Exeter City exit FA Cup after being on the end of contentious penalty decisions
Exeter City exited the FA Cup as two questionable penalties were awarded against them at home to Luton Town.
The first spot kick came after 10 minutes when Hatters’ striker Danny Hylton went over in the box trying to get on the end of a through ball. And, while City equalized through Reuben Reid, a second half strike from Glen Rea and another penalty from Hylton gave Nathan Jones team victory.
City manager Paul Tisdale made five changes to the starting line-up, with Ethan Ampadu starting in the centre of midfield alongside Jake Taylor and Reid partnering Robbie Simpson up front.
The Grecians had the first effort at goal as Simpson had a shot from 30 yards blocked, but they were behind when referee John Busby adjudged that Danny Hylton had been tripped in the area by Pierce Sweeney. Hylton stepped up to convert the spot kick.
Alan Sheehan then had a shot deflected just wide before Lee Holmes crossed for David Wheeler to glance a header off target.
City continued to press Luton and get balls into the area with Wheeler heading another chance over from an Ampadu cross and Jake Taylor scuffing an effort straight at Christian Walton.
The Grecians were then grateful to Bobby Olejnik for turning a Luton Town free-kick, that had been deflected on target by Moore-Taylor, around the post.
Tisdale’s team were then back on level terms as Ampadu skipped past a challenge in the middle of the park before firing an effort off the post. The rebound fell kindly for Reid who side footed the ball into an unguarded net for his second goal for the club.
The half ended with Reid having shot saved before Ampadu hit the rebound over the crossbar.
City began the second half well as Reuben Reid had a shot blocked and Lee Holmes had an effort from just outside the box saved.
However, the play started to switch back to Luton for the next 15 minutes as Hylton and Alex Gilliead both had close range efforts at goal and Cameron McGeehan headed offer target.
Luton then retook the lead on 71 minutes as a ball was played to the back post where Glen Rea side-footed a volley home at the back post.
However, moments later Luton were down to 10 men when Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was shown a second yellow card for timewasting when he tried to stop City taking a quick free-kick. It caused a melee in the middle of the pitch when David Wheeler tried to get the ball off him.
Wheeler then shot wide and Reid headed over as the pressure grew on the visitors with 10 minutes of the match remaining.
However, Luton avoided a nervy last five minutes when John Busby awarded the Hatters a second penalty of the afternoon when Craig Mackail-Smith went down in the area. Troy Archibald-Henville appeared to have got a foot to the ball, but the referee pointed to the spot and Hylton stepped up to score his second of the match and settle the tie.
Exeter City: Olejnik; Stacey, Sweeney, Moore-Taylor, Woodman; Wheeler (Archibald-Henville, 82), Ampadu (Watkins, 87), Taylor, Holmes; Simpson (Grant, 67), Reid. Subs not used: Hamon, James, Oakley, McAlinden
Booked: Sweeney, Olejnik, Taylor, Reid, Wheeler.
Luton Town: Walton; Justin, Rea, Cuthbert, Sheehan; McGeehan, Mpanzu, Lee, Gilliead (Smith, 61); Hylton, Cook (Mackail-Smith, 70). Subs not used: King, O’Donnell, Gray, McGeehan, Vassell.
Booked: Mpanzu, Hylton. Mackail-Smith
Attendance: 2,972 (310, away)