Matty Taylor earns Forest Green a point at Luton Town
LUTON TOWN 1 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 1
FOREST Green are still waiting for their first Blue Square Bet Premier win at Kenilworth Road after this spiky encounter.
The teams traded early headed goals from Andre Gray and Matty Taylor before ex-Rover Alex Lawless picked up two bookings in a minute at the start of the second half.
It became ten versus ten on 67 minutes when Al Bangura was dismissed, and in the end it was a hard-earned point for the visitors in one of the division's cauldrons.
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A highly avoidable goal gave Luton the lead inside five minutes. Jake Howells swung over a cross from the left which tempted Sam Russell from his line, but he was beaten to the punch by Gray and the striker's header looped into the empty net.
The leveller came somewhat out of the blue, Taylor soaring majestically to get the perfect contact on Yan Klukowski's free-kick and notch his 11th goal of the season.
The Hatters had a glorious chance to get their noses back in front in the 36th minute when Eddie Oshodi was penalised for a trip on Gray inside the area, but the resulting spot-kick was ballooned over by Gray.
Lawless fell foul of referee Nick Kinseley in a crazy 54th minute, as he was rightly booked for a crude challenge on Norwood and – from the resulting free-kick – picked up a second yellow for bundling into Vieira.
The home fans were enraged, but they soon perked up when former Watford man Bangura fouled Gray and sparked a mass confrontation.
Referee Kinseley was quick to produce a straight red card yet strangely opted not to punish Gray for his reaction, although Bangura was foolish to sarcastically applaud the crowd and shove a steward on his way off.
Sam Russell produced a fine low save to foil Shaw before Rovers fans had their first sight of January signing Dale Bennett, brought on for Oshodi in central defence.
See Monday's Citizen for Peter Orchard's match overview, match reaction and pictures.
Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Hodgkiss, J. Turley, E. Oshodi (D. Bennett 75), C. Stokes; P. Green, A. Bangura, Y. Klukowski; M. Vieira (Y. Odubade 70), M. Taylor, J. Norwood; Subs not used: E. Asafu-Adjaye, J. Rowe, S. Williams.