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Match Reports

Report | Stoke City 2-0 Luton Town

8 November 2022

Match Reports

Report | Stoke City 2-0 Luton Town

8 November 2022

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The Hatters slipped to defeat on the road at Stoke City tonight, with two goals inside the opening 12 minutes bringing to an end a three-match unbeaten sequence for Nathan Jones' side.

A second-minute header from Nick Powell and an own goal from Tom Lockyer meant that the points stayed in the Potteries, despite the Hatters dominating large periods of the game with captain for the night Lockyer rattling the woodwork soon into the second half.

Jones made three changes to the team that won at Blackpool on Saturday, the first enforced as Harry Isted came in between the sticks for his second Championship start against his former club, with Ethan Horvath missing out through illness.

Gabe Osho returned from his three-match suspension and came into the back-line alongside Lockyer.

After he was brought on in the first half at Bloomfield Road, Harry Cornick came into the starting XI, complementing fellow attackers Elijah Adebayo and Carlton Morris.

Alfie Doughty was named on the bench at the bet365 stadium after he missed out on the matchday squad at the weekend through injury.

Town fell behind in the third minute when Nick Powell arrived unmarked in the centre of the goal to head Morgan Fox's cross past Isted.

The Hatters tried to mount an immediate response, Bree's deep right-wing cross headed behind for a corner, from which he then found Lockyer in the six-yard box, but the Welshman couldn't keep his effort down.

Jordan Clark got his head on an 11th-minute cross from Morris, but it hit Cornick who was flagged offside, although the ball appeared to be heading wide regardless.

Town had spent almost the entire opening period in the Stoke half, but it was 2-0 to the hosts in the 12th minute when another Fox cross from the left was turned past his own keeper by the stretching Lockyer at the near post.

Powell sliced wide a chance to make it three on 24 minutes, but after a spell of good possession in the final third, Clark struck a 25-yarder that skimmed off the turf and into home keeper Jack Bonham's grateful arms.

With Osho on a yellow for a foul on Powell, Jones switched to a back four, as he had out of necessity at Blackpool on Saturday, with Bree and Bell reverting to full-back and Clark pushed into an attacking midfield role in a 4-3-3.

Within a minute, Town had created their best chance of the game, Adebayo's initial shot being blocked, but the striker retrievinig the ball to lay back for Bell to pick out Morris with a beauty of a cross, but the top scorer's volley was straight at Bonham.

After giving Bell and Liam Delap a lecture following a tangle on the halfway line, referee Oliver Langford then booked Lockyer for a foul on Dwight Gayle before a real scrappy period carried on in stop-start fashion to half-time.

The Hatters came out of the blocks quickly after the break, Bell forcing Bonham to tip over a cross-shot before Morris saw a shot deflected behind for a 57th-minute corner, from which Lockyer volleyed against the post.

Osho produced a terrific block at full stretch to deby Delap from 15 yards, then Jones threw Saturday's matchwinner Luke Berry into the fray with just over 20 minutes to go, in place of Campbell, who had worked tirelessly as ever in midfield.

Town continued to dominate in terms of possession and efforts on goal, before Isted was required to deny Stoke a third goal as he expertly tipped Delap's long-range effort over the crossbar.

Nevertheless, it was a third league defeat on the road this season, with Saturday's home match against Rotherham United the final before the World Cup break.

Goals: Powell 3', Lockyer (OG) 12'

Att: 18,095 (784 Hatters)

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