EPL

Reggae Boy Amari’i Bell helps Luton Town secure promotion to Premier League for first time since 1992

By Sports Desk May 27, 2023
Amari'i Bell. Amari'i Bell.

Reggae Boy Amari’i Bell will be playing English Premier League football next season after he helped Luton Town F.C defeat Coventry City 6-5 on penalties in the Championship Playoff Final at Wembley on Saturday.

The 29-year-old left back played all 120 minutes as the Hatters, as they are called, secured Premier League football for the first time since 1992.

Luton Town took the lead in the 23rd minute through Jordan Clark before Coventry equalized in the 66th minute through Gustavo Hamer.

Then, with the teams locked at 5-5 in the penalty shootout, Coventry’s Fankaty Dabo missed in sudden death to give Luton the win.

Related items

  • ‘We should’ve won’ – Rob Edwards reflects on Luton’s first Premier League point ‘We should’ve won’ – Rob Edwards reflects on Luton’s first Premier League point

    Rob Edwards was frustrated Luton did not get the result he felt their performance deserved in a 1-1 draw against 10-man Wolves at Kenilworth Road.

    Luton claimed their first point since earning promotion to the Premier League after Carlton Morris’ penalty cancelled out Pedro Neto’s opener.

    But Edwards believes the Hatters should have converted more of their 20 shots after they failed to take full advantage of Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s first-half sending off.

    “I’m pleased but I think it should have been all three points,” Edwards said.

    “I’m really proud of the players, the performance was excellent, it’s a great day for the club, the supporters were great and the players did everything we asked for to engage the fans.

    “We started the game so well, it was probably the best we’ve played since I’ve been at the club. I think the level of the game, the fact Wolves couldn’t get out of their half we completely dominated the game.

    “Overall I’m really happy and proud but we should’ve won.

    “We were really aggressive on the front foot and tried to provoke them and that’s what Kenilworth Road can do.

    “When they get a man sent off you really want to try and find a way to win but they’ve got quality and Neto’s a top player and we lost the ball cheaply. We gave away a goal but to get something from the game after it’s a positive.

    “The lads are flat and deflated because we feel that there was a win there for us today.”

    Luton are still searching for their first Premier League win and still sit at the foot of the table.

    Edwards highlighted the difficulty of the league after a lapse of concentration by Tom Lockyer in the 50th minute was punished by Neto, who scored his first of the season.

    “It shows how good the Premier League is, you have to be almost perfect to get anything from it and today we were close with how we wanted to play but we haven’t won,” Edwards added.

    “It’s like a different sport (Premier League) in every way. Everyone is way better (than the Championship), the decision making, the quality, the speed that things happen and the execution is hard to comprehend.

    “If people look at us as a small club in the Championship then they’ll look at us as a small club in the Premier League.

    “We’re up against mammoths, giant clubs and in a way we probably shouldn’t be here.”

    Gary O’Neil was disappointed with Wolves’ first-half performance which saw them on the back foot.

    He said: “I’m extremely disappointed with the first 25 minutes.

    “We knew today would be a test of mentality and Luton were aggressive and we lost every duel, they were faster in midfield.

    “We had to change the shape and get a foothold which I thought we then did.”

  • Barbados, Bermuda register wins in League B Barbados, Bermuda register wins in League B

    The Road to the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup continued with two League B encounters on Friday. Bermuda and Barbados started the tournament with three-point performances at home.

    Barbados takes the top of Group C on goal difference given their larger margin of victory, while Bermuda starts in position to challenge for first place. The Dominican Republic and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will look to avenge their defeats with a home match next week.

    Bermuda vs Dominican Republic

    Bermuda opened their campaign with a 2-0 home win over the Dominican Republic at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire Parish, Bermuda.

    Jaden Masters opened the scoring in the 10th with a rocket from long range to send the home fans into ecstasy. This came just seconds after the Lady Warriors were close to taking the lead on an attempt from Eva Frazzoni going just wide.

    Winibian Peralta attempted to equalize in the 20th from a free kick but the attempt was caught by goalkeeper Zakhari Turner.

