Rob Edwards Luton Town

LUTON, ENGLAND - MAY 3: Luton Town's manager Rob Edwards applauds his side's supporters at the end of the match during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Everton FC at Kenilworth Road on May 3, 2024 in Luton, England.(Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Rob Edwards Vows To Keep Fighting For Premier League Survival With Luton

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By Gareth James

Rob Edwards has promised his Luton Town side will “keep going” after a 1-1 draw with Everton at Kenilworth Road saw them miss the chance to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The former Wales defender is battling to keep his club in the top flight and continue flying the flag for his country.

With 17th-place Nottingham Forest not in action until Saturday, Luton had the opportunity to put real pressure on their rivals in the race to beat the drop, but after Elijah Adebayo had equalised Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s penalty in the first half they failed to summon a winner despite a frantic finale.

Should Forest beat bottom-side Sheffield United and Burnley overcome Newcastle, Edwards’ side could finish the weekend in 19th and three points adrift, but he insisted his players will fight until the end.

“We wanted a win,” he said. “We threw everything at it, we tried. You can’t guarantee the result but you can guarantee how hard you work.

“We stood up to Everton’s physicality really well, their running power. We could have been having a different conversation now if the ball had gone a couple of inches, a couple of big blocks they made. A draw wasn’t what we wanted.

“We don’t know as we stand. We’re still in the mix. Other things are out of our control, that’s obvious. But we’ll keep going.”

Adebayo’s goal to earn a point was magnificently taken. Albert Sambi Lokonga’s high, raking pass arrived just too deep into the box for a header at goal, but with rapid speed of thought Luton’s top scorer – making his first start in three months after an injury – took the ball on his chest, sent his marker Ashley Young tumbling to the ground and from eight yards slid his finish wide of Jordan Pickford.

“A good performance considering he’s been out so long,” said Edwards of his goalscorer. “It’s a fantastic goal. It’s hard for any team in this league when you’re missing key players. He showed there what we have missed.”

A draw was the least Luton deserved but they were put in a precarious position when Everton took the lead after 24 minutes. As a corner was floated into the box, Teden Mengi took hold of Jarrad Branthwaite and hauled him off his feet and to the floor.

It was a poor error from Mengi, with the ball nowhere near where the offence took place. From the resulting penalty, awarded after a pitch-side VAR check, Calvert-Lewin sent Thomas Kaminski the wrong way to make it 1-0.

“I don’t think we’ve got too many complaints,” said Edwards of the award. “Teden will have a phenomenal career. It’s just a bit of learning for him.”

Edwards’ side bombarded Everton as the realisation dawned that two points were slipping away, Andros Townsend driving low at goal in stoppage time, denied by a Branthwaite block.

The best chance fell with virtually the final kick to substitute Luke Berry, contorting his body to deliver an audacious overhead kick that ricocheted to safety, taking Luton’s last chance of claiming victory with it.

Everton boss Sean Dyche reflected on a game that he was disappointed not to see his side win.

“We lost our way a bit in the second half,” he said.

“That can happen. Overall I’ve asked a lot of these players. I’m not going to over-question it, but I’m always greedy. We want more.

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