Luton v Huddersfield: Championship playoff semi-final, first leg – as it happened | Championship

Match report: Luton Town 1-1 Huddersfield

Championship play-off first leg: Luton captain Sonny Bradley restored parity for Luton after Danel Sinani had fired Huddersfield ahead in an engrossing game. Nick Ames reports from Kenilworth Road …

Duane Holmes speaks: “Yes, 100 per cent,” the Huddersfield midfielder tells Sky Sports, upon being asked if he’d have taken that result before the game. “It’s a game of two legs and we’re going back to our place now. We’re still in the tie although we’re disappointed to concede that kind of goal when we’ve been so good at defending set plays all year. That’s football so we’ll dust ourselves off and go again Monday.”

Full time: Luton Town 1-1 Huddersfield Town

Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeeep! It’s all square after the first half of this two-legged tie but Huddersfield have the advantage in taking their opponents back to Yorkshire.

Against the run of play in the first half, Danel Sinani fired Huddersfield ahead in the first half only for Sonny Bradley to get on the end of a Kal Naismith free-kick to restore parity. Both sides could and should have been awarded penalties but a draw seems fair enough going into Monday’s second leg.

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones salutes the fans after the League Championship play-off semi-final, first leg
Luton Town manager Nathan Jones salutes the fans after the final whistle. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

90+4 mins: Pipa wins a throw-in for Hudersfield halfway inside the Luton half. They win another, nearer the corner flag. The ball is deleted into the box and Luton clear. It’s full-time.

90+2 mins: Jordan Rhodes is booked after grappling over a 50-50 ball with James Bree and falling on top of him as the pair went to ground. That seemed a little harsh.

90 mins: We’ll have a minimum of four added minutes, but Huddersfield goalkeeper Lee Nicholls is standing over a goal-kick, which will probably eat into most of that.

89 mins: Luton substitution (or is it a Norwich substitution?): Cameron Jerome makes way for Robert Snodgrass.

88 mins: Sorba Thomas’s corner, an outswinger, is put out for another. Luton goalkeeper Matt Ingram misjudges the flight of the ball but it curls wide of the far post.

87 mins: Luton corner. Kel Naismith sends the ball straight into the gloves of Lee Nicholls, who doesn’t waste time on this occasion and sends the ball upfield on the counter. Huddersfield win a corner of their own after good work from Pipa.

84 mins: Luton’s Jordan Clark cuts inside from the left, unleashes a shot and sends the ball fizzing high over the bar. Huddersfield substitution: Sorba Thomas on for their goalscorer Danel Sinani. Another Wales international takes to the field.

82 mins: Already on a warning for time-wasting over his kick-outs, Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Lee Nicholls continues to waste time without incurring a booking. Luton’s fans are unimpressed with his antics and let him know in the strongest possible terms.

80 mins: Luton central defender Reece Burke goes down injured with cramp and is replaced by Danny Hylton, a centre-forward who is often used in midfield. The home side switch to a back four.

78 mins: Hudderrsfield gallop upfield on the counter with Duane Holmes on the ball. He drives forward, playing it diagonally into the path of Lewis O’Brien, whose shot is utterly feeble. They should have scored!

76 mins: Huddersfield gets the ball wide and Pipa finally gets a decent cross into the Luton penalty area, but it’s cleared.

74 mins: Luton clear Huddersfield’s fourth corner in quick succession. The ball is sent back towards the far post from outside the Luton penalty area, where Harry Toffolo is caught off balance and trips over before he can steer a shot goalwards.

Luton's Cameron Jerome heads clear.
Luton’s Cameron Jerome heads clear. Photograph: Simon Dael/Shutterstock

72 mins: From that corner, Huddersfield win another and then another, with Cameron Jerome putting the ball out on the third occasion. Jon Russell is wreaking havoc in the Luton box and almost has the shirt pulled off his back by a defender.

