YORK CITY returned north with a valuable point thanks to Keith Lowe’s first goal of the season.
The defender’s strike just before the break put the Minstermen ahead but Luton Town hit back from the penalty spot through Cameron McGeehan.
A point apiece was just about fair at the end of a contest in which neither team did enough to warrant the victory.
For York, James Berrett impressed in midfield alongside Michael Collins while John McCombe was a tower of strength at the back.
It ensured a week that brought a League One scalp in the form of Doncaster Rovers ended on a further positive note, City’s reward for that Johnstone’s Paint Trophy triumph being a northern area semi-final tie at either Bradford City or Barnsley.
In front of a fine crowd of 8,618, chances were few and far between in the first half, so credit to York for converting their only true gilt-edged opportunity seven minutes before the break.
A floated free-kick by Russell Penn was met by John McCombe, whose cushioned header to Keith Lowe allowed the City defender to smash the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
It was just the fillip needed and the opening 45 minutes could have got even better shortly afterwards when Vadaine Oliver looked to be tripped by Stephen McNulty only for referee Darren Handley to wave away the visitors’ appeals.
That ensured Luton trailed by just one goal at the break, the closest the home team having come to scoring being a snap shot from Luke Guttridge that Scott Flinders did well to turn round his near post.
Otherwise, the Hatters were kept well in check by York - although a loose pass from Penn midway through the first half did allow Olly Lee to play Craig Mackail-Smith clear.
However, despite having time to pick his spot in Flinders’ goal, the one-time Brighton & Hove Albion striker could only shoot tamely wide.
Luton had another good chance 11 minutes into the second half but Luke Wilkinson headed wide from eight yards out.
Any hopes, however, that York would go on to claim a clean sheet were dashed just after the hour when a swift break ended with Penn fouling Dan Potts as he burst into the area.
Referee Handley pointed to the spot and Cameron McGeehan did the rest from 12 yards to bring the scores level.
Flinders then had to save smartly from Luke Wilkinson after the big defender had rose highest to meet a corner as the hosts poured forward in search of a winner.
For City, Penn then fired narrowly wide after a corner had only been half-cleared before Scott Cuthbert also missed the target at the other end from close range to ensure honours ended even.
Luton: Tyler, Cuthbert, McNulty, Wilkinson, Potts, McQuoid, Smith, Guttridge, Lee, McGeehan, Mackail-Smith. Subs: Lawless, Hall, Green, Marriott, Justham, Ruddock, Doyle.
York: Flinders, McCoy, McCombe, Lowe, Ilesanmi, Collins, Penn, Berrett, Coulson, Oliver, Straker. Subs: Carson, Winfield, Thompson, Turner, Ingham, Godfrey, Sinclair.
Referee: Darren Handley (Lancashire)
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