MATCH REPORT | Luton Town 2 Charlton 2

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A last-gasp Chris Solly volley earned Charlton a dramatic point at Luton Town in Sky Bet League One on Saturday afternoon.

The full-back’s leveller – his first Addicks goal in six seasons – came with just seconds remaining to extend his team’s unbeaten league run to half a dozen games.

Charlton had held a half-time lead - given to them by a Tariqe Fosu penalty – but second-half strikes from Harry Cornick and James Collins looked to have turned the match around for the Hatters.

But Solly’s leveller ensured that the Addicks – who head to Scunthorpe United on Tuesday – will end the month of September having not tasted defeat.

In terms of team news, Lee Bowyer made two changes from last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle, with Igor Vetokele and Fosu coming in for Karlan Grant and Jamie Ward. The latter pair were both struggling with knocks.

The first shot in anger arrived in the third minute when Ben Reeves fired an effort straight at home stopper James Shea.

The hosts responded a minute later when Elliot Lee curled a 20-yard strike off target and the Addicks were next to go close when Lyle Taylor forced Shea to tip a low shot of his behind for a corner.

On eight minutes, Charlton launched a dangerous counter attack. Fosu broke forward and fed Taylor on the left, he squared the ball back into the box but the Hatters managed to scramble the ball clear.

It was hopefully a sign of things to come from Charlton but, before their next attack, Luton aimed a shot at goal but Andrew Shinnie’s low effort skidded a few yards wide.

It was the Hatters who applied the next spell of pressure and they wasted a good chance to take the lead with 22 minutes on the clock. Rampaging full-back Jack Stacey broke down the right and sent in a low cross that Shinnie met at the back post. His first-time effort was probably heading wide but Jason Pearce took no chances and hacked the ball to safety.

The Addicks made the most of their break as, three minutes later, they took the lead. Joe Aribo was tripped inside the penalty area, giving referee Anthony Coggins little option other than to point to the penalty spot.

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Fosu put the ball down and made no mistake with his kick, sending Shea the wrong way from 12 yards. It was the former Reading man’s first strike of the season and it rewarded him for a bright start to the game.

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Charlton goalkeeper Jed Steer plucked a deflected Shinnie strike out of the air with 35 minutes gone and, at the other end, Ben Reeves had a strike well blocked inside the area by the Town defence.

One minute was added on at the end of the first period and Luton thought they had levelled the scores in stoppage time. James Collins steered the ball home from close range but he was adjudged to have been offside.

Taylor fired a shot over the crossbar for the Addicks three minutes after half-time and on 56 minutes the Hatters created their first chance of the second period.

Steer kept out a low shot from Lee with his legs and the Town striker fired his follow-up effort against the outside of the post.

Charlton had started the second half the better and Reeves flashed a left-footed strike just wide on 68 minutes.

At the other end, Luton came close to levelling when Stacey found substitute Harry Cornick inside the box, but he could only shoot over the bar from a tight angle.

On 74 minutes – 60 seconds after his previous chance, Cornick did level for the Hatters. He was first to latch onto a flick-on and poked the ball beyond the onrushing Steer and into an empty net.

The hosts now had their tails up and they went in search of a winner on 80 minutes when Lee took aim from inside the box but Steer was just about equal to his shot.

Luton completed their comeback a minute later, though. A brilliant shot from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu crashed against the post and Collins was first on hand to tuck away the rebound.

It was gutting for the Addicks, who had controlled much of the match, but they refused to give up and came close to equalising when Pearce had a header well blocked by a man in orange.

Five minutes of stoppage time were indicated. It looked as if Charlton’s unbeaten run would be coming to an end but, in the added-on period, the Addicks laid siege to the hosts’ goal and would force an equaliser.

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First, Pearce headed a cross against the crossbar, with Naby Sarr’s follow-up being nodded off the line. From the corner that followed, Aribo suffered the same fate as Pearce, with his header smashing the goal frame.

But from the next corner – with the clock on 95 – they would bag a dramatic equaliser. Josh Cullen’s kick was cleared high into the air and standing underneath it was Solly who volleyed home – via a slight deflection – to rescue a point for his team and send the packed-out away end absolutely potty. 

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Luton Town: Shea, Potts, Bradley, Pearson, Stacey, Lee, Shinnie (Justin 90), Rea (c), Mpanzu, J Grant (Cornick 66), Collins.

Subs (not used): Isted, McCormack, LuaLua, Jarvis, Sheehan.

Goals: Cornick 74, Collins 81

Booked: Rea 64 (foul on Fosu) Lee 90+7 (foul on Cullen)

Charlton: Steer, Solly, Pearce (c), Sarr, Page, Cullen, Aribo, Reeves (Lapslie 83), Fosu (Ajose 85), Taylor, Vetokele (Grant 76).

Subs (not used): Phillips, Dijksteel, Marshall, Pratley.

Goals: Fosu (pen) 23, Solly 95

Booked: Page 62 (delaying a free-kick), Cullen 78 (foul on Lee), Lapslie 90+5 (retrieving the ball)

Referee: A Coggins.

Attendance: 9,502 (1,032 from Charlton)

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