Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Luton Town: A poor Owls side beaten by disciplined Luton
 (Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images)
  • Story of the game

Just 16 seconds in and Luton Town should have taken an early lead. Danny Hylton broke clear of Aden Flint, chopped back and then out-foxed Cameron Dawson who hesitated in coming off his line. The Hatters number nine looked certain to score but Flint had positioned himself perfectly and headed expertly off the line. 

Adam Reach and Callum Paterson had half chances for Sheffield Wednesday inside the opening 10 minutes in a frantic opening to the encounter. Shortly after, Tom Lockyer flashed a half volley just wide of Dawson's upright from a Luton free-kick.

Midway through the first half and Nathan Jones' side had another great chance to go a goal up. Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu played an intricate one-two with Elliot Lee with the return pass setting Mpanzu through on goal, but he could only slip his effort past the post.

The remainder of the half was very scrappy with little in the way of any eye-catching play from either side. The visitors entered the dressing rooms the happier, they could and should have been two goals up at the interval.

The Owls had a good chance to take the lead on 50 minutes, Flint whipped in lovely ball which was glanced goal-wards by Joost Van-Aken but Simon Sluga was placed well to deny him.

Chances were few and far between, Barry Bannan went close with a deflected volley. From the following corner, Flint headed home on his 400th professional appearance but referee Geoff Eltringham judged he pulled back Matty Pearson to get their first. Replays showed there was very little in it.

As the game ticked over 70 minutes Wednesday were reduced to 10 men when Van-Aken went in high on Mpanzu and was duly given his marching orders.

Three minutes later and Mpanzu was in the middle of the action once more, this time putting the ball in the back of the net to win the game for his side. He brought the ball under his spell and side-stepped Bannan in the process before he whistled his strike past Dawson. 

Late on Rhys Norrington-Davies grazed the crossbar with a cross come shot which had Dawson in no-mans land before Kadeem Harris was blatantly brought down in the area trying to get on the end of a Bannan through ball, but the referee was having none of it.  

Adam Tunnicliffe almost wrapped the points up in the third minute of added time when he rattled the post from 25-yards, but it didn't matter as his side held on for another 3 points.

  • Takeaways from the game

 

Owls missing creative spark:

With two of three first choice midfielders, in Massimo Luongo and Izzy Brown, still sidelined the hosts lacked invention and creativity with Barry Bannan often isolated in the middle of the park, forcing long, hopeful balls which rarely pay off. Elias Kachunga and Reach were ineffective throughout, having next to no impact on the game, while forwards Paterson, Jack Marriott, Josh Windass and Jordan Rhodes having to fead off scraps for their spells on the field.

 

Game plan executed perfectly by Luton: 

Jones' side were solid defensively throughout, limiting Wednesday's chances to Aden Flint's disallowed header. Going forward they looked dangerous in spells and while they will never be the most technically gifted side in The Championship their work rate will have them comfortable this season. 

 

  • Man Of The Match: Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

From the first second he was heavily involved in all good things The Hatters did, he should've had an assist to his name within 16 seconds. He then should've grabbed his second goal of the campaign after 25 minutes. Instead he waited until the 74th minute to double his tally for the season with a cool, composed and well taken strike, which he made for himself. He was key for Luton today in a hard earned three points.

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  • Team Line-ups

SWFC: Dawson; Odubajo, Flint, Van-Aken (sent off 71'); Reach, Pelupessy (Rhodes 80'), Bannan, Harris, Kachunga; Marriott (Borner 75'), Paterson (Windass 65')

LTFC: Sluga; Lockyer, Pearson, Bradley; Cranie, Morrell (Tunnicliffe 90+2'), Dewsbury-Hall, Lee (LuaLua 69'), Norrington-Davies; Mpanzu, Hylton

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