League Two: Wycombe Wanderers 0 Luton Town 1
A screamer from Cameron McGeehan saw Luton Town maintain their unbeaten record at Adams Park with an excellent 1-0 victory this afternoon.
With 36 minutes gone and Hatters only just getting into the game, the midfielder moved into double figures for the campaign, with a wonderful half volley from around 30 yards that dipped over Ryan Allsop and into the corner.
The visitors had struggled prior to McGeehan’s magnificent effort and could consider themselves lucky to be level, but once they were, Hatters controlled large parts of the game, and most impressively, were never trying to cling on and win, always on the front foot going for a second.
Boss Nathan Jones made one change to his side for the clash, as Jack Marriott came in for Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu who dropped to the bench.
The hosts had more about them from the start as Gozie Ugwu outmuscled Scott Cuthbert and fed Paris Cowan-Hall whose timid shot was easy for Elliot Justham.
An inventive corner routine then saw Wanderers go close again as the ball was fizzed to the corner of the box where Jason McCarthy’s volley flew into the side-netting.
Michael Harriman picked Alan Sheehan’s pocket, but as last man, couldn’t lay a finger on him, only for the former Hatters dragged wide from 18 yards, while Matt Bloomfield was even closer after a dangerous low cross.
Bloomfield had a weak sidefoot go wide on 19 minutes as Town eventually showed some signs of life around the half hour mark, gradually putting some possession together in advanced areas.
Hatters finally had a shot in anger too on 36 minutes, with Craig Mackail-Smith well over the top from 25 yards.
But Town made the most of their improved play as they took the lead in stunning fashion when McGeehan took aim from distance and unleashed a wonderful half volley over Allsop and into the top corner.
The goal was his 10th of the season and easily his best as Luton finished a half they had looked second best in for long periods, with the ascendancy, with Alan Sheehan’s free kick easy enough for Allsop.
That change in momentum continued at the start of the second period and Hatters should have doubled their lead as Lawless’s cross carried all the way through to McGeehan at the far post but he couldn’t get a decent enough connection and Allsop smothered the danger ahead of Marriott.
As slow as they had been for the start of the game, Hatters were now the polar opposite, with Olly Lee’s free kick just behind Sheehan and Luton had cries for a penalty with Pigott and then Cuthbert being hauled to the ground, although nothing was given.
Wycombe then thought they had levelled as a hanging cross was headed into the net by Cowan-Hall, but the winger’s celebrations were cut shot as referee Seb Stockbridge adjudged him to have fouled Justham.
The hosts were then lucky to keep 11 men on the field when Lawless was sent tumbling on the edge of the area when nicking possession but this time Stockbridge gave nothing.
With Lawless starting to show in central midfield,a stunning challenge by Joe Jacobson denied Marriott what looked a tap-in after Pigott’s cross was destined to meet him, the defender somehow slid in to make an intervention.
Wanderers were always a threat with long balls forward to their front men, one such racking pass glanced wide by Garry Thompson.
Town boss Nathan Jones introduced veteran Paul Benson for Pigott, who started to roll back the years, as his partnership with Mackail-Smith kept Luton on the front foot.
From one Benson flick-on, Mackail-Smith raced into the area but with the angle against him, rolled across goal.
Marriott was then denied by Allsop from Howells’ deep cross as the striker’s volley was repelled, while Wanderers could only create half-chances, Harriman well over and Sido Jombati’s header easy for Justham.
Refreshingly, Hatters weren’t content with trying to sit on their lead, as Jones threw on Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, who’s pace and power gave Luton another dimension going on the counter.
The sub was then set up by Mackail-Smith’s clever reverse pass and despite being tackled, the ball diverted through to Benson, who at full stretched, was denied by the woodwork.
With six minutes of added time on, Luton ran down the clock with efficiency, as they comfortably protected Justham, to make it an impressive seven wins on their travels this season.
Wycombe: Ryan Allsop, Sido Jombati, Joe Jacobson, Jason McCarthy, Aaron Pierre, Michael Harriman, Marcus Bean, Matt Bloomfield, Paris Cowan-Hall (Aaron Amadi-Holloway 75), Paul Hayes (C Luke O’Nien 79), Gozie Ugwu (Garry Thompson 63).
Subs not used: Barry Richardson, Stephen McGinn, Anthony Stewart, Sam Wood.
Hatters: Elliot Justham, Stephen O’Donnell, Jake Howells, Scott Cuthbert (C), Alan Sheehan, Alex Lawless, Olly Lee, Cameron McGeehan (Paddy McCourt 80), Jack Marriott (Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu 74), Joe Pigott (Paul Benson 63), Craig Mackail-Smith.
Subs not used: Mark Tyler, Jonathan Smith, Magnus Okuonghae, Zane Banton.
Booked: Lawless 32, Pigott 43, Jombati 50, Lee 53, Marriott 56. Jacobson 86.
Attendance: 4,597 (1,038 Hatters).
Referee: Seb Stockbridge.
Hatters MOM: Alex Lawless, controlled the midfield area during the second half as Hatters came on strong.