Luton 1-1 Coventry: Jordan Shipley strikes to deny League One leaders
Report as Coventry hold Luton at Kenilworth Road with Jordan Shipley cancelling out Matty Pearson's header
By Nick Howson
Last Updated: 24/02/19 5:52pm
Luton Town missed the chance to tighten their grip on top spot in League One after being held to a 1-1 draw by Coventry City at Kenilworth Road.
Matty Pearson gave the hosts the lead in the 16th minute when his downward header was fumbled into the net by Coventry goalkeeper Lee Burge.
The visitors levelled when substitute Jordan Shipley struck four minutes after coming on for Amadou Bakayoko in the 30th minute, following Pearson's error.
No changes for Luton from the win over Fleetwood. Only one alteration for Coventry, and it came in goal as Lee Burge replaced David Stockdale.
The result sees Mick Hartford's Luton side go five points clear at the top, while Coventry remain in 10th, seven points off the play-off positions.
Targeting a seventh successive win, Luton started much the better and could twice have led through James Collins and Danny Hylton, but the strike-pair could not beat the fit-again Burge.
Luton Town: Shea 6; Stacey 7, Pearson 6, Bradley 7, Justin 6, McCormack 7, Ruddock 5, Shinnie 6, Moncur 5, Hylton 6, Collins 6
Subs: Lee 5, Lua Lua 4,
Coventry City: Burge 4; Sterling 6, Willis 5, Hyam 6, Mason 7; Bayliss 6, Kelly 6, Thomas 5; Bakayoko 5, Hiwula 6, Enobakhare 6
Subs: Meyler 6, Shipley 7, Wakefield 5
Man of the match: Sonny Bradley
However, Burge was at fault as Luton converted their dominance when James Justin's corner picked out Pearson, whose firm header bounced through the goalkeeper's grasp.
Fighting for their lives off the pitch, amid the threat of being expelled from the English Football League, Coventry belatedly started to show spirit on the field.
The Sky Blues should have had a penalty midway through the first half when Alan McCormack's short back-pass caught out James Shea, who felled the alert Bakayoko, but referee Ross Joyce waved away the appeals.
Mark Robins' side soon got their reward when they levelled from another Hatters mistake, as Jordy Hiwula pick-pocketed Pearson and crossed for Shipley, who had just replaced Bakayoko, to convert with ease.
After the break it was one-way traffic as back-to-back promotion hopefuls Luton went in search of a winner.
Sonny Bradley saw his goal-bound header hacked off the line by Liam Kelly before Andrew Shinnie's run and shot ended with the ball just evading the post.
Pelly Ruddock shot wide from a tight angle and, in stoppage-time, Burge made amends for his early mistake, saving from Coventry fan Collins and then McCormack as the visitors survived the late onslaught, with Luton forced to settle for a draw which extends their unbeaten run to 21 games.
Man of the match - Sonny Bradley
A dominant figure in both boxes, the 6ft 5in defender was an imposing presence throughout the 90 minutes as his fine form since joining from Plymouth continued.
He could even have been the match-winner had Kelly not hacked his header off the line.
What the managers said
Mick Harford: "We deserved to get something more out of the game. We're delighted with the performance but not the result. But it is another game unbeaten and a step closer and I believe it will be a valuable point come the end of the season.
"At the end we were not happy with one point, we wanted all three. We were pushing and pressing them and we created a few chances but I am sure Coventry will be delighted with the point."
Mark Robins: "They put us under a lot of pressure in the second half. The penalty shout looked for all the world like it was a penalty
"I am pleased with the point in the end. It could have been a little bit more. We ran out of legs a little bit to be honest. In the end a deserved point but a really well-earned one."
Luton host Rochdale next weekend as Coventry go to Accrington Stanley.