Hatters up and running after defeating Southend

Danny Hylton makes it 2-0 from the spot against Southend this evening.
Danny Hylton makes it 2-0 from the spot against Southend this evening.

League One: Luton Town 2 Southend United 0

Luton Town are up and running in League One after a thoroughly deserved 2-0 win over Southend United this evening.

The Hatters were dominant for large periods of the match and the only disappointment was that they weren't out of sight, missing a number of glorious chances in the second half.

Boss Nathan Jones showed he isn't afraid to make big calls, with four changes from the 3-1 defeat at Peterborough on Saturday to face a side who had quite frankly atrocious record at Kenilworth Road in recent times, now without a win in 14 visits since 1964.

Out went the injured Alan McCormack, Glen Rea taking over and given the armband, but joining him were Alan Sheehan, Marek Stech and James Collins, as Jorge Grant, Andrew Shinnie and Elliot Lee all came in.

The switches paid immediate dividends, Town grabbing the lead inside 90 seconds.

A corner swung in by Jorge Grant was cleared as far as Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu whose blast led to some pinball in the area where Lee was lurking to fire past Mark Oxley.

Tom Hopper thought he had brought Southend level, only for official Trevor Kettle's whistle to chalk the goal out for an apparent push.

Hatters quickly transferred play up the other end, Jack Stacey finding Grant whose effort was tipped over by Oxley.

Luton had the luxury of a second goal on 33 minutes when a lovely passing move out of defence led to Grant sending Lee through, who was unnecessarily tripped by Elvis Bwomono.

Danny Hylton made the full back pay, hammering his penalty into the net to double Town's advantage.

After the break, Luton had a glorious chance to kill the game off as Grant sent Hylton clean through, but with Lee set for a tap in, the forward tried to dink Oxley who got a block in and then saved Shinnie's follow up.

Rea thought he had put real daylight between the sides, his imperious header from Grant's free kick flying in, Kettle's whistle sounding again.

The visitors had a spell of real possession, Jason Demetriou off target, while Simon Cox met sub Theo Robinson's low cross, skying his effort.

Town appeared to have weathered the pressure, Hylton into the side-netting, before Lee wriggled round a marker in the area to test out Oxley's reflexes.

Luton should have sewn up the points on 73 minutes though, James Justin, on for Grant, sliding a wonderful ball through to Shinnie, who one-on-one with Oxley, failed to beat the Shrimpers keeper.

The Hatters wasted another fine chance with 10 to go, Hylton picking out Justin away, who tried to find Mpanzu, but John White got back to divert over his own bar.

Justin was running riot on the left, his low cross slashed well, well wide by Mpanzu, as all Southend had to show for their efforts was Robinson's attempt which didn't threaten Shea, as they failed to score for the sixth game in a row at Kenilworth Road.

Luton though, now have a great chance to build on this when entertaining Shrewsbury Town at the weekend.

Hatters: James Shea, Jack Stacey, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Dan Potts, Glen Rea (C), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jorge Grant (James Justin 73), Andrew Shinnie, Elliot Lee (Harry Cornick 83), Danny Hylton (James Collins 90).

Subs not used: Marek Stech, Jake Jervis, Alan Sheehan, Luke Gambin.

Shrimpers: Mark Oxley (C), Elvis Bwonomo (Shawn McCoulsky 61), Ben Coker, Michael Turner, Timothee Dieng (Luke Hyam 46), Tom Hopper, Simon Cox, Stephen McLaughlin (Theo Robinson 61), Sam Mantom, Jason Demetriou, John White.

Subs not used: Michael Kightly, Nathan Bishop, Harry Kyprianou, Stephen Hendrie.

Booked: Rea 65, Hyam 68, Demetriou 89.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.

Attendance: 9,086 (Southend 916).