Penalty joy for Stevenage as they beat Luton Town in the Carabao Cup

Ben Coker got Stevenage's second goal against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup from a free-kick

Ben Coker got Stevenage's second goal against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup from a free-kick. - Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO

For the second season running Stevenage's first-round game in the Carabao Cup needed penalties to be decided - but this time they were on the winning side.

They had lost last year to Portsmouth after a 3-3 draw and there was another four goals this time around, the 90 minutes against neighbours Luton Town finishing 2-2.

And it was the on-loan West Ham United keeper Joseph Anang who proved the hero as Stevenage won through 3-0 in the shoot-out. 

Twice the 20-year-old guessed right to stop Harry Cornick and Carlos Mendes-Gomes while Dion Pereira sent his effort way over the top.

They weren't the greatest of penalties but the keeper still needed to stop them.

Meanwhile successful conversions from Chris Lines, Luther James-Wildin and Jake Reeves ended the shootout and brought joy to most of the crowd inside the Lamex.

Before the game team the team selection had been the main topic of conversation with the two sides taking very different approaches.

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Boro made just two changes from Saturday's opening League Two match with Barrow, bringing in Charlie Carter and Elliott List for Lines and Luke Norris.

Luton on the other hand made 10 swaps, Gabriel Osho the only survivor from the starting line-up in the 3-0 win over Peterborough United.

Elliott List gave Stevenage the perfect start against Luton Town with a goal inside two minutes

Elliott List gave Stevenage the perfect start against Luton Town with a goal inside two minutes. - Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO

And you can perhaps say the changes were a direct cause of the opening goal after 99 seconds but that takes away from the delivery of the pass to him and the control of List.

Elliot Osborne played the ball over the top which List pushed wide of the advancing James Shea and then won the foot race to knock it home despite two defenders on the line.

The lead lasted just three minutes though after a free-kick conceded by Terence Vancooten, a foul that brought the Boro defender a booking.

The defending could be questioned though and probably will be by manager Alex Revell but the delivery found the advancing Cameron Jerome, making his first appearance, in space and he headed it beyond Anang.

Ben Coker scores Stevenage's second goal against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup from a free-kick

Ben Coker scores Stevenage's second goal against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup from a free-kick. - Credit: DAVID LOVEDAY/TGS PHOTO

It was a set-piece that put Stevenage back in front though and while Ben Coker's effort did take a deflection, it was on target so will go to the full-back.

They managed to hold that lead for 14 minutes but it was level at the break, Admiral Muskwe with a sharp and quick hit after a low cross from Peter Kioso.

For the rest of the half, the home side had the ascendancy but other than another free-kick from Coker which went over the bar and a header from a corner which Anang had to save between his knees, chances were at a premium.

The huff and puff continued after the restart and while there continued to be some impressive passages of play, little triangles and clever passing, the final delivery was missing, leaving the strikers starved of clear-cut chances.

The final 20 minutes saw a couple of substitutes and the game suddenly getting very stretched.

Carter had one header straight at the keeper after a good build-up and then Osborne should have done better after being set up by Norris but he opted to cut inside and the chance went begging.

At the other end Scott Cuthbert produced a great last-ditch tackle to deny Cornick a free shot at goal from eight yards.

Cornick then should have given Luton the lead after a lovely slide-rule pass through to him but from deep inside the box on the right , he pulled it across goal and wide. 

Stevenage's desire for pens became more and more obvious as time ticked away and Anang had the Luton fans behind his goal incensed at the time-wasting tactics, slowly getting up from gathering the ball and slow to quick to kick it back up the field.

James-WIldin averted the last dangerous move for Luton with a clearance off the line before Anang got the last laugh with his heroics.


Stevenage: Anang, James-Wildin, Coker, Reeves, Cuthbert, List (Lines 70), Taylor, Carter (Smith 77), Osborne, Vancooten, Reid (Norris 59).

Subs (not used): Bastien, Prosser, Marshall, Williams.

Goals: List 2, Coker 26

Booked: Vancooten 4


Luton Town: Shea, Rea, Lee (Campbell 79), Menes-Gomes, Lockyer, Kioso, Lansbury, Muskwe (Pereira 72), Osho, Beckwith, Jerome (Cornick 72).

Subs (not used): Bree, Isted, Jones, McJannett.

Goals: Jerome 5, Muskwe 40

Booked: Lansbury 44, Osho 56, Rea 58


HT: Stevenage 2 Luton Town 2

Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey)

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