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Luton Town vs Queens Park Rangers. Sky Bet Championship.

Kenilworth Road.

Luton Town 1

  • J Collins (20th minute pen)

Queens Park Rangers 1

  • D Ball (65th minute)

Luton 1-1 QPR: Dominic Ball strikes to deny Hatters

Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at Kenilworth Road

Tuesday 14 July 2020 23:08, UK

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Luton and QPR

Luton missed the chance to move out of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone as they were held to a 1-1 draw by QPR.

James Collins fired the Hatters ahead - and temporarily out of the bottom three - from the penalty spot, but Dominic Ball pegged them back after the hour mark.

The visitors had to make an early change, with experienced Angel Rangel hobbling off with an ankle injury and Conor Masterson coming on in his place.

Luton had the lead in the 19th minute when Luke Berry dinked a ball over for onrushing full-back James Bree, who was felled in the area by Ryan Manning as he went to shoot.

Image: Dominic Ball (L) scored the equaliser for QPR in their 1-1 draw at Luton

Town's top scorer Collins then stepped up to send Joe Lumley the wrong way and easily convert for a 13th goal of the season.

Elliot Lee could have made it 2-0 moments later, but he was just unable to divert Collins' low cross in at the far post.

Rangers then upped their own performance, with Bright Osayi-Samuel's shot drawing a fine block by Town skipper Sonny Bradley, while Luke Amos's header went wide and Eberechi Eze's attempt was deflected behind.

More on this story

Osayi-Samuel's blast saw Simon Sluga make an excellent reaction save at his near post to keep Luton in front, the Croatia international then getting everything behind Ilias Chair's 25-yarder.

Luton were close to a second of their own though, Lee curling straight at Lumley after a neat one-two with Berry while, after the break, Dan Potts headed home Bree's corner from the right, only to see his effort disallowed for a push in the area.

Sluga fisted away Yoann Barbet's header from Ryan Manning's free-kick, but Osayi-Samuel began to dominate, Eze firing wastefully over after another of his direct runs forward.

However, Osayi-Samuel did create the equaliser on 65 minutes, powering away on the left before his low cross was powered into the net by Ball.

Harry Cornick's attempt hit a QPR defender when he burst away on the left and went wide, while Sluga almost dropped a cross into his own net under pressure from team-mate Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, but the ball bounced narrowly wide of the post.

Late on, Potts could have won it for the hosts, meeting Danny Hylton's drilled cross with his favoured left foot, only for Lumley to make an excellent stop.

Sluga then ensured Town picked up what could be a vital point in their battle to stay up, shovelling Chair's attempt aside.

In stoppage time, Berry flicked a header on from Bree's corner, only to see his effort cleared off the line, as Luton stayed in the bottom three ahead of a trip to Hull this weekend.

What the managers said...

Luton's Nathan Jones: "They're a very difficult side to play against. They had the luxury of some wonderful, wonderful players and were able to experiment being on 53 points.

"They caused us problems in terms of being able to press, so we had to stay solid and make sure we didn't concede, then I probably made changes a little bit too late, but it's another point. We have got to make sure that we are in games to win them, and at the minute we are giving ourselves an opportunity, we are picking up points every game and that's all we can do."

QPR's Mark Warburton: "It was a much better performance and we're disappointed not to get all the three points. It was a soft goal given away, a very soft penalty, but after that I thought it was like a normal QPR team and a much better second half.

"We went 1-0 down again and we didn't do our jobs as a team. We were much better at the end of the first half, a dominant second half, but we couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. We had to respond, that was the most disappointing, frustrating, disheartening display I've seen from a team on Saturday. We were very clear in our assessment of that, but the players have got professional pride, you saw their response tonight, they were very keen to give a positive reaction."

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