Howard's way points Luton towards top

Luton Town 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2
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The Independent Football

Most teams' introduction to a game at Kenilworth Road involves facing the combination of Kevin Nicholls and Steven Howard sooner or later, Luton Town's free-kick and aerial specialist respectively.

With only 112 seconds gone that duo had already given the Championship's fourth-placed side the lead. After a foul by Glenn Whelan on Warren Feeney, Nicholls was alert and took a quick free-kick, finding Howard's head and he picked out the corner of David Lucas' net.

This is currently the worst of all possible seasons for Wednesday, who find themselves firmly at the bottom of their division with their city rivals Sheffield United at the top. Yet their prospects perked up after 14 minutes, Nicholls' clearance falling to Graeme Lee who headed the equaliser.

The Nicholls-Howard combination struck again but not before the visitors had taken the lead.

Having survived the end of the first half largely thanks to a succession of impressive saves by Lucas, the Owls appeared to have neutered the threat of Luton's most dangerous players.

In turn their own prowess became more apparent and after 64 minutes, David Graham put Wednesday in front, Peacock providing the ball for Graham to slot his shot past Marlon Beresford.

Luton wasted no time in preserving their unbeaten home record as 90 seconds later Nicholls put in the pass for Howard to score his second of the night.

It was not long before Lucas was tested again, forced into his best save of the night after Morgan's low cross reached Warren Feeney. Luck then intervened for Lucas as he could only watch Chris Coyne's header bounce back off the post.

Luton Town (4-4-2): Beresford; Edwards, Perrett, Coyne, Davis (Heikkinen, 88); Brkovic, Nicholls, Robinson, Morgan (Showunmi, 80); Feeney, Howard. Substitutes not used: Brill (gk), Keane, Holmes.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Lucas, Simek, Lee, Wood, Hills; Eagles (McGovern, 80), O'Brien (Rocastle, 80), Whelan, Brunt; Graham, Peacock (Bullen, 73). Substitutes not used: Ross, Corr.

Referee: R Beeby (Northamptonshire).