Skip to main content

MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:00 18th March 2017
By  Simon Larkins

Jake Taylor on target as City earn a point away at Luton Town

Exeter City stayed in the play-off places as they picked up a well-earned point at Luton Town.

The Grecians had opened the scoring midway through the half with a well-worked move that was finished off by Jake Taylor, but Danny Hylton levelled the scores with a close-range header. In truth, it was a backs-to-walls display, at times, for City as they defended superbly but they had moments of quality on the break and had the visitors made more of the few chances they created at the start of the second half they could have come away with all three points.

City manager Paul Tisdale made one change from the side that beat Cheltenham Town 2-0 at home last time out as Ollie Watkins came in for Jordan Tillson.

However, City were forced into an early change as Jack Marriott clashed into Jordan Moore-Taylor in the box. The referee, Trevor Kettle, allowed the play to continue, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu having a shot blocked, before Moore-Taylor received lengthy treatment for a head injury. Luke Croll was brought on as his replacement.

From that moment on Luton had the better of the first half, with David Wheeler getting a crucial header and Troy Brown a great sliding block which denied Hylton a couple of telling attempts at goal. 

Reuben Reid had a chance for City on 18 minutes, but having muscled his way into the box he was denied by home keeper Matt Macey. That was City's only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes as Luton continued to have the majority of the play going forward.

However, chances were few and far between with Jack Senior curling a free-kick wide and then Jack Marriott forcing Olejnik into a superb one-handed stop with a glancing header. 

Other than those two moments the Grecians defended well and saw out the half without trouble to go into the break on level terms. 

The second half was only two minutes old when City had a glorious chance to take the lead. Good pressing from Taylor got him in on the right side of the area and he pulled the ball back to Reid. However, his first effort was superbly blocked by Alan Sheehan and then he blazed his follow-up effort over the crossbar.

Five minutes later and Troy Brown was to go even closer as he headed an Ollie Watkins cross against the crossbar from close range. Luton were to warn City again of the threat they posed a moment later though as Mpanzu hit a sweet volley that Olejnik palmed to safety.

Then on, 59 minutes, City took the lead as Ryan Harley broke forward from midfield and patiently waited to play in Jack Stacey down the right and he cut a ball back for Taylor who swept the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

Back came Luton, but Ryan Harley was in the right place to block a shot from Jordan Cook after an Olejnik punch had fallen to him on the edge of the box. The home side then had a great to draw level as Hylton hit a shot from close range that Croll cleared off the line before the follow-up effort from Ollie Palmer grazed the crossbar.

Luton were level on 69 minutes though as a cross from O'Donnell was headed in on the edge of the six-yard box by Hylton. Hylton then had the ball in the back of the net on 81st minute as he took the ball around Olejnik, but was flagged for offside.

Watkins then responded for City as he drilled an effort at Macey from an angle and then Wheeler had appeals for a penalty turned down as he was pushed as he looked to get on the end of cross. City even had the ball in the back of the net themselves in the closing stages, but Harley's strike was ruled out as there had been a foul by Watkins in the build up.

Luton Town (4-4-2): Macey; O'Donnell, Rea, Sheehan, Rea; Mpanzu, Gambin (Palmer, 65), Smith, Cook (Lee, 80); Marriott (Vassell, 54), Hylton. Subs not used: Moore, D'Ath, Justin, Famewo.

Booked: Sheehan, Senior. 

Exeter City (4-2-3-1): Olejnik; Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor Croll, 5), Woodman; James, Taylor (Oakley, 84); Wheeler, Watkins, Harley; Reid (Tillson, 73). Subs not used: Hamon, Oakley, Grant, Ampadu, Sweeney.

Booked: Watkins

Attendance: 7,657 (415, away)