Scoring first sets Luton on their way to victory once more

Hatters midfielder Andrew Shinnie
Hatters midfielder Andrew Shinnie

Luton’s stunning run of winning after scoring the first goal continued during their 2-0 triumph over Fleetwood on Saturday.

Incredibly, you now have to go back over two years, to a 3-1 home defeat by Portsmouth on November 22, 2016 for the last time Luton were beaten in a league game after breaking the deadlock.

Then Danny Hylton netted inside the first 10 minutes, only for the south coast to come back and triumph, while the 60 matches in which Town have scored first since, they are unbeaten.

In fact, since Nathan Jones took over in February 2016, Town have only ever suffered two losses in the league when off the mark first, that game and a trip to Stevenage in August 2016 that saw Cameron McGeehan on target, with Boro equalising and then nicking the points in stoppage time.

They were beaten in the Checkatrade Trophy by Millwall, also in November 2016 after moving in front, but in total their run is a stunning 70 victories from 88 matches in which they have been on the scoresheet first, with 15 draws and the three losses.

They were at it again on Saturday, Harry Cornick prodding home from close range, while an own goal late on from visiting skipper Craig Morgan sealed the three points.

Midfielder Andrew Shinnie said: “It is vital as the way we play, we need teams to, not come at us, but the longer it goes without breaking teams down it can get frustrating.

“We get maybe a little frustrated, the crowd maybe get a bit, but I think a few games we’ve got early-ish goals and it settles us right down.

“We get in our rhythm and our play in the first half we were good.

“Second half it was never really going to be a day for great football, the pitch wasn’t great and the weather, but that’s the kind of game you’ve just got to grind out three points and that’s what we did.”

Shinnie himself played a pivotal role in Cornick’s opener, getting to the byline to deliver the cross, saying: “It’s what we work on, final third work. Midfielders making runs, crossing across the box, tap ins.

"I’ve just seen a little gap and JJ’s (James Justin) slipped me in. I managed to get it across goal and Harry tapped it in.

"It’s vital to get the first goal in games, so it was great to see it going in.”

Town kept yet another clean sheet during the game, their seventh in 10 games, as manager Jones felt that had been a big part in their success this term.

He added: "It’s massive. We say about building our performances around our defensive principles and it’s proving that as if we we do keep a clean sheet, you’re definitely not going to lose, but you only need one to win a game.

"With what we have and how we play, we always feel we’re going to be get a goal, so the more clean sheets you get, the more guaranteed wins you can get."