Hatters break their Sky Blues hoodoo with rare win at Coventry

League One: Coventry City 1 Luton Town 2

Saturday, 15th December 2018, 6:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:03 am
Matty Pearson celebrates scoring the opening goal at Coventry this afternoon

Luton Town won for only the fourth time in their history at Coventry City this afternoon thanks to goals from Matty Pearson and James Collins.

Going into the game, the visitors had endured a miserable time of it at the Sky Blues over the years, with just three victories, the last coming back in 1987 thanks to a Brian Stein winner.

Seven defeats and last season's draw had followed by the class of 2018-19 showed how it was done, with a thoroughly professional display, mixed with some moments of real quality too.

Keeping an unchanged side for the seventh league and FA Cup fixture in a row, Luton started well, Harry Cornick just unable to adjust his body to put Elliot Lee's clever ball in at the far post.

With a quarter of an hour gone, he had a far better chance to break the deadlock, sent through when a ball over the top was missed, as he bore down on Lee Burge, but on the angle, could only drag wide.

Sonny Bradley headed over from a corner, while the hosts thought they had broken the deadlock on 18 minutes when Jordy Hiwula reached Luke Thomas's cross at the far post and prodded goalwards, kept out by a combination of Shea and the woodwork.

The Sky Blues' players and fans bayed for a goal, but the linesman wasn't moved much to the annoyance of the hosts

Town had the lead they deserved though on 38 minutes when a wonderful high and hanging corner was delivered into the area by James Justin.

Bradley rose highest to head it back across goal, with Pearson sliding in to turn the ball home from a yard.

Cornick's low shot was well gathered by Burge as the Hatters went into the break a goal to the good, and in the knowledge that when they take the lead, it more often than not ends up in a Town victory.

In the second period, Glen Rea fired over from 20 yards, but Coventry were almost level five minutes in when a wicked cross from Jack Grimmer was met by Jonson Clarke-Harris and Shea did excellently to repel the effort with his legs.

With conditions worsening, the wind swirling and rain getting heavier, Hatters then a crucial second goal on 57 minutes after Cornick escaped the offside trap on the right.

Eventually, the ball made its way to Lee and his low cross was slammed into the roof of the net by Sky Blues fans Collins, who scored for the second successive season at the Ricoh Arena.

Lee headed over the bar, before the striker's mazy run saw him twist one way and the other, his low effort parried behind by Burge with 20 to go.

Justin's set-play delivery almost led to a third when his corner was controlled by the unmarked Rea, and his wonderful left-footed volley was in all the way until a City head got up to nod off the line.

Urged to shoot by an increasingly frustrated home support, Liam Kelly took aim from 30 yards, not missing by much.

They were then denied a way back by a superb save from Shea with five to go, as Dom Hyam met Reise Allassani's cross, his header wonderfully palmed behind by the keeper.

However, Shea then had a moment to forget in stoppage time, rashly charging from his goal to try and prevent Thomas reaching a through ball, needlessly bringing down the midfielder, once he had got the better of him.

Clarke-Harris coolly slotted home to prevent a fourth successive clean sheet, but there was no real time for the hosts to mount a comeback, Luton ensuring a fifth successive League One victory for the first time in Nathan Jones' reign, as they cut the gap on leaders Portsmouth to just four points.

City: Lee Burge, Jack Grimmer, Jordan Willis (Dom Hyam 65), Tom Davis, Liam Kelly (C), Jordy Hiwula (Conor Chaplin 65), Junior Brown, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Tom Bayliss (Reise Allassani 78), Luke Thomas, Jordan Shipley.

Subs not used: Corey Addai, Brandon Mason, Michael Doyle, Abu Ogogo.

Hatters: James Shea, Jack Stacey, James Justin, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Glen Rea (C), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie (Dan Potts 89), Elliot Lee, James Collins, Harry Cornick (Danny Hylton 73)

Subs not used: Marek Stech, Alan Sheehan, Luke Berry, Jorge Grant, Kazenga LuaLua.

Referee: Charles Breakspear.

Booked: Mpanzu 63, Shinnie 86, Hyam 88.

Attendance: 12,559 (2,598 Luton).