Luton Town's belated Kenilworth Road Premier League debut was darkened with defeat to West Ham.

The high flying Hammers hit home in sobering fashion as headers from Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma silenced a boisterous crowd, before Mads Andersen nodded in a late consolation. 

The game ended in contentious style as a James Ward-Prowse handball was waved away. Penalty-less, and pointless, Luton went into the international break with a lot of time to reflect.

  • Initial assessment

After a trademark showing under the lights, Rob Edwards approached club media positive despite ultimately getting nothing from the game. 

"It was a really tight game," he said. 

"[I'm] really disappointed not to take something from it. The lads were desperately disappointed. It was a new occasion for a lot of our players tonight, first game here in the Premier League. I think we'll be better for it.

"I thought we created the better chances but I don't want to keep saying the same things about the types of goals we conceded because they're avoidable." 

"We've got a couple of weeks now to work really hard to adjust one or two things, but I've seen a better performance tonight. I saw a better performance the previous week compared to the first game as well.

"I thought we were aggressive when we could be, compact when we needed to be as well. I think it's good learning for all of us because we need to know we can't necessarily be the same team we were last year - we can get opened up if we get the timing of the press wrong."

  • Morale still high going into International break

On the face of it, an international break can often slow momentum. However, Luton's boss reiterated his previous sentiment - especially as new faces look to gel further.

"Brilliant additions [Teden Mengi and Albert Sambi Lokonga], really pleased to get them over the line and into the group. Two weeks to keep improving, getting better, and introducing the new players to the squad."

"There's 12 new faces in the group, so it can take a little bit of time to settle. If you look at us now, we look like a cohesive, organised unit.

"I saw a team there that competed well with a team that's top of the league. Early days, I know, but they've just won a European trophy. We competed with them and should've taken something from them."

  • Edwards assured amidst controversy

The home side were faced with late drama against West Ham. Mads Andersen's header on 90+2 put Luton back in the contest, yet momentum was halted as both referee Paul Tierney and VAR were unmoved by a potential James Ward-Prowse handball.

Edwards was calm in his reflection on the contentious incident. It seemed case of 'not angry, just disappointed' perhaps.

"A lot of people have asked me about the handball incident late on. I've only seen a still of it so far. There's been a lot of media to do, so I've not seen the actual footage but all the staff got messages afterwards saying it was a penalty."

"If it was, I'm really disappointed that we didn't get that.

"Those are the moments you want to be on the right end of. If we've been let down in that moment then it's going to really going to frustrate me but I've not seen it back."

  • Ending on a high with praise to the home fans

As Luton competed in their first top division game at Kenilworth Road since 1991, the home fans brought the noise regardless of the result. Edwards, as ever, was proud of his team's support.

"They were amazing. I love them. We have done them proud I know that, and I know they're proud of the players and what everyone's achieved but we want to reward them with points as well."

"They know how big the challenge is, but I think they can see the improvement that we've made in the first few weeks of the season. It's alright for us to say we're learning but tonight should give us a real belief and confidence that we deserve to be here."