Substitute Aapo Halme rescued a 1-1 draw for Barnsley at fellow strugglers Luton Town on Tuesday.

Former Reds man Luke Berry put the hosts in front after 14 minutes but the visitors dominated the remainder of the first half without scoring. The second half was much less eventful until Halme levelled in the 84th minute then both sides could have won it late on. 

The result means the Reds are three two points from safety in 22nd place, once Wigan Athletic’s 12-point deduction is applied.  Gerhard Struber made two changes from the side that lost 4-0 at Stoke City on Saturday. Jordan Williams came in for his namesake Ben while Mike Bahre made his first appearance since the re-start in place of Luke Thomas. They returned to their 3-4-1-2 formation with Jordan Williams in the back three and Marcel Ritzmaier and Kilian Ludewig the wing-backs.

The Reds forced home goalkeeper Simon Sluga into two saves in the first six minutes as he tipped over a Conor Chaplin header from a Ritzmaier cross within seconds of the start then pushed up a Jacob Brown shot from the edge of the box after good work from Ritzmaier on the left.  Luton’s first shot on goal came in the ninth minute when Danny Hylton headed a right-wing cross towards the bottom right corner but Walton dived to his left to save easily. 

The hosts took the lead in the 14th minute when Elliot Lee, the former Barnsley player, was played in on the right of the box and unleashed a low shot which went across Walton and hit the base of the left post. It fell perfectly to another ex-Red Luke Berry who smashed into the top right corner from eight yards out on the left of the box.

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Chaplin should have levelled midway through the first half when Brown headed down a Ritzmaier cross but he sliced a volley over the bar from five yards out on the left. Luton defender Sonny Bradley headed the ball straight at Cauley Woodrow in his box then blocked the shot from close range. 

Barnsley then had a succession of corners, mainly taken short with one ending with a shot by Woodrow which was turned around the bottom right corner by Sluga in the 35th minute. Sluga then made a far better save after 42 minutes to claw out a Woodrow header from just under the bar. 

Luton changed formation in the second half, using wing-backs which allowed them to play five across the back with three midfielders in front of them. 

The second half was very dull, until the last six minutes. Luton’s Berry dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box while Brown had two opportunities from a similar distance but fired well over then dragged a weak effort straight at Sluga. 

Struber brought off his top-scorers Woodrow and Chaplin with eight minutes left, introducing Halme and Patrick Schmidt. Centre-back Halme – playing as a makeshift striker – levelled soon after as he smashed in from close range after Simoes’ shot was blocked. 

Brown then had a shot deflected just wide and, from the resulting Ritzmaier corner, Schmidt headed  just wide. Luton substitute Harry Cornick then went clean through in the 87th minute but Walton made an excellent one-on-one save. Brown and Halme were inches away from a low cross by Styles in the 95th minute but the game was drawn. 

Luton (4-4-2 diamond): Sluga; Bree, Bradley, Carter-Vickers, Potts; Cranie Berry, Mpanzu; Lee (Shinnie HT),  Hylton (Cornick 72), Collins Subs: Shea, Tunnicliffe, Pearson, McManaman, Moncur, Butterfield, Kioso. Yellow cards: Sluga, Potts, Berry, Cranie.  Goals: Berry 14 

Barnsley (3-4-1-2): Walton, mark out of ten: 8; Sollbauer 7, Andersen 7, J Williams 8 (Styles 80mins); Ludewig 7, Mowatt 7, Bahre 6 (Simoes 59mins), Ritzmaier 8, Woodrow 6 (Halme 83); Brown 6, Chaplin 6 (Schmidt 83). Unused: Collins, B Williams, Oduor, Thomas, Wolfe. Yellow cards: Sollbauer, Andersen.  Goals: Halme 84. 

