Hatters back to winning ways as they see off Sky Blues

Championship: Luton Town 2 Coventry City 0

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 9:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 9:14 pm
Elijah Adebayo tucks home from the penalty spot this evening

A first senior goal from James Bree and Elijah Adebayo s penalty saw Luton put another welcome three points on the board as they beat struggling Coventry City in an entertaining affair at Kenilworth Road this evening.

After a first half in which the hosts could have found themelves trailing had Sky Blues forward Maxime Biamou located the target on three presentable occasions, they managed to lead 2-0 at the break, facing 45 minutes against 10 men with Kyle McFadzean dismissed for deliberate handball.

The margin of victory should have been far greater during the second half once Town changed shape again to nullify their opponents, but a number of glorious opportunities were spurned, leaving boss Nathan Jones thankful they had beaten keeper Ben Wilson twice before the interval.

Luton made just one change to their side for the contest, Glen Rea replacing Dan Potts who hadn't recovered from his head injury suffered against Swansea City on Saturday.

Town made a bright start, Harry Cornick unable to pick out Ryan Tunnicliffe after breaking away on the left and then Coventry keeper Wilson failing to gather under pressure from Adebayo, Bree's ball back in missing the lurking Cornick.

A free kick by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall saw City saved by their woodwork not once but twice from sliced clearances by their own defenders, as they eventually managed to clear the danger.

With 12 minutes gone, the visitors should have been ahead as Town's offside trap failed badly, with Callum O'Hare playing Biamou clean through.

The attacker beat Simon Sluga but saw his shot cannon off the post and away, with the keeper able to slide in and send the ball out for a throw.

Chances kept coming at both ends in an increasingly open first half, as Luton kept the ball alive with Kal Naismith's cross headed out as far as Rea, who disappointingly slammed a volley well wide from 12 yards.

Town had yet another let-off on 18 minutes though, as once again their offside trap failed badly, Biamou faced with just Sluga once more, but on his left foot, shanked woefully off target.

However, Luton made the most of their good fortune with 23 minutes gone as Cornick escaped on the left, and this time his final ball was spot on, picking out the advancing Bree who volleyed home his first ever senior goal, although Wilson will think he could have done better.

Biamou's wastefulness in front of goal continued just before the break, as picked out by Matthew James' cut back, his low effort cannoned off a covering defender and flew behind for a corner.

It again came back to bite the visitors as on 41 minutes a deep cross by Jordan Clark was met by Adebayo who once more beat Wilson in the air.

It dropped to Cornick a few yards out, with his effort kept out by the arm of McFadzean, the centre half seeing red for his troubles, allowing Adebayo to make absolutely no mistake from the spot, a stuttering run up and cool finish arrowing into the bottom corner.

After the break, Luton's defence still didn't look sure of themselves, Matty Pearson having to make a last-ditch block to prevent O'Hare from pulling one back.

However, the hosts still had chances of their own and should really have had a third when Dewsbury-Hall's corner was flicked on to his own woodwork by Sam McCallum, Rea lifting his follow-up over.

The Sky Blues continued to look for a way back, Sluga forced to punch clear, as they didn't appear to be the ones who were a man short, Gustavo Hamer volleying tamely wide from 20 yards.

The impressive Tunnicliffe sent one potshot over, before going mightily close to a third for Luton, arrowing a drive goalwards, which was prevented by going in by a fine goal-line clearance from Leo Ostigard.

A change in shape saw Town return to a four-man defence, with Rea in the holding role, and they immediately looked more comfortable, starving the Coventry forwards of any real service, Naismith once more showing some classy touches.

Luton then finally started to regain the initiative, as they began to make their extra man count, Dewsbury-Hall lofting a cross to the back post where Clark's volley drew an excellent reflex save from Wilson, Tunnicliffe curling his attempt frustratingly over.

With both Adebayo and Cornick starting to tire, Jones threw on James Collins and Sam Nombe, the latter immediately booked for a scything challenge on Sam McCallum.

Town kept creating and missing opportunities to put the game well and truly to bed, Nombe's low cross hammered into the stands at the back post by Dewsbury-Hall.

Then in the final moments, Luton missed yet another glaring chance as Dewsbury-Hall's cross was perfect for Nombe, but he was denied a maiden Town goal by the legs of Wilson, with Collins putting his rebound well wide.

Thankfully it didn't matter as the Hatters could still reflect on a very welcome three points in the bag ahead of Saturday's trip to an out of form Preston side.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree, Matty Pearson, Glen Rea, Kal Naismith, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jordan Clark, Harry Cornick (James Collins 81), Elijah Adebayo (Sam Nombe 81).

Subs not used: James Shea, Joe Morrell, Tom Ince, Luke Berry, George Moncur, Kazenga LuaLua, Martin Cranie.

Sky Blues: Ben Wilson, Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean, Liam Kelly ©, Maxime Biamou (Matthew Godden 72), Callum O'Hare (Tyler Walker 72), Dominic Hyam, Sam McCallum, Fanktay Dabo (Julien Dacosta 62), Matthew James, Gustavo Hamer (Ben Sheaf 62).

Subs not used: Marko Marosi, Jamie Allen, Viktor Gyokeres, Josh Pask, Jordan Shipley.

Booked: Nombe 81, Pearson 90.

Sent off: McFadzean 41.

Referee: Stephen Martin.