Disgraceful scenes as punches thrown between rival fans at Stevenage v Luton derby
- Credit: Archant
Match report: Stevenage 0 Luton Town 0
Punches were thrown between rival supporters as ugly scenes marred the end of this encounter as Boro claimed a point at home to Luton Town.
With just four minutes remaining a handful of Luton’s supporters in the Austin Stand took exception to the sending off of their striker Paul Benson, and ran across the pitch to the home supporters in the East Terrace looking for trouble.
One Luton fan in particular jumped over the advertising hoardings before throwing punches at a home supporter with the police quickly on the scene before the game continued to a goalless end.
Afterwards Luton boss John Still said: “To the people who left where they should be (The Austin Stand) and went to where they shouldn’t be (The East Terrace), the game’s not about that.
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“If you think you’re a Luton supporter or a football supporter, you’re not. Stay where you should be. Support your team. Have a bit of banter, but there’s no place in football for that.”
The game had been something of a slow burner, with a quiet first half being followed by a much more tasty second period.
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In the first half Stevenage striker Armand Gnanduillet scuffed a shot wide while Chris Whelpdale fired off target twice.
Luton had the best chance, though, but Chris Day saved from Josh McQuoid before Dean Wells scooped the ball clear off the line under pressure.
In the second half Still thought Wells should have seen red when he was booked for a handball under pressure from a Luton striker with only Day between them and the goal, while Benson then forced a save out of the Boro goalkeeper when Wells headed into his path.
Fraser Franks had Boro’s best chance of the half, driving a low effort straight at Mark Tyler in the visitors’ goal, while Gnanduillet played a delightful one-two with new loan signing Jamille Matt, only to fire off target.
Danny Green then struck the bar for the visitors from a free-kick before Olly Lee forced a save out of Day following some nice skill, while McQuoid also hit the bar with a decent header as Luton searched for a winner.
However, with just moments of the game Benson saw red. His two feet were off the ground but it looked like he missed making contact with Tom Conlon, but the Luton fans were incensed with the decision and the aforementioned trouble began.
Boro will be satisfied with a point against an in-form Luton side, and they must now travel to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday as they look to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to four games.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Ogilvie, Franks, Wells, Whelpdale (Matt 62), Kennedy, Schumacher, Pett, Gnanduillet, Lee (Conlon 67). Subs: Voss, McCombe, Hughes, Marriott, Gorman.
Luton Town: Tyler, Smith, Cuthbert, Lawless, McGeehan (J Marriott 67), Benson, Green (Long 87) Griffiths, Lee (O’Brien 89), McQuoid, Wilkinson. Subs: Justham, McCourt, Guttridge, Mackail-Smith.