Hatters suffer penalty woe as Waders reach final

Paul Benson
Paul Benson

Luton Town were knocked out of the Beds Senior Cup on Wednesday night as they were beaten 4-2 on penalties by Southern League Premier Division side Biggleswade Town.

The visitors failed to convert two spot kicks at the Carlsberg Stadium and the Waders netted all four to book a place in the final against Barton Rovers.

Luton fielded a strong Development side including Paul Benson, Alex Lawless, Alex Wall, Fraser Franks, Luke Rooney, Ryan Hall and Alex Lacey, but there was little to choose between them and their hosts as it ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Both sides struggled to hold on to possession in the early stages but Lawless put an early shot wide while Waders’ David Hutton jinked his way into the box although failed to find the target.

There were shouts for a penalty, Hutton and Danny Fitzsimons both tumbling in opposite penalty boxes, but the referee who was lenient all night waved appeals away.

Josh Beech woke the game up, rifling just over from fully 30 yards out, although Luton who finished the half the stronger, captain Rooney shooting high and Wall’s far post shot well stopped by Ian Brown.

After the break, Town swapped Lawless for Ross Lafayette and the sub had an instant impact, confidently netting from 10 yards out on 51 minutes to put the visitors in front.

Waders’ Connor Roberts was forced to hobble off after a crunching tackle from Rooney but the Hatters skipper escaped with a talking to.

It was now Biggleswade’s turn to push forward and their pressure was rewarded on the hour with an excellent goal. Matt Coulson crossed from the left and Craig Daniel selflessly set up Ollie Thorne to smash past Craig King.

In the last 30 minutes both sides went for a winning goal as Lafayette’s fierce shot was well saved by Brown but neither forward line could find a breakthrough.

From full-time the tie went straight to penalties. The first four kicks were converted as Hall and Rooney netted, but Wall then ballooned his kick over the crossbar.

Lee Allinson comfortably netted to give Waders the advantage and when Brown saved Charlie Smith’s penalty, it was left to Hutton to score and seal the win.

The final will be at Luton’s Kenilworth Road in May.

Biggleswade Town: Brown, Roberts, Coulson, Mawer, Hoyte, Allinson, Daniel, Thorne (Farrell), Beech, McNulty, Hutton.

Luton Town: King, Parry, Smith, Franks, Lacey, Robinson, Lawless (Lafayette), Rooney, Benson (Trotman), Wall, Hall.