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Luton draw 10-man Wolves to earn first point

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Carlton Morris has scored two of Luton's three Premier League goals this season, both of which were penalties
Carlton Morris scores a penalty for Luton

Luton claimed their first-ever Premier League point with a 1-1 draw against 10-man Wolves at Kenilworth Road, but it was a chance wasted for the Hatters, who were by far the better side in an incident-packed contest.

Striker Carlton Morris secured a draw when he sent Jose Sa the wrong way from the spot 25 minutes after Joao Gomes had handled.

But Luton should have won given they played the majority of the contest with a man advantage after Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was sent off for kicking Tom Lockyer.

They had the majority of possession and amassed 18 shots compared to their opponents’ three.

Morris struck a post early in the game, Jacob Brown had three headed chances, and Cauley Woodrow had a goal-bound effort deflected over deep into stoppage time.

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Nevertheless, Luton ended up being thankful for former Barnsley man Morris’ second goal of the season after they had fallen behind to a superb solo effort from Pedro Neto five minutes after the break.

Luton remain at the bottom of the table, although that will change if Burnley loses against Manchester United on Saturday evening.

Luton will be pleased to have something on the board from the first of three matches against sides who are also struggling near the foot of the table.

But after those meetings with Everton and Burnley come a run of fixtures that include encounters with five of England’s ‘big six’ before the middle of December.

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This was another reminder of the massive strides Luton have taken in recent times, given that the last meeting between the sides was in the FA Cup just over a decade ago, when Luton were a National League side.

They won that day and should have repeated that success on this occasion.

Even when both sides had 11 men, Luton were the more cohesive unit, and in the first 20 minutes, they should have profited from the space they were afforded around the Wolves box.

Morris seemed sure his shot from the edge of the box was curling in. Sa was nowhere near it, but the post got in the way, and the visitors escaped.

The Wolves also breathed a sigh of relief when Craig Dawson misplaced a pass intended for Sa, which Max Kilman had to get across to clear before Luton’s swarm of attackers could pounce.

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In the final stages, Chiedozie Ogbene tapped into an empty net, but what would have been the winner was ruled out for offside.

Bellegarde, a £12.8 million summer signing from Strasbourg, should really have known better than to react in the incident that brought his dismissal.

The former France Under-21 international was certainly prevented from getting to his feet by Lockyer after they both ended up on the ground following a midfield tangle, and the home skipper also made the most of the contact that followed.

But there was enough aggression in Bellegarde’s move to shove his boot into Lockyer’s thigh to justify referee Josh Smith issuing a red card in only his second top-flight match, and the video assistant referee did not overturn.

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At that point, the situation looked bleak for the Wolves, but Gary O’Neil’s side battled superbly and got bodies in the way of danger.

And, thanks to Neto, they had one moment of genuine class in the game.

Gomes started it with an astute long pass into space for the Portugal international. Neto outpaced Lockyer to reach the ball first, then had the strength to nudge his opponent away before cutting into the box and delivering a fine finish.

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