70 mins: Huddersfield win another corner, the ball going out off Sonny Bradley from Pipa. Huddersfield substitution before it’s taken: Jordan Rhodes on for Danny Ward.

68 mins: A Huddersfield corner is cleared. The ball comes to Pipa on the right wing but once again, he completely overhits his cross.

67 mins: I thought that might be a “tactical” injury from Lansbury, but he limps off. He’s replaced in the Luton midfield by Wales international Tom Lockyer.

64 mins: Sonny Bradley gets a crucial touch on a ball from deep aimed towards Danny Ward in the Luton penalty area. There’s a break in play as Henri Lansbury goes down in need of attention to a calf injury. Luton could do with the pause in play, as Huddersfield are dominating.

63 mins: Sinani sends Pipa darting down the right wing as Huddersfield get the ball out wide but his cross is overhit and too high for Danny Ward.

63 mins: Huddersfield continues to huff and puff but are unable to blow Kenilworth Road down.

Huddersfield Town's Tom Lees (left) and Luton Town's Cameron Jerome battle for the ball.
Huddersfield Town’s Tom Lees (left) and Luton Town’s Cameron Jerome battle for the ball. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

58 mins: Kal Naismith gets booked for Fernandinho-ing Duane Holmes as the Huddersfield Town midfielder threatened to dart past him in a dangerous positon. From the free-kick, the ball is sent into the Luton penalty area, where Sonny Bradley drags Naby Sarr to the ground at the far post. It’s a blatant foul and referee Robert Jones has a clear view but for reasons best known to himself he elects not to award a penalty.

56 mins: Danel Sunani makes a run in behind for Huddersfield but Duane Holmes underhits his pass from deep and fails to play the ball into his path. Sunani waves in appreciation for the thought behind the pass, if not the execution of it.

54 mins: A Huddersfield corner is followed by another one, with Cameron Jerome putting the ball out of play. The second one is headed clear, then helped along by Harry Cornick, who boots the ball out for a throw-in near the halfway line.

52 mins: Danny Ward shoots on the turn from the edge of the Luton penalty area. Good block by Sonny Bradley, who stretches out a leg. He’s everywhere, the Luton captain.

49 mins: Luton corner. Kal Naismith’s superb delivery to the far post is clearly bundled wide by Huddersfield defender Tom Lees under pressure from Sonny Bradley, but Jones incorrectly awards a goal-kick. Luton’s players are furious.

Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Lee Nicholls attempts to punch clear.
Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Lee Nicholls attempts to punch clear. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

47 mins: Pipa lined up in position for the start of the second half before being officially “brought on”. A stickler for the rules, referee Robert Jones forces him to run all the way back to the near touchline so he can sprint all the way back again. Ridiculous.

Second half: Luton 1-1 Huddersfield

46 mins: Play resumes with Luton kicking off. Huddersfield have made a change, with right wing-back Ollie Turton, who was struggling with injury towards the end of the first half, making way for the Spaniard, Pipa.

Halftime: Luton 1-1 Huddersfield

Peep! Referee Robert Jones blows for the interval and the players walk off for their half-time brew. It’s all square at the break, after Luton’s Sonny Bradley canceled out Danel Sinani’s opener for the visitors.

45+2 mins: Huddersfield free-kick, on the inside right wing a long way from the Luton goal. Sinani raises his right arm and sends the ball into the mixer, where it’s cleared.

45 mins: We’re into two minutes of added time at the end of a massively entertaining first half, in which both teams have scored a goal each and both have had stone-wall penalty claims denied.

42 mins: Attempting a needless Cruyff turn, Jonny Russell loses the ball in midfield and Luton goes forward. Cameron Jerome pulls the ball into the penalty area, where Henri Lansbury shoots. Naby Sarr blocks. A let-off for Huddersfield.

40 mins: Good anticipation from Luton goalkeeper Matt Ingram, who denies Danny Ward after the Huddersfield striker skimmed a header towards the far post after connecting with a Danel Sinani ball from deep.

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