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16 January 2016

Cambridge United take valuable point away from Luton

Cambridge United clinched a valuable point at Kenilworth Road in an entertaining Sky Bet League Two clash against Luton Town.

Ben Williamson and James Dunne both took up places in the starting line-up having signed for the club earlier in the week, with Robbie Simpson also returning for the U’s. On the bench loan signing Karlan Ahearne-Grant joined Ryan Donaldson, who completed his recovery from an ankle injury.

The opening 20 minutes of the half saw both sides enjoy spells of possession without too much action in front of goal, with only Lewis Page’s mid-range effort which cleared the Luton cross bar to report.

The Hatters were however forced into two early changes with both goalkeeper Mark Tyler and midfielder Danny Green forced from the field with injuries and were replaced by Elliot Justham and Josh McQuoid.

Luton found the back of the net on 29 minutes when McQuoid’s deflected shot trickled over the line, however the officials adjudged a number of players to have affected the play from an offside position and ruled out the effort.

Neither Robbie Simpson nor Ben Williamson could find the target when presented with opportunities on the Hatter’s goal ten minutes before the break.

A neat pass from Dunne found Luke Berry in space on the edge of the area moments later and the U’s midfielder controlled the ball on his chest before firing a left-footed volley into the stand.

Will Norris was forced into an excellent point blank save minutes before half time, when a Luton corner found Paul Benson lurking at the far post and his shot ricocheted into the U’s keeper and away from danger.

The first chance of the second half fell the way of the Hatters, when a cross into the U’s 18 yard box fell to Ryan Hall 12 yards out and the midfielder clipped the outside of the post.

As was the case in the first half though, both sides produced bursts of positive play and during the U’s opening spell of the second period Ryan Ledson drilled a low attempt to the left of Luton’s target.

Charlton Athletic loanee Karlan Ahearne-Grant was given his first opportunity by Shaun Derry, substituted on alongside Harrison Dunk on 65 minutes, with Barry Corr and Robbie Simpson leaving the field.

The U’s will rightly feel aggrieved at the decision by referee Andrew Madley to pull play back for a foul on Lewis Page, when the youngster had delivered an exquisite cross which Ben Williamson fired home in front of the travelling Cambridge supporters.

Buoyed by a feeling of injustice United enjoyed a solid ten minute spell parked inside Luton territory with Berry and substitute Ryan Donaldson both testing Justham in the Hatter’s goal.

However, the hosts held firm despite a late flurry of attacks from the U’s who head back to the Abbey Stadium with a point in the bag.

Cambridge United: Norris, Furlong, Legge, Roberts, Page, Dunne, Ledson (Donaldson, 77 mins), Berry, Simpson (Ahearne-Grant, 65 mins), Corr (Dunk, 65 mins), Williamson

Luton Town: Tyler (Justham, 7 mins), O’Donnell, Smith, Cuthbert, Lawless, Benson, Hall, Green (McQuoid, 22 mins) Marriott, Okuonghae, Howells

Attendance: 9,227 (1,007 away)

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