Three wins in a week for Luton as Dons are dispatched
League One: AFC Wimbledon 0 Luton Town 2
Second half goals from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Elliot Lee earned Luton a third win of an excellent week as they triumphed 2-0 at struggling AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.
After what was a first half lacking in quality, Town backed up victories against Walsall and Accrington Stanley with a much improved display after the break, and could even afford to miss a penalty through Danny Hylton on their way to a second away success of the season.
Manager Nathan Jones made one change for the clash, Jorge Grant missing out with a slight groin injury, Lee coming in, while Lloyd Jones was back on the bench.
The Hatters were inches away from an opening goal inside just four minutes, when Jack Stacey's deep cross to the back post was met by Hylton, fresh from his hat-trick against Accrington on Tuesday night, his looping header hitting the inside of the post.
From the rebound, Andrew Shinnie's effort was blocked, with Glen Rea's follow up well over.
Hylton was proving a threat in the air in the early stages, as Lee and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu linked well, with the former dinking a cross over for Town's leading scorer to nod goalwards, Rod McDonald back in time to hook off the line.
The hosts took until the half hour to really give former Dons keeper James Shea a scare, Anthony Hartigan's 20 yard volley flying narrowly wide.
Luton's opportunities came from aerial balls into the box, James Collins having a header straight at Joe McDonnell, while Hylton glanced Justin's free kick off target.
Just before the break, Scott Wagstaff's hopeful 25 yarder was straight at Shea, the effort summing up the disappointing nature of the first period.
After the break, Shinnie showed some good intent, rifling over the bar from range, while Hartigan also tried his luck when a fair way out, his free kick not coming down in time.
Still it was in the air when Luton looked the most likely, Justin's set-piece reaching Sonny Bradley whose header landed on the roof of the net.
Luton then had the lead on 61 minutes, when Shinnie did superbly to get away on the byline, picking out Mpanzu at the far post, who volleyed home his first goal of the season.
Buoyed by the assist, Shinnie started to take control of midfield, dominating proceedings, as he powered forwards to find Lee, who cut back on to his right shooting at McDonnell.
The keeper was to play a crucial role on 67 minutes though as Hylton was tripped in the area, referee Davies pointing to the spot.
Hylton stepped up, but this time his attempted dink down the middle lacked power and height, as although McDonnell had already gone to his right, he had plenty of time to just readjust and catch the tame attempt.
The Dons, the lowest scorers in the league, and without a goal in their last two, never really once looked like getting back in the game, Liam Trotter's header from a long throw easy for Shea.
Town continued to press, trying to kill the game off, Rea looping a header over, while Hylton, looking to make amends, could only rifle into the side-netting, with Collins denied by the legs of McDonnell.
Luton did have the crucial breathing space that their second half display deserved with 10 minutes left, as a fine advantage from referee Davies, saw Collins win the ball well and find Lee 22 yards from goal, who proceeded to bend the ball beyond McDonnell and into the bottom corner.
From then on, Town were on easy street, comfortable repelling the Dons' direct threats, as they won their first even league contest at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
The win put them up a place to fifth in the table as well, climbing above Accrington, who held leaders Portsmouth to a 1-1 draw.
Dons: Joe McDonnell, Ben Purrington (Mitch Pinnock 65), Deji Oshilaja, Will Nightingale, Scott Wagstaff, Anthony Hartigan, Kwesi Appiah (Joe Piggot 65) Liam Trotter, James Hanson, Tom Soares, Rod McDonald.
Subs not used: Tom King, Tennia Watson, Terell Thomas, Alfie Egan, Tyler Burey.
Hatters: James Shea, Jack Stacey, James Justin, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Glen Rea (C), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie, Elliot Lee (Alan Sheehan 84), James Collins, Danny Hylton.
Subs not used: Harry Isted, Alan McCormack, Aaron Jarvis, Harry Cornick, Lloyd Jones, Kazenga LuaLua.
Booked: Wagstaff 62.
Referee: Andy Davies.
Attendance: 4,202 (Luton 751).