Kasim nets as Hatters earn Palace draw

Luton Town 1 Crystal Palace 1

A late goal from Yaser Kasim earned Hatters a battling draw with Championship side Crystal Palace in their development game at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday afternoon, writes Mike Simmonds.

The hosts had named a number of players with first team experience to take on the Eagles, with the now available Ronnie Henry gaining a valuable 65 minute run-out.

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Adam Watkins, Jake Woolley and Kasim all started while an un-named trialist partnered Dan Walker upfront.

The hosts looked threatening early on as Matt Robinson had a shot charged down, while Gillingham Connor Essam kneed goalwards from a corner but saw his attempt deflect off a team-mate and over.

Kasim was then picked out by always willing Woolley from a short corner routine, unleashing a shot that was was fisted clear by the keeper.

Set-pieces were to cause problems all afternoon as Essam’s header was directed over the bar by Town’s on-trial forward, who had another shot blocked.

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He then headed straight at the keeper from a Kasim corner, giving onlooking manager Paul Buckle plenty to think about.

Town stopper Dean Brill ensured the scores remained goalless at the break, with a stunning low save, as he flung out a paw to parry behind, while also using his legs to repel another attempt.

After the break, Eagles took the lead when Essam conceded a penalty with a rash challenge, and it was coolly stroked past Brill.

As he did on numerous occasions, Walker charged away, and this time there was an end product as he teed up Woolley, only for the keeper to scramble clear his drive.

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Brett Longden replaced Henry and Charlie Smith came on for Watkins, as Walker skewed wide, before the equaliser arrived as Palace dithered at the back allowing Kasim to take aim and find the bottom corner.

Essam almost atoned for his mistake with a header that was saved.

Walker charged away and ball fell to Woolley whose low shot saved, but Brill ensured Town came away with a draw when he blocked a late effort with his legs.

Luton: Dean Brill, Connor Essam, Jerome Jibodu, Matt Robinson, Alex Lacey, Adam Watkins (Charlie Smith 70), Yaser Kasim, Dan Walker, Ronnie Henry (Brett Longden 65), Jake Woolley, trialist.

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