Hatters hit back to register first Championship home win against Huddersfield

James Collins rifles home from the penalty spot this afternoon
James Collins rifles home from the penalty spot this afternoon

Championship: Luton Town 2 Huddersfield Town 1

If Carlsberg did weeks then they couldn't have done one any better than the one Luton Town completed with a first home of the Championship season this afternoon.

The Hatters went into the game on the back of successive victories, winning at Barnsley and then Cardiff City in the Carabao Cup, ahead of this encounter with a Terriers side in dismal form since their relegation from the Championship.

Led by caretaker boss Mark Hudson, who took over when Jan Siewert was sacked after just three games of the season, the visitors still had a matchday squad packed with top flight experience and big money buys, Terence Kongolo costing a reported £17.5m with striker Steve Mounie, only on the bench, a hefty £11.5m purchase as well.

Town chief Graeme Jones went with an unchanged side from the 3-1 win at Barnsley last weekend, as the first 15 minutes saw Huddersfield's on-loan Liverpool keeper Kami Grabara playing with fire at times.

He almost got caught in possession not once, or twice, but on a number of occasions by both James Collins and Harry Cornick, continually dallying on his clearances, inviting unncessary pressure on himself.

Collins had the first attempt on goal, his angled drive tipped over the bar by Grabara, while he just couldn't reach Kazenga LuaLua's low ball across the box.

The visitors looked like they could cause some danger if their attacking threats could summon the desire, but they also appeared decidedly nervy at times too, Luton almost catching them cold from a short corner that was hacked away from virtually on the goal-line, Andrew Shinnie curling over from 20 yards.

On the half hour, Town won the ball back high up yet again as Cornick stung the palms of Grabara, who finally ceded to the away fans screams to clear his lines from the next goal kick.

Despite barely featuring as an attacking force, the visitors created a huge chance on 38 minutes, as Adama Diakhaby beat James Bree and skinned Sonny Bradley on the right, his low cross toe-poked wide by Karlan Grant.

Town ended the half on the front foot, Luke Bolton slicing a volley waywardly from 25 yards out.

Although the Hatters once more going through their pre-second period warm-up, their Achilles heel flared up yet again, caught out just two minutes after kick-off.

A set-piece wasn't properly cleared and Kongolo played a one-two before crossing low for Grant to find the net at the back post.

Jones replaced Butterfield with Izzy Brown to up Hatters' attacking thrust from midfield, and Bolton tried to find an immediate leveller, his volley not possessing enough power, while the visitors sniffed a second, Grant shooting straight at Simon Sluga.

Town then had a great chance to level 10 minutes afterwards, as Collins was clipped inside the area by Christopher Schindler as the visiting skipper went to clear.

Referee Andy Davies awarded the penalty and up stepped Collins to confidently tuck it away, shooting low in the corner beyond the dive of Grabara.

The visiting keeper punched LuaLua's cross away and then Collins almost had a second, only just beaten to a low delivery from Cornick, while Shinnie also fizzed over as Town hunted a second.

It arrived on 64 minutes as well, although not without some controversy, with the visitors players wanting a whistle after midfielder Jonathan Hogg went down with what looked like a head injury.

Davies allowed play to continue, with Shinnie appeared to be blocked off on his right foot, and just as the referee looked like he was going to stop play, the midfielder cut back on his left, curling a sumptuous effort into the corner of the net from 22 yards.

Town then lived dangerously at times in the final 15 minutes, Shinnie giving the ball away and sub Elias Kachunga clearly pulled back by Sonny Bradley as he burst into the area.

The ball eventually found its way to Mounie, now on the field, with Sluga out bravely to deny to the substitute, Town hacking clear.

It was all hands to the pump for the closing stages, but Luton had enough nous about them to defend effectively and close out a victory in front of their own fans that they fully deserved.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, Luke Bolton, James Bree, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Jacob Butterfield (Izzy Brown 52), Ryan Tunnicliffe, Andrew Shinnie, Kazenga LuaLua (Lloyd Jones 90), Harry Cornick (Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu 87), James Collins.

Subs not used: James Shea, George Moncur, Elliot Lee, Brendan Galloway.

Terriers: Kamil Grabara, Terence Kongolo, Jonathan Hogg (Steve Mounie 87), Trevor Chalobah, Adama Diakhaby, Karlan Grant, Ravij van La Parra (Elias Kachunga 63), Frazier Campbell (Bradley Pritchard 57), Christopher Schindler ©, Jaden Brown, Florent Hadergjonaj.

Subs not used: Tommy Elphick, Juninho Bacuna, Ryan Schofield, Lewis O'Brien.

Booked: Chalobah, Brown, Collins, Diakhaby.

Referee: Andy Davies.

Attendance: 10,062 (1,032 Hudderfield).