Leeds United 1 Luton Town 1: Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas off injured as cushion is cut with Whites held by Luton Town

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LEEDS UNITED saw their cushion in the Championship's automatic promotion places cut to six points after being held to a 1-1 draw against second-bottom Luton Town at Elland Road.

Championship leaders United lost skipper Liam Cooper to injury inside seven minutes and Luton took a shock lead through substitute Harry Cornick five minutes after the break.

Leeds drew level three minutes after the hour through Stuart Dallas but the Whites could not find a winner as part of an evening that saw both Brentford and Fulham take three-point hauls.

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The Whites are now four points ahead of second-placed West Brom who visit Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday evening with United now only six points ahead of third-placed Brentford who won 3-0 at Reading.

SETBACK: Harry Cornick's strike gives Luton Town the lead at Elland Road. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.SETBACK: Harry Cornick's strike gives Luton Town the lead at Elland Road. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
SETBACK: Harry Cornick's strike gives Luton Town the lead at Elland Road. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

United fashioned their first chance in just the second minute when Patrick Bamford neatly took down a diagonal through ball from Tyler Roberts and clipped a shot goalwards that was turned behind for a corner by Luton 'keeper Simon Sluga.

But Leeds were then dealt a hammer blow in the seventh minute when skipper Liam Cooper landed awkwardly defending a corner with the captain then staying grounded and clearly struggling despite his attempts to run the problem off.

Gaetano Berardi was subsequently brought on in the 12th minute with Luke Ayling taking the captain's arm band.

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Berardi then got away with a loose touch in a dangerous position soon afterwards with Luton calling for a penalty and United broke away with Roberts blazing a chance over the bar.

Brilliant footwork from Roberts then worked another opening with Luton scrambling clear and United then squandered their best chance yet as Helder Costa smashed the ball over the bar from a tight angle when found with space inside the box.

But Luton were causing problems too and Meslier was forced to palm away Sonny Bradley's header from a dangerous corner in the 18th minute.

Leeds looked to up the ante and a dangerous cross from Kalvin Phillips flew through the area in the 37th minute with Sluga palming the ball behind for a corner.

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Costa and Jack Harrison then swapped wings but a frustrating half ended goalless with the Hatters surviving four late Whites corners after a Roberts effort was deflected over.

A low Klich shot that Sluga saved proved the last act of the half.

All eyes were then on the re-emerging Leeds team after the break to see if Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa had made any changes.

He had, but Pablo Hernandez stayed on the bench with Gjanni Alioski brought on for Berardi who had lasted just 33 minutes as United reverted to a back three of Ayling, Phillips and Ben White.

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But it was a change made by Luton at the break that paid instant dividends as second striker Harry Cornick raced away on the counter before producing a fine finish into the top right corner in the 50th minute.

United looked to hit straight back and a Bamford effort was deflected wide before Sluga kept out a fierce drive from Roberts.

Moments later, Sluga produced another fine save to keep out a drive from Harrison at his near post and Sluga then kept out a Phillips free-kick and also the rebound from Alioski with the second rebound put wide by Costa.

Roberts then curled another effort wide and Hernandez finally joined the fray on the hour mark for Klich.

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And three minutes later United finally drew level when an intricate move ended with Alioski finding Dallas who smashed home a low finish from inside the box.

Alioski then headed into the side netting when well placed before whipping in a fine cross for Bamford whose shot whistled past the post into the side netting.

And Bamford then looked destined to put Leeds in front when chasing a brilliant Harrison cross only to mistime his run and fall to ground.

Still more chances came with an Alioski shot deflected over before Sluga was equal to a deflected Dallas drive.

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Another Dallas drive was then heading in before being deflected wide and yet another attempt from an off balance was sent wide.

Dallas then pulled up injured and had to be taken off for Jamie Shackleton and Leeds then had a fantastic chance to bag a winner in the sixth minute of added time when Costa put a free header wide.

But United were unable to find a winning goal as the gap to third closed with six games to go.

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, White, Cooper (Berardi 12, Alioski 46), Dallas, Phillips, Klich (Hernandez 60), Harrison, Costa, Roberts, Bamford. Subs not used: Miazek, Douglas, Shackleton, Gotts, Poveda, Struijk.

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Luton Town: Sluga, Pearson, Bradley, Carter-Vickers, Potts, Bree, Mpanzu, Crainie (Collins 64), Tunnicliffe, McManaman (Cornick 46), Hylton (Bolton 64). Subs not used: Shea, Butterfield, Lee, Shinnie, Moncur, Brown.

Referee: John Brooks.

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