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Adebayo rescues struggling Luton in draw against Everton

Elijah Adebayo kept Luton in the fight to avoid relegation from the Premier League when his equalizing goal rescued a 1-1 draw against Everton on Friday.

Rob Edwards’ side were trailing thanks to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s penalty, but Adebayo scored the crucial equalizer before half-time at Kenilworth Road.

Despite picking up just one win in their last 15 league games, third-bottom Luton are still in the fight to overcome the drop.

They trail fourth-bottom Nottingham Forest on goal difference, and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will face already relegated Sheffield United on Saturday.

A victory for Forest at Bramall Lane would put them three points ahead of Luton, who have two games remaining, against West Ham and Fulham, to avoid an immediate return to the Championship after last season’s fairytale promotion.

Luton’s survival bid is further complicated by the wait for a verdict on Forest’s appeal against their four-point deduction for financial breaches, with an announcement from the Premier League expected before the end of the season.

Despite dropping eight points as punishment for their own financial breaches, Everton had already secured their Premier League status with three games remaining.

Winners of their previous three matches, Sean Dyche’s side had nothing to play for on their first visit to Kenilworth Road in 17 years, but they did enough to frustrate the superstitious Edwards.

Edwards revealed this week that he drives the same route to the stadium, uses the same toothpaste and walks his dog at a certain time of day if Luton are on a winning streak.

Defeated in his last three games, Edwards needed a change of fortune so he said he would change his underwear for the Everton clash.

LUTON DIG DEEP

Unfortunately for Edwards, Luton’s luck was lost early on as Tahith Chong appealed in vain for an early penalty after tripping as Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford ran out to challenge the Luton striker.

Teden Mengi gifted Everton a penalty in the 23rd minute when he unnecessarily brought down Jarrad Branthwaite as the pair jostled in a corner.

Calvert-Lewin stepped up to drill the penalty through the middle for his fourth goal in his last five games.

But Luton had no intention of giving up and seven minutes later they equalized.

Aiming again and again at Everton’s Ashley Young, Luton’s persistence paid off when Adebayo controlled Albert Sambi Lokonga’s high pass on his chest, worked his way past the veteran defender and curled a superb finish past Pickford from 10 yards.

Making his first start since February following a hamstring injury, Adebayo had taken his goal tally for the season to 10.

Luton striker Carlton Morris had a commanding header which Ben Godfrey cleared off the line just before the break.

The Hatters pressed hard in the second half and their former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley headed in from a good position.

Jack Harrison nearly put Everton in front against the run of play with a deflected effort that was deflected under the bar by Thomas Kaminski.

Calvert-Lewin’s powerful header forced a brilliant finish from Kaminski, while Pickford saved a fine header from Luke Berry in stoppage time.