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Hatters cap hard working away performance with Bramall Lane three points

Play off chasing Luton Town appeared to rubber stamp their credentials for a top two finish – as Carlton Morris’ second half goal gave them a 1-0 victory away to Sheffield United.

27-year-old Morris scooped the ball home after good build up play down the right from strike partner Elijah Adebayo. It was his 15th league goal of the season and only Chuba Akpom and Viktor Gyokeres have scored more in the Championship this season.

Chances were at a premium for the majority of the game, with Billy Sharp and Ollie McBurnie squandering chances late on to steal a point. This was Luton’s first victory over the South Yorkshire since 1996, and it was the Blades fourth league home loss of the season – three of those being a 0-1 scoreline.

The Blades now only have a four point gap to third place Middlesbrough, after they came from behind to win 3-1 at Swansea. Today’s victors leapfrog Blackburn Rovers into fourth and are just seven points from second with 10 games to play.

First Half

The first 45 minutes was largely uneventful, with the only chance falling to the hosts. Max Lowe’s cross was headed straight at Luton stopper Ethan Horvath by Jayden Bogle. Bogle also picked up the game’s first booking for hauling down Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu just outside the are, with Ruddock-Mpanzu being replaced by Luke Berry as a result of the challenge. Berry had a decent half chance for Luton as his effort was fired over the bar after a decent cross from Gabriel Osho. The hosts first real chance of any note fell to Anel Ahmedhodzic, with the Bosnian heading just over after Oliver Norwood’s corner.

Getty Images Ollie McBurnie interacts with match referee Leigh Doughty. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

United just didn’t seem at the races from minute one, with passes going astray and the visitors being the first to most second balls. This riled up the home support who were on the players’ backs for a lot of the first 45 minutes.

Second Half

The Hatters had the lead within eight minutes after the interval after Adebayo’s good work on the right and his cross gave Morris the opportunity to poke past Wes Foderingham from close range. This sent the away end into raptures, with 1,717 Hatters fans making the trip from Bedfordshire.

Getty Images 22/23 is the most prolific of Carlton Morris career. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

Manager Paul Heckingbottom immediate went to the substitutes bench, with Billy Sharp replacing John Fleck. This didn’t have the desired effect, despite the Blades dominating the latter stages of the game. The Hatters dug deep despite late efforts from Sharp and McBurnie to salvage a point. Time wasting tactics were also deployed, much to the anger of the home support.

John Egan’s close range effort summed up the Blades day, as his close range efforts were denied twice by Horvath. Substitute Cauley Woodrow had a golden opportunity to add a second for Luton. He found himself through on goal but fired wide from close range to keep United in the game.

The game was up though as McBurnie headed wide in stoppage time after a cross was pumped deep into the Luton penalty area. Max Lowe even received a late booking for a cynical challenge on Allan Campbell.

The visitors saw the game out though and secured their 15th clean sheet of the season.

Post match thoughts

“It’s a really big win” – those were the immediate words that came out of Luton boss Rob Edwards’ mouth when speaking to media after the game. “I thought the lads were brilliant and you have to be if you are going to win here at Bramall Lane. It’s a really difficult place to come” he continued.

Edwards admitted to being ‘gutted’ to losing Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu early on, especially since Alfie Doughty and Jordan Clark missed the game through injury. “I’m just a little bit gutted as well because I feel for Pelly,” said Edwards. “As I’ve just said to the lads in there, we’ve got to look after each other. We are a family and he gives everything for this club, and then Bez (Luke Berry) when he came on gave absolutely everything, as all of the lads always do, and helped us get over the line.

Getty Images Luton manager Rob Edwards is all smiles after his sides win. They have only lost one of their last 10 league games. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

Edwards was also grateful for the strong travelling support.“It’s a great result, of course it is, and we’ve got to celebrate it and enjoy it, and the supporters have got to. They’ve travelled in great numbers on a long journey, so thank you to them“.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom believes it was the slow start which cost his side. “We were tenative, and that is ultimately what has cost us. We began the second half well its typical to concede a goal when we play the way we want to play. It was a real poor goal from our point of view”

Heckingbottom remains confident though that the squad will bounce back. “The performances have been first class but we need to make sure we get enough in these last 10 games now. In July if we were told we would be in this position, I would have snapped your hand off. Our last four or five games have been won 1-0 but we have created chances to win by more, but we want to make sure we are winning by more and creating more chances”

Getty Images Paul Heckingbottom was disappointed his side lost, bemoaning the fact his side lost with Luton scoring with their only shot on target. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Match Details

Luton: Horvath, Drameh, Osho, Lockyer (C), Bell, Onyedinma (Bradley 84′) Nakamba, Mpanzu (Berry 26′), Campbell, Morris (Woodrow 76′), Adebayo. 

Subs not used: Shea, Lansbury, Muskwe, Taylor.

Sheffield United: Foderingham, Bogle, Egan (C), Lowe, Ahmedhodzic, Norwood (Doyle 69′), Robinson (McAtee 70′), Berge, Fleck (Sharp 59′), Ndiaye, McBurnie.

Subs not used: Davies, Baldock, Basham, Clark.

REFEREE: Leigh Doughty

ATTENDANCE: 28,406 (1,717 away fans)

Getty Images An aerial view of Bramall Lane prior to the game. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

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