There was spirit and craft but no goals and no Carabao Cup shock against Championship Ipswich Town as Luton succumbed to two David McGoldrick strikes.
The Hatters, having smashed an opening day record eight goals against Yeovil on Saturday, were brought back down to earth, though the bump is not one that should overly trouble them based on a performance where they caused plenty of problems for their higher division opposition.
Despite an undeserved last-gasp sucker punch the tie was effectively won in the 35th minute through the Tractor Boys' only moment of real quality - Manchester City loan ace Bersant Celina picking out the goalscorer with surgeon-like precision.
Sadly, Luton weren't quite as cutting or clinical and Elliot Lee may wonder how he missed a sitter at the death before the break.
Despite carving out the better chances in the second half and going for broke late on by throwing captain Scott Cuthbert up front, they have bigger priorities this term in League Two.
This competition did give boss Nathan Jones - who'd signed Bournemouth forward Harry Cornick before kick-off - the opportunity to make three changes to the side that set their campaign off with a bang. Elliot Lee, Glen Rea and Jordan Cook came in for Alan McCormack (rested), Dan Potts (dead leg) and Isaac Vassell (ill).
After the rip-roaring brilliance of the weekend, this was an expectedly more even affair, the only trepidation coming when Marek Stech skewed a passed clearance straight to Dominic Iorfa who was thankfully thwarted by a timely Rea interception.
But the goalie equipped himself better when he raced off his line to toe away from Celina.
Luton had to be patient at the other end and it was 21 minutes before Saturday's hat-trick hero James Collins shrugged off the attentions of his marker, but could not get enough purchase with a shot on the turn.
In contrast, Ipswich's McGoldrick had two sighters before he finally found his mark with the relatively simple task to steering home Celina's inch-perfect teaser.
Elliot Lee came close to levelling for Luton after he cut across the 18-yard line and curled low but agonisingly the wrong side of the upright. Heads were in hands at that miss and then even more so just before half-time when goalie Dean Gerken found a Cook shot too hot to handle, pushing it into the path of the striker who stabbed over with the goal gaping.
Early in the second half Stech was well-positioned to deny Jonas Knudsen from a corner, but the hosts rallied and Elliot Lee's teasing cross almost found Cuthbert before Cook struck the side netting after a one-two with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.
Collins must have thought he'd scored with a dipping volley that left Gerken rooted to the spot, just missing the target, but the stopper moved rather more quickly to deny Cuthbert at close quarters.
Jack Stacey and Alan Sheehan were alert to cut short a worrying counter from the Tractor Boys but Mpanzu quickly maintained the Hatters' attacking intent, though his blast thundered over.
Cuthbert mopped up after Rea's misjudgment almost gave McGoldrick the freedom of Luton's six-yard box. Though they continued to play on the break it signalled more threat from the visitors as Stech dived to guide out a Martyn Waghorn curler, saw Flynn Downes crack wide and then acrobatically tipped over a McGoldrick shot that deflected wickedly off Rea.
But the Czech had no chance as the clocked ticked into the third minute of time added on and the Ipswich front man found enough space to drill into the corner.
TOWN: Stech, Cuthbert, Stacey, O.Lee, Cook (Mullins, 86), Shinnie, Rea, Mpanzu, Collins, E.Lee (Gambin, 74), Sheehan. Unused subs: Senior, McQuoid, Bakinson, Shea, Musonda
IPSWICH: Gerken, Iorfa, Knudsen (Woolfenden, 45), Chambers, Webster, Skuse (McDonnell, 73), McGoldrick, Celina, Downes, Nydam (Waghorn 63), Kenlock. Unused subs: Rowe, Bialkowski, Webber
Yellows: Chambers, Downes, McGoldrick, Waghorn
Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 4,610 (796)
(Report by JAMES CUNLIFFE)