The Hatters made it two wins in two with a memorable midweek victory against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground this evening.
After Forest dominated the opening period, Ryan Tunnicliffe opened the scoring midway through the second-half as the Hatters held on for their twelfth win of the season.
Luton Manager Nathan Jones started the same team that fought back from two goals down after half-time to beat Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, bringing Harry Cornick, Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu and Glen Rea into the starting eleven.
Forest started the stronger of the two sides. Anthony Knockaert found former Brighton teammate Glen Murray free in the box with a whipped cross from the right, which forced Town stopper Simon Sluga into an early save low at his near post.
As the Hatters grew into the game in the opening fifteen minutes, Sluga was called into his second save of the opening period. Knockaert pulled a wide free-kick back to Lolley on the edge of the box, who fired at goal first time with Sluga parrying away before saving Cafu’s follow-up effort.
Half-an-hour in and Forest should have taken the lead through centre-forward Murray. Knockaert broke away down the left flank after Forest won possession on the edge of their own box, finding Murray six yards out who fired over on the volley.
The Hatters finished the half by creating a half-chance of their own, with Glen Rea releasing Elijah Adebayo in behind the Forest defence, who cut inside onto his left foot but his shot was blocked from 12 yards.
Town went into the half-time break behind on the chances count but crucially level on the scoreboard and with a platform to build on at the City Ground.
On the hour mark Sluga was once again called into action, saving well low to his left. Yuri Ribeiro broke down the left, with his pull back rolling through to James Garner on the edge of the box before firing low through the legs of Matty Pearson.
Saturday’s match winner Adebayo came close to giving the Hatters the lead minutes after Sluga’s save. Town’s young striker won the first header from a long ball, allowing Tunnicliffe to fire in powerful effort that was blocked and fell into the path of Adebayo who couldn’t make a clean connection, shooting straight at Brice Samba.
Midway through the second half and the Hatters took the front after Tunnicliffe scored his second in two games. The impressive Jordan Clark drove inside from the right and found Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu down the left, who delivered an inswinging cross into the path of Tunnicliffe who poked home after arriving late in the box.
Forest manager Chris Hughton responded by bringing on Lyle Taylor and Sammy Ameobi in an attempt to get themselves back into the game, however it was the Hatters who came close to doubling their advantage soon after. Adebayo was once again involved, driving past Joe Worrall to the by-line and pulling back into Clark, with his effort across goal shaving the far post.
The Hatters continued to threaten occasionally on the counter-attack. This time Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall picked the ball up inside Town’s half, driving forward with Cornick ahead of him but firing straight at Forest ‘keeper Samba.
As the time ticked down into three minutes of stoppage time the Hatters successfully slowed the game and denied Forest any sight of goal, sealing a fantastic away victory and making it two wins in four days as they moved up to 13th in the Championship table.
Town: Sluga, Pearson, Naismith, Potts, Clark, Rea (C), Mpanzu, Tunnicliffe, Dewsbury-Hall, Cornick (Bree 85), Adebayo (Collins 81).
Goals: Tunnicliffe (64)
Subs not used: Shea, Cranie, Berry, Ince, Moncur, Hylton, Nombe.
Forest: Samba, Christie, Worrall (C), Figueirdo, Ribeiro, Cafu, Garner, Lolley (Amerobi 68), Krovinovic (Taylor 68), Knockaert (Mighten 79), Murray.
Subs not used: Smith, Blackett, Jenkinson, Mbe Soh, Colback, Freeman.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
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