A strong performance and first-half red card for Coventry City helped the Hatters on their way to a fully deserved 2-0 win over Coventry City under the lights at Kenilworth Road.
James Bree’s first goal for the club, indeed his first ever in senior football, was followed up by an Elijah Adebayo penalty before the Hatters saw out the second half with relative ease.
Manager Nathan Jones was forced into one change from Saturday’s defeat to Swansea City, replacing the injured Dan Potts with Glen Rea, who slotted into the middle of the back-three.
After January deadline day Adebayo forced an early fumble from Coventry goalkeeper Ben Wilson, both sides hit the woodwork in a remarkable two-minute spell.
It was the Hatters who came close first after a Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall out-swinging free-kick was turned onto the post and then the bar by Coventry defenders, before Maxime Biamou hit the post for the visitors after being released through on goal.
Seven minutes later and Biamou had another chance after once again being released through on goal, this time firing wide in what was another early let off for the Hatters.
After a frustrating 90 minutes against Swansea on the weekend where manager Jones rued his side's lack of cutting edge, the Hatters took the lead through James Bree.
Jordan Clark won possession in Luton’s half and fed Harry Cornick down the left, who drove forward and delivered to find Bree at the back post who fired home right footed for that maiden goal on his 163rd senior appearance.
Despite Town taking the lead, Coventry continued to threaten the back three, with Biamou again having an opportunity to fire towards goal from the edge of the box. After winning the initial knock-down from a goal kick, Coventry’s centre-forward fed Gustavo Hamer who raced in behind, pulling back into Biamou, but his shot was deflected over the bar by a resolute Matty Pearson.
As the game entered the latter stages of the first-half, Luton were awarded a penalty with Coventry’s Kyle McFadzean being sent off for a handball on the line.
Clark delivered a deep cross from the left that saw Adebayo force another fumble from ‘keeper Wilson, with the ball dropping to Cornick, whose scuffed shot was handled on the line by Coventry’s skipper.
Adebayo stepped up to take the penalty, coolly slotting home into the bottom right corner and giving the Hatters a two-goal advantage going into half-time.
With Luton looking to push on in the second half and take advantage of the extra man, they came close to extending their lead five minutes in after Coventry remarkably hit their own woodwork for the third time of the game following a Luton corner, with Glen Rea firing the follow-up over the bar.
After an extended spell of pressure from the visitors, the Hatters broke free with 20 minutes remaining. This time it was Ryan Tunnicliffe who came close to giving the Hatters the third goal they wanted after Cornick was released down the right flank, with Coventry half-clearing his low cross straight into the path of Tunnicliffe, whose shot was blocked on the line by Leo Ostigard.
The Hatters were really starting to exploit their man advantage and a few minutes after Tunnicliffe came close, Clark was found at the back post by a deep Dewsbury-Hall cross, volleying towards goal with ‘keeper Wilson saving well.
The Town controlled the game as the clock ticked down, introducing James Collins and Sam Nombe with ten minutes to play and the pair provided fresh energy up front, with both players going close in the final seconds of stoppage time after Dewsbury-Hall crossed in low from the left.
Next up, Luton travel to Preston North End and will be looking to follow up a strong midweek showing with another three points.
TOWN: Sluga, Rea, Pearson, Naismith, Bree, Clark, Dewsbury-Hall, Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Cornick (Nombe 81), Adebayo (Collins 81).
Subs not used: Shea, Cranie, Berry, Moncur, LuaLua, Morrell, Ince.
Yellows: Pearson, Nombe.
Goals: Bree (22), Adebayo (Pen 41)
COVENTRY: Wilson, Ostigard, McFadzean, Kelly (C), Biamou (Walker 72), O’Hare (Godden 72), Hyam, McCallum, Dabo (Da Costa 62), James, Hamer (Sheaf 62).
Subs not used: Marosi, Allen, Pask, Shipley