Hammers hit by late Hatters strike

Luton Town v West Ham United – Kenilworth Road – Friendly Match – Report

Luton Town 1-1 West Ham United

Sonny Bradley’s stoppage-time goal left West Ham United frustrated as hosts, Luton Town, forced a 1-1 draw in what was a competitive pre-season fixture at Kenilworth Road,

While the Hammers returned to action following a 3-1 defeat against Rangers at Ibrox, Luton stepped out confidently off the back of five straight victories during their warm-up schedule. 

Indeed, it was a sprightly start from the industrious hosts. Front pairing, Harry Cornick and Elijah Adebayo provided power and pace, while Luke Berry and Alfie Doughty looked to orchestrate as the East Londoners were forced to sit deep and defend during the games’ infancy.

Nevertheless, it was West Ham who opened the scoring shortly before the half-hour mark. Tomas Soucek guided the ball past Hatters keeper, Ethan Horvath following a pin-point centre from Aaron Cresswell. it was the first clearcut opportunity of the match and came a little against the run of play.

Jarrod Bowen dragged his effort wide after substitutes Nikola Vlašić had fashioned an opening immediately after the restart. Meanwhile, Cresswell averted the danger after Cornick nipped in and initially eluded Alphonse Areola with some nimble footwork.

West Ham displayed a little more purpose. Horvath stuck out a glove to deny Vlašić. The stopper then produced an even better save to thwart Michail Antonio after a wicked deflection had sent the Hammers’ striker clear on goal. Luton responded. Allan Campbell perhaps should have done better, but scuffed wide when provided with an opening from fifteen yards. Then Areola saved with his feet at the foot of an upright after Doughty drilled in a low shot from an acute angle.

Antonio was horribly off target in the final moments. Luton capitalised. Skipper, Bradley found himself with an open goal, two yards out. An opportunity he was never going to pass up.

Luton Town: Horvath, Burke, Osho, Bradley (Capt), Doughty (Mendes Gomes 75′), Clark, Campbell (Pereira 75′), Bree, Berry (Woodrow 61′), Cornick (Morris 67′), Adebayo (Potts 80′) Subs not used: Isted (GK), Macey (GK), Lockyer, Haygarth, Muskwe

Booked: None

Goals: Bradley 90+2′

West Ham United: Areola, Johnson, Zouma, Cresswell, Coufal, Souček (Downes 83′), Rice (Capt) (Coventry 75′), Masuaku (Ashby 64′), Benrahma (Antonio 46′), Fornals (Vlašić 46′), Bowen (Lanzini 64′) Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Trott (GK), Baptiste, Okoflex, Mubama

Booked: None

Goals: Tomas Souček 27′

Referee: Dean Whitestone 

Assistants: Sam Lewis and Andy Aylott

Fourth Official: Alan Young

Attendance: 7,010

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]