The Hatters fought hard but were convincingly beaten by league leaders Norwich City as the hosts claimed their seventh consecutive win.
James Collins struck the post early on, before Teemu Pukki’s first-half double and Todd Cantwell’s late strike gave the Canaries a comfortable win at Carrow Road.
After absorbing a spell of early pressure from the league leaders, the Hatters counter-attacked brilliantly with Luke Berry and Tom Ince combining to switch the play, resulting in the latter firing across goal with Collins striking the post at full stretch.
Despite the Hatters looking solid in the early stages of the game, it was Norwich who took the lead with their first chance of the game. Todd Cantwell was released in behind down Luton’s right, pulling back to Teemu Pukki inside the area who fired into the top corner for his 19th goal of the season.
Luton continued to look bright against their high-flying opponents, with Berry’s deep header being comfortably saved by Tim Krul.
Half-an-hour in and Simon Sluga was called into action to prevent the Canaries from doubling their advantage. After the hosts broke through Luton’s high press, Pukki unleashed a left footed effort from the right-side of the box, with the Croatian international pulling off a brilliant reaction save low to his right.
With the Hatters battling hard to keep the deficit at just one goal, Norwich doubled their advantage minutes before half-time in somewhat fortuitous fashion. Emi Buendia’s effort from the edge of the box took a heavy deflection off Matty Pearson, spilling through to the back post for Pukki to tap home for his second of the game.
The Hatters went into the half-time break having put in a good performance against their table-topping opponents, however trailed by two goals with it all to do in the second period if they were to come away with any points.
Luton manager Nathan Jones made one change at half-time, introducing Jordan Clark at right wing-back in the place of Luke Berry whilst switching to a back three.
Despite the change, Norwich continued to put pressure on the Hatters in and around their box, resulting in Nathan Jones making a triple change an hour in - introducing Harry Cornick, Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu and Elijah Adebayo in an attempt to stretch the game with runs in behind Norwich’s defence.
The changes had the desired effect for the Hatters, as they began to apply more pressure on Norwich’s back four, limiting the Canaries’ ability to create chances and build pressure.
15 minutes after the triple change Norwich extended their advantage against the run of play. This time it was Cantwell who got his name on the scoresheet, picking up the ball on the left and driving inside before firing a low shot that crept in at the near post after deflecting off Clark.
With Norwich enjoying a comfortable lead that would take a monumental late fight-back for the Hatters to overturn, the game fizzled out with neither side creating any chances of note late on.
Luton’s midweek clash with Rotherham has been postponed, so next up the Hatters face 4th placed Swansea City at Kenilworth Road in a week’s time.
Town: Sluga, Cranie, Pearson, Naismith, Potts, Tunnicliffe, Dewsbury-Hall (Bree 78), Berry (Clark 45), Ince (Mpanzu 61), Moncur (Cornick 61), Collins (Adebayo 61).
Subs not used: Shea, Hylton, Nombe, Morrell, Nombe.
Norwich: Krul, Giannoulis, Gibson, Hanley, Aarons, Skipp, Mclean (Idah 86), Buendia (Dowell 82), Rupp (Sorensen 78), Cantwell (Hernandez 78), Pukki (Hugill 82).
Subs not used: Zimmermann, Vrancic, Tettey, Barden.
Goals: Pukki (12, 43), Cantwell (73)
Referee: David Webb