    Lucia Marte provided a dangerous hit across goal in the 32th as the Dominican Republic continued to search for the tying goal.

    Masters earned her brace in the 45+1 on a Bermuda fast break, slipping the ball past goalkeeper Odaliana Gomez just outside the edge of the box.

    Masters nearly completed her hat-trick in the 55th but Gomez made a big stop to keep the score within reach. 

    Turner ended the day with seven saves as she collected her first clean sheet of the tournament and Bermuda its first three points.

    Barbados vs Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    Barbados won 5-0 over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to start its campaign at the Wildey Turf Stadium in Bridgetown, Barbados.

    Shanice Stevenson opened the scoring in the 10th from a free kick chance. Goalkeeper Altica Benn tried to stop the attempt but the potent was too much to contain.

    Rianna Cyrus extended the lead in the 19th with some nifty footwork inside the box to convert on a delivery from Shauntae Hinds.

    Cyrus extended the lead again in the 22th by evading the keeper and hitting a precise ball outside the right side of the goal area. Stevenson provided the through ball into the box.

    Prior to the halftime whistle, at 45+2, Cyrus completed her hat-trick off a free kick service from Stevenson.

    Cheyanna Burnett-Griffith scored a fifth for Barbados in the 75th with a strike off the bouncing ball. Keinelle Johnson provided the cross from the left flank to find Burnett-Griffith inside the area.

    The defense provided a strong outing in its home opener by holding Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to zero shots on target. Kamilla Burke made an important save outside the box during the closing minutes to preserve the clean sheet.

     

  • Luton off the mark after come-from-behind draw against 10-man Wolves Luton off the mark after come-from-behind draw against 10-man Wolves

    Luton claimed their first point of the Premier League season with a 1-1 draw against 10-men Wolves at Kenilworth Road.

    Carlton Morris’ penalty cancelled out Pedro Neto’s earlier strike to share the spoils in a positive Hatters performance.

    Rob Edwards will be proud of his side’s display but will leave thinking his side should have used the extra-man more effectively after Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was sent off in the 39th minute.

    Edwards experimented with a 4-4-2 and the change in shape worked in the early stages as the Hatters enjoyed possession and space out wide through Chiedozie Ogbene and Jacob Brown, who nearly got on the end of a dangerous cross in the fifth minute.

    Kenilworth Road’s vocal support set the tone and striker Morris nearly rewarded it in the 10th minute when his thunderous long-range effort cannoned off one of Jose Sa’s posts.

    Edwards would have wanted a response after a poor second half against Fulham last week and he got that through midfield duo Marvelous Nakamba and Albert Sambi Lokonga who relentlessly pressed, tackled and played dangerous passes as the hosts began to ramp up the pressure.

    Wolves began to work their way into the game after 30 minutes and strung neat passages together before the creative Bellegarde produced a stunning through ball in behind, but there was no one there to get on the end of it.

    But the Frenchman undid his positive work when he was shown a straight red card. The midfielder was dispossessed by Tom Lockyer and he kicked out at the Luton captain before he was given his marching orders by referee Josh Smith.

    Wolves held on during added time but the home side were hot out the traps in the second half when Morris got on the end of strike partner’s Ogbene’s cross in the 48th minute but his effort was saved by Sa.

    Luton were on top but it was Wolves who took a 1-0 lead against the run of play in the 50th minute.

    Neto gambled on a long ball and beat Lockyer in a foot race before he shrugged the defender off, cut in on his left foot and produced a thumping strike past Thomas Kaminski.

    The Premier League newcomers paid the price yet again for a simple lapse of concentration.

    Kenilworth Road cried out for a response and in the 65th minute Luton levelled the contest.

    Joao Gomes handled the ball in the box and after a VAR check Morris stepped up, stuttered in his run up and finished calmy past Sa into the bottom left corner.

    Target man Elijah Adebayo was brought on by Edwards and orange shirts marauded down the flanks and whipped in crosses in search of the striker but they were denied by Wolves’ tight defence.

    Nakamba’s shot was deflected into the path of Ogbene who finished his effort but it was ruled offside and Luton could not get the goal they searched for in six minutes of added time.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.