Match Reports

Report | Luton Town 0-1 Burnley

The Hatters turned in an excellent performance against Championship leaders Burnley, but ultimately saw their five-match unbeaten league run ended by a late Ashley Barnes penalty as the visitors took all three points back to the north-west.


Barnes struck with a 78th-minute spot-kick - the third Town have conceded in as many matches - before captain Tom Lockyer was sent off for two yellow cards shown by referee Jeremy Simpson in the game's most controversial incident.

Rob Edwards made one change to his line-up from the team that started up at Preston on Wednesday, Leeds loanee Cody Drameh returning to the starting line-up after missing the last two matches, replacing Fred Onyedinma who started in midweek.

Marvelous Nakamba makes his first home league start alongside Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Jordan Clark in midfield, whilst Alfie Doughty was back on the bench after he missed out in the 1-1 draw at Deepdale.

Town started well and had the game's first attempt on goal on 12 minutes, Adebayo and Morris linking up well with a one-two 25 yards out, but visiting keeper Arijanet Muric was equal to the former's shot, diving full length to his right to push it behind for a corner.

Tom Lockyer managed to get his head on a 14th-minute Jordan Clark free-kick, twice, but Burnley managed to clear as Town posed some early questions, pressing the Burnley backline high as they attempted to play out.

It wasn't until the half-hour mark that Burnley had their first effort on goal, Johann Gudmundsson seeing his curling free-kick well saved by Ethan Horvath, diving low to his right in the Town goal.

Drameh's afternoon was over as early as the 32nd minute, the right wing-back unable to continue after picking up a blow earlier in the game when challenging Ian Maatsen, a blow that required lengthy treatment.

Doughty came on in his place, and Burnley soon had Josh Brownhill receiving the game's first yellow card, the midfielder taking Clark out as the Town man sold two players a dummy and looked to break clear into the visitors' half.

By then the Hatters were in the ascendancy, Mpanzu juggling the ball to create space for a 25-yard shot that Muric saved, before racing to the left byline to receive a pass from Amari'i Bell and cutting back for Adebayo, who couldn't keep his shot down from seven yards.

It had been an excellent first half performance from the Town, as they headed in goalless at the break - during which the Under-18s received a rapturous ovation from the crowd as they received the EFL Youth Alliance South-East Division championship trophy, presented by chairman David Wilkinson.

A stop-start opening to the second period saw a brief burst of life in the 53rd minute when Burnley top scorer Nathan Tella looked to have escaped the Hatters defenders' attentions, only for Reece Burke to get back and make a terrific block in the box, before Ashley Barnes struck a 20-yarder wide of the target.

Vincent Kompany made his first change straight away, bringing on Morrocco international winger Anass Zaroury for Gudmundsson, then Edwards made his second in the 57th minute, replacing top scorer Morris with Cauley Woodrow.

Burnley won their first corner of the half in the 64th minute and it needed captain Lockyer to be on his mettle to block an effort from substitute Vitinho, who then dragged a left footed shot well wide after being set up by Barnes.

Nakamba had performed weill again on his home debut at the base of the Town midfield, but his work for the day was done in the 68th minute, being replaced by Campbell after receiving treatment.

Adebayo went on a driving run to the byline and delivered a low cross to Campbell, but the Scot couldn't get the ball out from his feet quick enough.

Burnley had the lead in the 78th minute when Barnes netted from the spot - the third game in a row the Hatters had conceded from 12 yards - after Osho was penalised for handling as Vitinho attempted to lift the ball past him in the box.

Lockyer was booked for complaining about the decision, then was shown a red card straight after the goal for continuing his protests.

Before the game could restart, Adebayo was booked after Barnes twice deliberately body checked him in blocking his attempted run over the halfway line into Burnley's half, during two aborted kick-offs.

The Hatters couldn't fashion the chance to get the goal back, and the unbeaten run came to a disappointing end.


Barnes (pen) 78'

Att: 10,066 (1,026 away)

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