- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, October 19th 2019
- Kenilworth Road
James Crawley reports from Kenilworth Road
Report: Luton Town 3-0 Bristol City
Saturday, October 19th 2019
Two goals just six minutes apart and a late own goal brought City’s unbeaten run to an end at Kenilworth Road.
After an end-to-end first half, the first goal in this game would be crucial. And so it came to be when Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu picked out the top corner to score his first Sky Bet Championship goal for Luton.
Harry Cornick slotted beyond Dan Bentley just six minutes later with the frame of Luton’s goal preventing a debut goal for City’s latest recruit Rodri.
An unfortunate own goal from Ashley Williams, who slid across in an attempt to block Ryan Tunnicliffe's low cross, rubbed salt into the wounds deep into stoppage time.
It had been 14 years since City’s last league visit to Kenilworth Road – 2015 the last meeting in the League Cup - and it was not a result to remember as the result ends the Robins unbeaten streak at ten matches in the Championship.
Jack Hunt was restored to make his 350th career appearance. Lee Johnson made three changes in all with Hunt, Nathan Baker and Kasey Palmer all returned to the starting XI, meaning Pedro Pereira, Callum O’Dowda and Niclas Eliasson were named among the substitutes alongside Spanish forward Rodri.
It was an exciting first half for the neutral and Rowe was particularly busy in the early offerings, first forcing James Shea into a low stop before taking the ball around the Luton keeper but firing off target from a narrow angle.
An open contest
Shea was soon busy again when a moment of madness from Martin Cranie played in Kasey Palmer. The attacking midfielder was initially offside until Cranie’s back header and as Palmer tried to round Luton’s goalkeeper, Shea got the block in.
It had been a bright start from City for sure but the home side were growing in confidence. Their first notable chance fell to Izzy Brown who could only stab the ball straight at Bentley. He was crowded out as he attempted to shoot, which thankfully took any sting out of the effort.
With the home side finding some rhythm, only the crossbar came to City’s rescue when Brown unleashed a fierce first-time shot from the edge of the area.
It was quite the warning for Johnson’s side who came inches to taking the lead just moment later themselves. Andreas Weimann latched on to a chip over the Luton backline where he was forced to hold up play. Eventually he sent a teasing cross towards Famara Diédhiou at the backpost, but it just evaded the striker with Shea backtracking.
But it had been an end-to-end contest with the final minutes of the first half proving no different. And in that nature, the Hatters were soon threatening again with James Collins first shooting across goal before a diving save from Bentley denied Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.
Luton break the deadlock
However, there was little he could do to keep out Mpanzu’s strike ten minutes into the second half. He found the top corner of Bentley’s goal, cutting in off the left and bending an unstoppable right-footed shot.
Johnson made a double change with Eliasson and O’Dowda on to replace Taylor Moore and Palmer but they had little time to impact the game before Luton scored again.
The hatters doubled their lead when Cornick bet the offside trap. Brown slipped in the striker who raced through one-on-one with Bentley before slotting the ball beyond the Robins’ last line of defence.
Enter Spanish striker Rodri, last week’s signing in BS3, who saw a header denied by the Luton post, while at the other end Luton continued to pour forward with Collins denied by a vital Bentley block.
City would see the ball in the back of the Luton net and it was debut delight for Rodri, if only for a second, as the flag was raised for offside.
City couldn’t force a way back into the fixture and Williams' sliding block turned the ball into his own net at the death. They now look forward to back-to-back home matches, the first against Charlton Athletic on Wednesday night.
- Mpanzu (56') , Cornick (62')
- James Bree, Isaiah Brown, Harry Cornick
- Williams (95' og)
- Taylor Moore, Kasey Palmer, Famara Diédhiou