Luton Town 1-1 Millwall: George Evans’ last-gasp header earns Lions draw

January signing Elijah Adebayo scored his first Luton goal on his first start - but did not end up on the winning side
January signing Elijah Adebayo scored his first Luton goal on his first start – but did not end up on the winning side

George Evans’ 95th-minute header earned Millwall their 16th Championship draw of the season to rescue a point against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

January signing Elijah Adebayo looked to have won it for the hosts after opening his Luton goalscoring account in the 55th minute.

The former Walsall striker was given his first start by Hatters boss Nathan Jones and responded when he trapped Ryan Tunnicliffe’s right-wing cross beautifully at the far post before rather scuffing a low left-foot shot which squirmed under Millwall keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

But Gary Rowett’s Millwall are not renowned as the second tier’s draw kings for nothing, and Evans salvaged yet another point to stretch their unbeaten run to eight games, five of which have been draws.

It was midfielder Evans’ first goal for the club since arriving from Derby on transfer deadline day at the start of the month.

But, although Adebayo could have made it 2-0 moments after his goal, when he headed over at the back post, Millwall deserved an equaliser for their spirited late finish.

First, Scott Malone’s cross almost caught out keeper Simon Sluga, who had to tip onto his own bar and behind.

The Croatian then stood up excellently to keep out Mason Bennett’s close-range shot, then tipped away Jed Wallace’s free-kick, before Mahlon Romeo scuffed waywardly after a rare short set-piece.

Substitute Matt Smith then hooked a volley over at the back post following a deep cross. But big striker Smith’s aerial presence proved telling when Shaun Williams crossed and he headed on for former Manchester City youngster Evans to steal in at the far post and head home.

January window signing George Evans' 95th-minute equalising header at Luton was his first goal in three and a half years
January window signing George Evans’ 95th-minute equalising header at Luton was his first goal in three and a half years

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones:

“When you’ve only got one goal you’re always susceptible, especially against a side like these who go direct and we’ve come unstuck. But I’m really disappointed.

“It’s really hard to speak about all the positives as I feel so down. We probably deserved three points but it’s so disappointing with the lateness of the goal and the manner.

“We knew when they brought Matt Smith on what’s going to happen and we’ve worked for that. We’ve had two six-foot-plus players marking him on the back post and we still lose the header.

“The performance was positive. We made a lot of changes and it was chalk and cheese from the ineptitude that we showed on Saturday (against Stoke) so at least we had a reaction.”

Millwall boss Gary Rowett:

“It wasn’t a great performance from us. Overall we had by far the better chances, but just couldn’t play with that calmness in front of goal.

“But we did enough to get in some good positions and then we had our one moment of quality.

“Shaun Williams looks like he’s going to cross it, chops it back on to his right foot, puts over the cross, Smudge heads it and George continues a really good start to his Millwall career by getting us a point.

“It was just a lack of quality within our team. I thought it was going to be a difficult game, as we can’t make lots and lots of changes. Luton made five, but we couldn’t do that as we’ve got so many injuries.”

Line-ups

Luton

Formation 3-5-2

  • 12SlugaBooked at 76mins
  • 2Cranie
  • 5Bradley
  • 3Potts
  • 18Clark
  • 4TunnicliffeBooked at 50minsSubstituted forBerryat 83′minutes
  • 28MorrellSubstituted forReaat 64′minutes
  • 22Dewsbury-HallSubstituted forCornickat 84′minutes
  • 24Naismith
  • 39InceSubstituted forMpanzuat 75′minutes
  • 29AdebayoSubstituted forCollinsat 84′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Shea
  • 7Cornick
  • 8Berry
  • 9Hylton
  • 14Moncur
  • 16Rea
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 19Collins
  • 26Bree

Millwall

Formation 3-4-3

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 4HutchinsonBooked at 15mins
  • 15Pearce
  • 28Evans
  • 12Romeo
  • 19WoodsSubstituted forWilliamsat 75′minutes
  • 8ThompsonSubstituted forBennettat 61′minutes
  • 14Malone
  • 7J Wallace
  • 22BödvarssonSubstituted forBureyat 75′minutes
  • 9BradshawSubstituted forSmithat 61′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Fielding
  • 6Williams
  • 10Smith
  • 20Bennett
  • 23McNamara
  • 24Mitchell
  • 27Tiensia
  • 32Burey

Referee:
Graham Scott

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Luton Town 1, Millwall 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Luton Town 1, Millwall 1.

  3. Dan Potts (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Foul by Tyler Burey (Millwall).

  5. Goal! Luton Town 1, Millwall 1. George Evans (Millwall) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Smith with a headed pass.

  6. Foul by Luke Berry (Luton Town).

  7. Mahlon Romeo (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Millwall) left footed shot from very close range is too high. Assisted by Mason Bennett with a headed pass.

  9. Foul by Luke Berry (Luton Town).

  10. George Evans (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Glen Rea (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Foul by Jed Wallace (Millwall).

  13. Jordan Clark (Luton Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Foul by George Evans (Millwall).

  15. James Collins (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Foul by George Evans (Millwall).

  17. Substitution, Luton Town. James Collins replaces Elijah Adebayo.

  18. Substitution, Luton Town. Harry Cornick replaces Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

  19. Substitution, Luton Town. Luke Berry replaces Ryan Tunnicliffe.

  20. Attempt missed. Mahlon Romeo (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.