Luton Town took all 3 points from an open but even game against a top half Bristol City team. Luton took the lead in the 17th minute from a Glen Rea volley, Bristol City equalised through an own goal from Sonny Bradley in the 61st minute. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall netted the winner from 22 yards in the 68th minute.
Luton went into the game in good form at home. They were unbeaten in five at Kenilworth Road and the recent record when the lights are on is also very good. Bristol City started the season well but have been in poor form recently. They have a very long injury list and were only able to name eight subs.
As usual this season, Nathan Jones rotated his squad as he made six changes from the 2-1 defeat at Reading on Boxing Day. Sluga, Pearson, Norrington-Davies, Tunnicliffe, Dewsbury-Hall and Cornick came in for Shea, Cranie, Potts, Berry, Clark and Moncur. Potts, Clark and Moncur dropped to the bench, Cranie wasn’t in the squad, Berry was injured and Shea wasn’t in the squad as his partner was due to give birth. Bristol City made one change, Massengo came in for O’Dowda.
The first part of the game was quite cagey until the 17th minute. Then, from a Dewsbury-Hall corner, Rea was unmarked at the back post and free to hit the ball on the volley from about eight yards out past Bentley and into the corner of the net. It was a brilliant finish from an unlikely scorer for his 2nd goal of the season.
Bristol City thought they should have had a penalty in the 27th minute when Semenyo went down but it would have been soft had it been given by the referee who was Gavin Ward. Bristol City had a few half chances shortly after that, Semenyo had a shot straight at Sluga and Wells’ shot well wide. Their best chance of the game came when Hunt crossed from the Bristol City right and Martin’s header hit the underside of the bar.
Harry Cornick had his best game so far this season. as well as showcasing his long throw again, he put in several dangerous crosses which were cleared or put behind by the Bristol City defence. After his earlier strike Rea was eying up more goals and the first double in his career but this time his shot from 25 yards went over the bar.
Half Time: Luton Town 1-0 Bristol City
The first action of the second half was another shot from Rea which unsurprisingly went over the bar.
The best chance for Luton to extend the lead came in the 52nd minute. An attack down the right-hand side from Cornick who played in Collins with plenty of space, he got his shot away well from just inside the area which was well saved by Bentley.
Bakinson had a header against his former club which he sent over the bar. The Bristol City equaliser came in the 61st minute when a cross from Wells on the left was turned into his own net by Bradley. It was unfortunate for the Luton captain, he had to do something as Bristol City had men in the box who would have had a simple conversion.
There was an immediate reaction from Nathan Jones. he made a double change, LuaLua and Potts came on for Tunnicliffe and Ruddock. Potts was ready to come on at 1-0. Tunnicliffe had a decent game but was taken off because of a yellow card which he picked up in the first half.
Luton responded well to the setback. Cornick had a brilliant strike with the outside of his right foot which looked like it was heading for the top corner but went just wide.
Luton regained the lead in the 68th minute after a poor clearance from the visitors fell to Dewsbury-Hall in an advanced position, he took a touch and set himself from 22 yards out and unleashed a brilliant drive into the bottom corner. Bentley may feel he could have done better but it was a brilliant strike from Dewsbury-Hall. It’s a goal that he’s deserved since he joined Luton on loan in the summer, his previous efforts have often ended up in the stands or on the roof.
Norrington-Davies was very close to scoring his first Luton goal in the last few minutes of the game. LuaLua made a good run down the left and played in Norrington-Davies who cut in on his right foot and got a shot away which was well saved by Bentley.
Bristol City didn’t have any clear chances in the last few minutes as the Luton defence did well to keep them out. Rowe put in one cross from the left but fortunately for Luton there was no one in a Bristol City shirt on the end of it.
Full Time: Luton 2-1 Bristol City
Man of the Match- Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall