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Town held to a drew by Stevenage


15 May 2017 19:57

Luton missed out on the chance to finish 3rd as they were held to a draw by Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon beat Champions Gillingham.

With two games to go, manager Nikki Baker made one change after last week’s win away to Lowestoft, with Erica Byron coming in for Jess McKay.

The away side, who were desperately fighting relegation, started off the strongest and pulled Town stopper Angelika Kopec into action early on from a half chance from distance.

With the Town struggling to get a grip on the game, Stevenage striker Bolu Fisher was causing some issues with her pace and got in behind with a simple ball over the top, but her effort went wide.

As the game went on, the Hatters started to come into the game and Lucy Webster offloaded a shot from 30 yards which smashed off of the bar. Erica Byron played a lovely pass across goal but no player was able to convert the shot.

Byron was then in action at the other end, clearing a shot off the line from a corner, before Rachel Kosky cleared it down field.

Just before half time, Kopec was called into action again as Fisher found herself through on goal, but the Luton keeper superbly saved her effort and it was cleared by the defence.

In the second half, a Jo Rutherford corner was met at the back post by Nicola Henman but her header was easily held by the Stevenage keeper.

The away side started to push players forward as the half went on, and Fisher had yet another chance to put her side ahead, but Kopec yet again saved her effort.

Zara Carroll had half a chance from a free kick, but her effort was high and wide, before Jodie Bellinger nearly found a way in behind, but it was cleared by the Stevenage defence.

Late into the half, Stevenage had two corners where Kopec flicked one over the bar and the other just was too high, before they sent their keeper up for an injury time free kick. This was cleared by Kosky and quickly smashed upfield where Bellinger ran at her defender with an empty goal.

Controversially, the referee blew for an injury in the Town 18-yard box, stopping the young striker mid-run. This was pretty much the last kick of the game and it ended 0-0, meaning Stevenage have to rely on Norwich losing their last games (one of which is against us), and the highest we can now finish is 5th.

Town manager Nikki Baker spoke after the game where she said “I am disappointed to come away with a draw, as we didn’t really get going, it wasn’t our best performance.

However, we have still only lost one game in 11, which is great form. When you look at the overall game, Angelika has kept us in it.

We knew it was going to be tough, they were desperately fighting relegation and were going to give everything. One point is a decent point in the circumstances."