Great finish but Stevenage and Luton Town end level
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
A breathless last five minutes saw Stevenage hold near rivals Luton Town to a 1-1 draw.
Boro had dominated the second half but seemed to be heading to a heartbreaking defeat after the visitors to the Lamex Stadium scored a penalty on 85 minutes through James Collins.
But Danny Newton, who had only been on for six minutes, thundered home a header from a corner just three minutes later.
And they had chances to snatch what would have been a deserved three points.
Firstly Ben Kennedy put the ball in the net but Mark McKee’s pass as Stevenage countered was delayed just a fraction delayed and the flag went up for offside.
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Then Johnny Goddard had a free-kick from a very good central position but he could only put it over.
It was right that they didn’t lose though after a superb second-half performance.
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The Boro faithful have had to endure the taunts of their near neighbours after the 7-1 thumping at Kenilworth Road earlier in the season and watch as they surged clear at the top of the Sky Bet League Two table.
But even if they didn’t get the win, the performance will give them plenty of reasons to hold their head up and was a much needed reaction to last week’s defeat at Accrington Stanley as well.
Luton really threatened in the second period. Stevenage did though.
Alex Revell had obviously taken Darren Sarll’s half-time words of wisdom to heart and in the first 12 minutes he had three chances that went wide.
The first was probably the best of the bunch and came just 19 seconds after the restart when Godden crossed from the left wing.
The big number nine got his head to it but he couldn’t direct it and it looped up and dropped wide of the far post.
Goddard was also in the spotlight after the break as he helped push Boro forward.
The first half, however, was as even as you will get.
Neither side really tested the other keeper with Goddard having Stevenage’s one shot on target, straight at Marek Stech, and Luke Berry hitting a shot through a crowd down the throat of Tom King.
The Stevenage keeper did have more touches than his opposite number but none of them were from dangerous Hatters chances.
At the other end Stevenage would regularly get crosses or free-kicks pumped into the box but they were mostly from deeper positions with the Luton centre-back pairing of Alan Sheehan and Glenn Rea gobbled up with ease.
Luke Amos had a good chance very early on, intercepting a Luton pass high up the pitch and pushing forward down the right wing.
But he only had Matt Godden to aim for in the middle and unfortunately the striker was looking for space.
That meant the cross was delayed and the opportunity was lost.
It was that sort of half.
The only other moment of note was a clash of heads between Jack King and Jonathan Smith which eventually saw the former head off the pitch to be replaced by Fraser Franks.
Boro: T.King, Henry, Wilmott, Van Cooten, J.King (Franks 40), Goddard, Smith, Amos (Kennedy 73), Revell, McKee, Godden (Newton 82)
Subs (not used): Fryer, Wilkinson, Bowditch, Conlon
Goal: Newton 88
Luton: Stech, Potts, Sheehan, Rea, Stacey, Downes (Ruddock-Mpanzu 75), Berry (D’Ath 78), O.Lee, Cornick, Jervis (Shinnie 61), Collins
Subs (not used): Shea, Justin, Gambin, Jones
Goal: Collins pen 85
HT: Stevenage 0 Luton Town 0
Referee: Darren Handley (Bolton)
Attendance: 4,365 (1,889 from Luton)