Hartlepool United 1 Luton Town 1: Match report, Thomas goal not enough for 10-man Pools

Nathan Thomas scored his fifth goal in five games but 10-man Hartlepool United had to settle for a third successive draw.

Tuesday, 27th September 2016, 8:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 1:34 pm
Nathan Thomas celebrates his goal. Picture by FRANK REID

Thomas blasted Pools in front in the first minute of first-half stoppage time after Christian Walton made a great save from Lewis Hawkins.

But the game was turned on its head 10 minutes after the break when Nicky Featherstone was shown a straight red card for a foul on Olly Lee.

After that, the Pools goal led a charmed life but the brave boys in blue battled it out for a point.

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Pools, following on from two good displays, were lively at the start and went just wide an 11th-minute goalmouth scramble.

But Luton were unlucky not to be 2-0 up with two chances inside two minutes.

Olly Lee sent Jack Marriott clear on 14 minutes but Liam Donnelly made a superb tackle with Trevor Carson making a fine save from Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu'sfollow up.

Toto Nsiala came to Pools rescue moments later when he blocked Ruddock Mpanzu's effort after good work by Marriott.

Pools had a sight of goal on 20 minute when Josh Laurent volleyed over from 15 yards.

Luton had played the better football and they threatened again five minutes from the break but Nsiala and Donnelly made a timely double block.

But Pools went 1-0 up with the last play of the first half.

Laurent effected a superb tackle on the edge of the area with Alessandra setting up Lewis Hawkins who hit a rasping drive which Christian Walton did well to save.

But THOMAS was there to drive in the rebound.

The game then went through one of the most dramatic 60 seconds of the season.

Featherstone played a neat ball through to Padraig Amond whose shot from the edge of the box was brilliantly saved onto the post by Walton with Thomasfiring the follow up into the side-netting.

But Pools were down to 10 men just seconds later when Featherstone was shown a straight red for a foul on Lee.

And Luton soon had Pools clinging desperately to their lead.

Mpanzu did some great work in the box and chipped a delightful cross to Marriott who, acrobatically, volleyed over when it looked easier to score.

And Mpanzu was at it again moments later when he cut in on his left only for his shot to be headed onto the woodwork by Jordan Richards.

Pools were pulling everyone behind the ball and defended bravely but they were pegged back 11 minutes from time.

Laurent needlessly tripped Gilliead just outside the home box and SHEEHAN found Carson's top-left corner with a stunning dead-ball.

Pools were almost behind in the 83rd minute only for Carson to dive to his left to save an excellent shot by sub Jordan Cook.

Nsiala saved Pools with a tremendous block with his head from Marriott's shot after Luton had played some neat football.

Pools had not given up hope of winning and Thomas went just over in the 87th minute.

The hosts had a let-off in the fifth minute of added time when Carson saved expertly with his right foot and Marriott blazed the rebound into the Prostate Cancer UK Stand.FULL-TIMEHARTLEPOOL UNITED 1LUTON TOWN 1

Pools: Carson, Richards, Nsiala, Donnelly, Carroll, Featherstone, Laurent, Hawkins, Alessandra (Deverdic 72), Amond (Heardman 84), Thomas (Fewster 87).Unused Subs: Bartlett, Pollock, MartinGoal: Thomas 45Booked: Fewster: 90Sent off: Featherstone 55

Luton Town: Walton, Potts, Gray (Vassell 65), McGeehan, Marriott, Gilliead (Cook 79), Mpanzu, Lee, Justin, Famewo, Sheehan.Unused Subs: King, O’Donnell, Smith, McQuoid, Musonda.Goal: Sheehan 79Booked: Gillied 59, Famewo 66Att: 3533 (away 311)