Aug 30 2011 By Chris Slavin
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Hyaes and Yeading 2-2 Luton Town
LOUIE Soares fired a double in a Tuesday night thriller that ended with a creditable point for Hayes and Yeading against Blue Square Premier promotion-chasers Luton.
In a match delayed 24 hours on police advice, this was definitely worth the wait for Hayes and Yeading fans, who also watched on-loan Wycombe Wanderers goalkeeper Steve Arnold continue his remarkable penalty-saving record for the club.
Anold saved two more spot-kicks after his opening-day heroics against Alfreton Town, though tonight one of his saves was to no avail as Amari Morgan-Smith converted the rebound.
The hosts stunned Luton by snatching the lead in the fourth minute with a goal that had more than a touch of fortune about it.
Though there was nothing lucky about the way that Pierre Joseph-Dubois found space behind the Luton defence, he produced a scuffed cross that fell perfectly for ex-Southend United forward Soares and he tapped home for the opener.
But Luton wasted no time hitting back as they immediately put Nas Bashir's men on the back foot in an effort to underline their Blue Square Premier title credentials.
Yet it was the direct approach that earned Luton a chance to level matters when Danny Crow won the race to latch onto a long ball, before he was upended in the box by Diak John.
As it was more of a clumsy challenge than a cynical attempt to stop Crow, referee Tom Robinson deemed it only worthy of a yellow card and there was more relief from the subsequent spot-kick when Hayes and Yeading goalkeeper Steve Arnold dived to his right to save brilliantly from Crow.
It was almost an instant replay in the 25th minute, this time Harrison Bayley adjudged to have brought down Jake Howells, who picked himself up to take the penalty and though Arnold made another admirable penalty save, Amari Morgan-Smith was there to fire home.
Just over two minutes later and Luton were in front when Crow latched onto an Alex Lawless through ball, before rounding Arnold and firing into the empty net.
The hosts put together their best move of the half when Soares - showing the class that saw him help Aldershot win the Conference title four years ago - and John combined well down the left, but Luke Williams fired wide from 20 yards.
But Hayes and Yeading were level again in first-half stoppage time when Saores cracked an excellent drive from the edge of the area that left Luton goalkeeper Mark Tyler with no chance after a Joseph-Dubois shot had been charged down.
That goal instilled a renewed confidence in the Hayes and Yeading players that they could get a morale-boosting draw - or even better.
Joseph Dubois and Richard Pacquette both just failed to get their heads to crosses from the righh when any touch would have meant a certain goal.
But the Hatters fired two warning shots that highlighted their threat midway through the second-half.
First, a flowing move down the left ended with Crow heading over from a Robbie Willmott cross and then a Lawless drive missed the post by a whisker.
Keith Keane also smashed a 30-yard drive just over the crossbar and then Tom Cadmore blocked superbly to deny Morgan-Smith as Luton's desperation to conjure up a winner grew.
But the hosts needed another fine save from Arnold to keep them level as he just got a touch on an Adam Watkins shot and Mark Bentley got back to clear off the line.
However, Hayes and Yeading could even have secured all three points at the death, but Tyler turned away a powerful strike from Luke Williams and the final whistle signalled boos from the Luton Town travelling support,
Hayes and Yeading: Arnold, John (Saville), Hand, Cadmore, Soares, Crockford (Mackie), Joseph-Dubois (Wishart), Williams, Bentley, Pacquette, Bayley.
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