts Cambridge United in front. Champion gets the ball wide to Roberts, who floats a terrific cross into the six yard box and Elliott powers a header in. Tyler got a hand to it, but couldn't keep it out (for once).

20.55: Nice work from Donaldson to create some space for himself. Unfortunately the finish doesn't match, curled well wide. 

20.51: Two Luton corners, the first one is decent, headed clear but falls to Howells, whose shot deflects away off Berry for a second flag kick. This time Taylor heads Lawless' cross away.

20.46: Kick off, Luton get us underway attacking the South Stand 


20.32: That's half-time, United have probably shaded it. Luton look dangerous when they do get on the ball, but have yet to test Norris.

20.24: McNulty leaves a ball over the top, Bird nearly nips in but is denied by a fantastic covering tackle from Griffiths. Bird went down looking optimistically looking for a penalty, was never going to happen.

20.22: YELLOW CARD. Berry goes in the book for a pull back on Ruddock in the centre circle. Luton can't make the most of the free kick, a cross from Lawless falls kindly for Norris. 

20.19: Good chance for Hughes, as Elliott delivers a low cross from right, but as Hughesy arrives at the near post but scuffs his shot wide.

20.13: United with another corner, but Luton clear and break down their left, and it takes a good clearance from Josh Coulson to clear a Howells cross. They have a corner on the right now after good work from Gray. Howells delivery is eventually cleared by Bonner.

20.07: Furious pace to this game, United have another corner now, it's in from Donaldson to the near post and Champion's header deflects just wide off a Luton head. Another corner, but Bonner is penalised for pushing, free kick.

20.04: Super save from Mark Tyler, as Bird charges down the left channel to reach a Hughes pass. His shot is top corner bound but Tyler parries it away for a corner.

20.01: Hughes slips the ball through to Berry, who makes a trademark run into the box but is denied by a Franks challenge. United have a corner though, it's deep to Bird at the back stick, his knock down reaches Elliott but his shot is blocked. 

19.59: YELLOW CARD. Jake Howells the first caution of the night as his boot is a bit high on Kevin Roberts. Free kick which the recovering Robbo will take, but Tyler gets a decent punch on the ball and it's away by the visitors.

19.57: Luton corner, taken by Lawless but overcooked, and Gray can't make anything of it. 

19.53: Eight minutes in and it's even stuff so far, Gray with a shot over from 20 yards for Luton, before Donaldson cuts in from the left and does likewise for United.

19.45: Here we go, United get us underway attacking the South Stand.

19.43: The teams are out on the pitch, United skippered by Kevin Roberts. Last year this fixture ended 2-2 in very difference circumstances, Tom Shaw and Nathan Blissett the United scorers.

Cambridge United: Norris, Roberts, Taylor, Bonner, Coulson, Hughes, Donaldson, Champion, Berry, Elliott, Bird. Subs: Tait, Austin, Sam-Yorke, Arnold, Gillies.

Luton Town: Tyler, Henry, Griffiths, McNulty, Franks, Lawless, Howells, Ruddock, McGeeham, Gray, Benson. Subs: Shaw, Cullen, Parry, Justham, Robinson.

19.15: TEAM NEWS: Richard Money makes four changes to the side beaten 3-2 at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. Out go Richard Tait, Ian Miller, Nathan Arnold and Delano Sam-Yorke, and in come Kevin Roberts, Tom Bonner, Luke Berry and Tom Elliott, who is back in the side after a couple of weeks out injured. Miller is nowhere to be seen, so presumably has some kind of injury, but the other three are on the bench.

Luton are unchanged from the team that drew 0-0 with Salisbury City on Saturday. Luke Guttridge is out injured, so there are no former U's in the Hatters squad.

19.10: Good evening everyone and welcome to the R Costings Abbey Stadium for Cambridge United vs Luton Town. It's first plays second in the Skrill Conference Premier tonight, and United will be out to end the Hatters' 26-game unbeaten run with a win here tonight.

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