  • 16:41pm
  • 18:00pm
    Barnsley have gone back to their 3-4-1-2 formation with Ritzmaier and Ludewig wing-backs. Jordan Williams on the left of a back three
  • 18:01pm
    2 Ritzmaier takes a corner from the right to the near post and Woodrow flicks it into the near post. The corner came from a save by Sluga from a Chaplin header
  • 18:02pm
    4 Luton corner taken by ex-Red Luke Berry. Foul on Jordan Williams and Barnsley have a free-kick
  • 18:05pm
    6 Another save by the home keeper, palming over a Brown shot from edge of box after run and pass by Ritzmaier
  • 18:07pm
    The Reds have already had better chances tonight than on Saturday, with home goalkeeper Sluga making two saves
  • 18:07pm
    9 Luton's first chance. A cross from the right is met by Hylton who heads towards the bottom tight corner by Walton saves fairly easily
  • 18:08pm
    10 Berry free-kick on the left near the corner. He smashes it high into the box and Andersen heads clear
  • 18:09pm
    Barnsley were 2-0 down by this point on Saturday
  • 18:12pm
    Luke Berry opens the scoring against his former club
  • 18:14pm
    Simon Sluga charges out of his box and trips Conor Chaplin on the edge of the box. Barnsley want a red card but it is only a yellow
  • 18:16pm
    17 Mowatt free-kick from 20 yards hits the wall. The Reds appeal for a penalty for handball but the referee gives another
  • 18:17pm
    18 Berry free-kick from 25 yards out, a couple of yards over
  • 18:18pm
    Barnsley do look a bit stunned from that goal. But this is pretty much their season on the line now. They have to respond, otherwise they are almost certainly down
  • 18:19pm
    21 Ludewig's deflected cross is straight into the arms of goalkeeper Sluga
  • 18:23pm
    24 Big chance to level. Brown wins a header in the box and it falls to Chaplin on the left of the six-yard box but he fires well over the bar
  • 18:28pm
    29 Another decent chance for the Reds. Sonny Bradley heads a clearance straight at Woodrow but then blocks the ten-yard shot. The corner is cleared
  • 18:28pm
    There's not doubt that Barnsley have been the better side in this match so far but they have to make this spell of pressure count by taking one of their chances soon
  • 18:31pm
    33 Jordan Williams gets forward well and feeds Chaplin whose low cross in the box is header over by Bradley
  • 18:32pm
    34 Ritzmaier's corner is cleared back out to him and his next cross is headed behind for another corner
  • 18:33pm
    34 Barnsley play a short corner and, after passes by Mowatt and Chaplin, Woodrow's shot from the left of the box 12 yards out is saved by Sluga
  • 18:33pm
    Barnsley have absolutely dominated their hosts for the last 15 minutes or so but still trail
  • 18:36pm
    Jordan Williams is having a big impact, launching regularly runs forward out of the back three down Luton's right. They are struggling to track him
  • 18:39pm
    The last few minutes have been slightly more even. Five to play until the break
  • 18:40pm
    Dan Potts is booked for sliding in on Ludewig
  • 18:41pm
    42 Ritzmaier free-kick from the left, headed away then played back in and Woodrow's header is brilliantly clawed out from just under the bar by Sluga.
  • 18:41pm
    That was another excellent save by the home goalkeeper. Barnsley will find it hard to believe they are losing this game after the opportunities they have had
  • 18:44pm
    Three minutes of added time to be played
  • 18:46pm
    45+2 Barnsley free-kick 30 yards from goal in a central position. Mowatt plays it into the box but over everyone and out for a goal kick
  • 18:47pm
    HALF-TIME: Luton 1, Barnsley 0. Ex-Red Luke Berry opened the scoring in the 14th minute but, since then, the Reds have been on top and come close several times.
  • 19:04pm
    Luton bring on Andrew Shinnie for Lee at half-time
  • 19:04pm
  • 19:08pm
    Luton slightly on top at the start of this second half. The rain is pretty heavy here in Bedfordshire
  • 19:09pm
    51 Luke Berry takes a corner from the left and it is headed clear by Ludewig
  • 19:12pm
    53 Chaplin flicks the ball into the path of Brown on the right of the box but he shoots well over
  • 19:12pm
    Luton have changed formation to wing-backs which means they can pretty much sit back with five defenders and three midfielders
  • 19:13pm
    Michael Sollbauer booked for a foul on the edge of the box
  • 19:14pm
    55 Berry free-kick hits the wall and goes out for a corner.
  • 19:15pm
    56 Berry's corner is eventually cleared after a short scramble in the box
  • 19:16pm
    Elliot Simoes is coming on
  • 19:17pm
    Simoes replaces Mike Bahre
  • 19:19pm
    Simoes' first touch is an excellent turn with draws a foul. Free-kick 25 yards out
  • 19:19pm
    61 Mowatt's free-kick hits the wall and goes behind for a corner on the right
  • 19:20pm
    61 The corner is cleared. But Barnsley starting to get on top again
  • 19:21pm
    Mads Andersen slides in on Collins near the halfway line, takes him out and then runs straight up to the referee to receive a booking
  • 19:26pm
    Second half drinks break. No action or chances at all after the break
  • 19:29pm
    70 The first chance of the half as Berry drags a shot well wide from 20 yards out
  • 19:30pm
    Luton bring on Harry Cornick for Danny Hylton
  • 19:33pm
    15 minutes left. Can Barnsley save there season? Dan Potts heads Jordan Williams' cross behind for a corner
  • 19:33pm
    75 Ritzmaier's left-wing corner is headed out .
  • 19:35pm
    77 Brown has Barnsley's first shot on target of the second half but it is very weak and straight at the goalkeeper
  • 19:38pm
    Callum Styles is on for Jordan Williams
  • 19:40pm
    We're into the 81st minute now. Barnsley will be so disappointed with this second half, they are losing a must-win game and they have mustered one very weak shot on target. They just don't seem to be able to fight at the moment
  • 19:41pm
    Aapo Halme and Patrick Schmidt are on for Conor Chaplin and Cauley Woodrow
  • 19:42pm
    A massive gamble for Struber to take off Chaplin and Woodrow (28 goals between them this season) with eight minutes to play y in a must-win match. Although they haven't played at their best tonight
  • 19:42pm
    Aapo Halme levels!
  • 19:44pm
    The substitute fires in from close range after Simoes shot is blocked
  • 19:45pm
    86. Barnsley so close to a winner! First Brown has a deflected shot in the box then, from the corner, Schmidt flicks Ritzmaier's corner across the face of goal
  • 19:46pm
    87 Massive, massive chance for Luton as Harry Cornick goes clean through on goal but Walton makes a huge one-on-one save
  • 19:49pm
    Six minutes of added time. Barnsley have a corner on the right
  • 19:51pm
    Barnsley have a three on two break but Schmidt lets them down with a poor pass
  • 19:52pm
    Luton win a free-kick 25 yards out in a central position
  • 19:54pm
    90+5 Styles drills the ball low across the six yard box but both Brown and Halme slide in and miss it
  • 19:55pm
    Struber booked for disputing a Luton free-kick which could be last action of the game, wide on the right
  • 19:56pm
    FULL=TIME: Luton 1, Barnsley 1. Aapo Halme's late leveller salvages a draw