Elijah Adebayo gives Luton a valuable point against Everton

Luton kept their Premier League survival hopes alive when Elijah Adebayo’s excellent first-half equalizer rescued a 1-1 draw against Everton at Kenilworth Road.

Having not started a game since February, Luton’s top scorer announced his return from injury in spectacular fashion, receiving a high ball on his chest and fooling Ashley Young before sending a shot beyond Jordan Pickford to win a valuable point.

This moved Rob Edwards’ side level with 17th-placed Nottingham Forest ahead of their relegation rivals’ meeting with Sheffield United on Saturday, although with just one win now in their last 14 league games, the Hatters face an uphill battle to remain in the top flight. .

Things looked like they were going to get tougher when Everton took the lead after 24 minutes, Luton defender Teden Mengi bringing down Jarrad Branthwaite at a corner, allowing Dominic Calvert-Lewin the chance to score his seventh. goal of the season in the league from the penalty spot. .

Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted from a penalty (fake images)

Thomas Kaminski in the Luton goal twice saved his team with superb saves in the second half as the hosts held on to prolong their survival hopes.

It was necessary to wait until midway through the first half for both teams to threaten, a fizzing cross from Dwight McNeil deflected into his own goal by Mengi, the defender saving thanks to a point-blank save from Kaminski.

Luton had survived an early calamity, but Mengi would still be the architect of his team’s downfall. Dealing with Branthwaite in an Everton corner, he knocked his opponent to the ground as the ball floated, although neither player was close to the play.

The VAR called referee Tim Robinson to the monitor and the prize was a penalty which Calvert-Lewin, amid a barrage of boos and jeers directed at the referees by the home fans, coolly scored.

Luton’s response was imminent. Albert Sambi Lokonga started, launching a high pass towards Adebayo, who was being followed closely by Young. The Luton striker took the ball on his chest and as he did so, the off-balance Young fell to the ground, leaving Adebayo unhindered eight yards out as he equalized with a left-footed shot past Pickford.

Elijah Adebayo’s goal could prove vital for Luton (fake images)

Edwards’ team deserved to be even. It had been a cohesive and committed first half in which the urgency of his situation came to the fore in a storm of running and bullying.

It might even have ended with Luton leading, had Carlton Morris’s 18-yard effort curled inside the post instead of spinning past it.

The second half brought an avalanche of pressure from Luton.

Tahith Chong made a series of wild sprints down the left, while on the other flank Fred Onyedinma was a threat as the home team looked to attack from the wings in search of a winner.

However, it was Everton who almost took the lead in the 68th minute, when Jack Harrison fired into the top corner only to be denied by the first of two superb saves from Kaminski.

The second came with 13 minutes left as Everton’s pressure grew, this time Calvert-Lewin rose to head towards the goal but was thwarted by the Belgian goalkeeper’s reflexes.

Luke Berry’s spectacular overhead kick in stoppage time deflected wide, and Luton had to settle for what could still be a critical point.