Match report: Luton Town 0-1 Plymouth Argyle
The Town’s wait for a first win in the Football League at Kenilworth Road goes on, as a second half goal from Dominic Blizzard gave Plymouth the points.
The Hatters, showing four changes to the side that lost at Shrewsbury, had their best chances during an entertaining first half.
Luke Guttridge, who orchestrated the Town’s play for long periods of the game, tested Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick as early as the third minute when his free-kick – heading for the top corner – was parried away by the visitors’ stopper.
The Hatters began well, and 10 minutes later Luke Rooney swept over a first-time shot following Jake Howells’ left-wing cross.
Plymouth – who arrived at Kenilworth Road having lost both of their previous two away games – almost took the lead on 17 minutes when Lewis Alessandra raced clear of the Town defence but could only shoot straight at Mark Tyler.
Back came the Town, and the faintest of fingertips from McCormick prevented Howells from slotting home after a superb through-ball from Guttridge.
As half-time approached the Hatters were again denied by the excellence of McCormick with Howells again left frustrated when he darted into the box and drilled a shot low that the Argyle keeper turned away with his foot.
After the break, the Town continued to look for a breakthrough. On 55 minutes Howells’ corner from the right caused confusion in the Plymouth penalty area and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s shot from six yards was blocked by two defenders.
But the Hatters’ failure to take their chances came back to haunt them midway through the second half when Argyle took the lead. Blizzard, who had come close moments before, worked a yard of space on the edge of the penalty area to shoot hard and low beyond the outstretched hand of Tyler.
Behind, John Still introduced Alex Lawless and Ross Lafayette in the final 20 minutes as the Town hunted an equaliser.
However, it was Plymouth who looked the more likely to grab the next goal: the dangerous Reuben Reid – a handful all afternoon for the Town defence – almost came close to latching onto a right-wing cross on 72 minutes.
Lafayette lashed a shot wide with 15 minutes left on the clock for the Town before McCormick was alert to keep out a stray back-header from his own skipper Curtis Nelson with two minutes left.
The Hatters huffed and puffed in the closing stages, including five minutes injury time, but Argyle held on to secure victory.
Town: Tyler; Connolly, Griffiths, McNulty, Lacey; Howells (sub Lawless), Drury (sub Stevenson), Ruddock Mpanzu, Rooney, Guttridge, Cullen (sub Lafayette). Subs not used: Smith, Wall, Wilkinson, Justham.
Attendance: 7,864, including 527 from Plymouth.