THE Blues fought back from 2-0 down to grab a point from an entertaining clash at the Deva Stadium this evening.
Both sides gave their all in a fast and furious contest. It may have been lacking in genuine quality, but no-one in the crowd was complaining as fans of both teams were kept on the edges of their seats until the final whistle.
Luton made a strong start and deservedly forged ahead on 22 minutes through Chris Martin, who was a thorn in the side of the home defence all evening. The forward twisted and turned in the area before firing a laser-guided shot across John Danby and into the back of the net from an acute angle.
Ryan Lowe went close with an audacious lob moments later before the Hatters doubled their lead on 27 minutes. Lewis Emanuel got the goal, blasting home an unstoppable left-footed shot from a central free-kick 25 yards out.
The Blues were thrown a lifeline on 36 minutes when Kevin Ellison latched onto a quickly-taken free-kick and tumbled under the challenge of Michael Spillane in the area. There looked to be minimal contact, but referee Karl Evans decided it was enough to warrant a spot-kick and Lowe stepped up to make it 2-1 with a firmly-struck penalty.
Play was held up for more than five minutes just before half time as Emanuel received treatment for what looked to be a serious leg injury. The stricken Luton man was eventually carried off on a stretcher and referee Evans opted to play nine minutes of first-half stoppage time, which passed without any major incident.
Chester made a dream start to the second period, equalising within six minutes of the restart through Ellison. The City forward helped the ball over the line from close range after Kevin Roberts’ header from Lowe’s right-wing corner had been blocked.
The contest was developing into an entertaining affair, with play swinging from one end to the other. The game was obviously too open for City boss Mark Wright, who shored up his midfield on 66 minutes by throwing on Anthony Barry for Richie Partridge.
Ellison was the architect of Chester’s next chance on 72 minutes. He embarked on a barnstorming run from the edge of one penalty box to the other and slipped a pass to Lowe, whose shot from the edge of the box was charged down.
Deep into injury time, Luton almost snatched the three points but the Blues were relieved to see George Beavan guide his shot just past the post from a Rossi Jarvis free-kick as it ended all square.
Chester: Danby, J Vaughan, Linwood, Kelly, Roberts, Partridge (Barry 66), Mozika, Hughes, Wilson, Lowe, Ellison (Harris 76). Subs: Platt, Rutherford, McManus. Booked: Vaughan, Wilson. Goals: Lowe 37, Ellison 51.
Luton: Logan, Spillane, Roper, Beavan, Emanuel (Howells 45), Henderson, Jarvis, Keane, Craddock, Gallen, Martin. Subs: Brill, Gnakpa, McVeigh, Hall. Goals: Martin 22, Emanuel 27.
Attendance: 1,652 (370 away).
Referee: Karl Evans (Greater Manchester).