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Match Reports

Report | Luton Town 3-0 Peterborough United

Perfect start as the Hatters score three without reply!

7 August 2021

Match Reports

Report | Luton Town 3-0 Peterborough United

Perfect start as the Hatters score three without reply!

7 August 2021

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The Hatters made a perfect start to the Championship campaign as a capacity crowd returned to Kenilworth Road for the first time in almost 18 months with goals from Elijah Adebayo, Harry Cornick and Fred Onyedinma - making a brilliant debut - sealing a 3-0 win over newly-promoted Peterborough.

The Kenny rocked to the long yearned for sound of 10,000 fans singing Mick Harford's name, before a minute's applause in tribute to the supporters who have passed away since the start of the pandemic.

It was also the first time back in front of a full house for manager Nathan Jones, who handed a Luton debut to Amari’i Bell who starts in place of Dan Potts after he picked up an injury against Brighton and Hove Albion last time out.

There are competitive debuts for Allan Campbell and Fred Onyedinma, whilst Gabe Osho makes his first league start for the Hatters in defence – alongside captain for the day, Kal Naismith.

The visitors were almost handed an early lead when Sluga miscontrolled Osho's back pass, but the Croatian international raced back to atone for his error and clear it off the line.

Last season's supporters' player of the year was soon hearing his name ring around the packed stadium, however, claiming a 12th-minute free-kick from former Town loanee Jorge Grant and setting Cornick and Campbell away with an early kick. 

Cornick's cross was blocked, but Bree followed up to pick out Clark, who arrived into the box to glance a header inches wide of the far post.

Clark, Onyedinma and Adebayo, who appealed for a penalty when seemingly held back as he looked to attack a cross, were all posing the Posh defence problems, and Frankie Kent was soon the first into ref Andy Woolmer's book for a late foul on Onyedinma as the left winger looked to race clear midway inside the visitors' half.

Peterborough had their first attempt on goal in the 25th minute, Grant firing wide from outside the area, but the Hatters soon had their noses in front just after the half-hour.

Clark won, then took a right-wing corner, rolling the ball short to Onyedinma who teased Joe Ward before standing up a cross which Adebayo met with a downward header that went in off the far post, Posh keeper Christy Pym's desperate attempts to keep it out all to no avail.

Sluga had to be at his best to preserve the Hatters' lead in the 41st minute, first pushing Joe Tomlinson's shot away, then reacting to keep Grant's inswinging cross out as Jonson Clarke-Harris looked to get a foot on it. Osho slid in to deny Sammie Szmodics a chance of pouncing on the loose ball.

Onyedinma came close to doubling the Hatters' lead two minutes before the break as Campbell did well to play a one-two with Cornick and get to the right byline, cutting the ball back to the edge of the box where the ex-Wycombe man fired at goal, only for a deflection to take it wide for a corner.

There were no changes at the break, and after ten minutes of sizing each other up, the first incident of note of the second half came with a yellow card for Posh midfielder Josh Knight, sent off against the Town when playing for Wycombe last season, for a late challenge on Clark in the 55th minute.

Posh survived a second potential red card when captain Mark Beevers handled midway inside his own half as Adebayo nicked the ball past him, and looked to be denied a clear goalscoring opportunity. Referee Woolmer again showed only yellow though, before booking both Jones and Posh boss Darren Ferguson for protesting on the touchline.

Bree sent the resulting free-kick narowly wide after a three-minute hold-up, but the Town were two to the good within a couple of minutes as Onyedinma once again terrorised Thompson before cutting back for Cornick to steer home from close range.

It was three on 71 minutes as Cornick fed Bree down the right touchline to whip in a wonderful cross that just cleared Clark, for Onyedinma to meet on the volley. Pym saved his first effort, but could do nothing to prevent the winger firing home for a debut goal.

The Kenny erupted, as it did when he received a standing ovation as he was substituted for Carlos Mendes Gomes, joining another debutant in Admiral Muskwe, who had replaced Cornick moments earlier.

There was still time for a sixth Hatters debut, with Henri Lansbury enterig the fray with five minutes left as Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu's 299th appearance for the club ended with a similar reception.

What a day to be a Hatter. Luton, and our fans, are back!


Goals: Adebayo 31, Cornick 68, Onyedinma 71

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