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Report: Blues 2 Luton Town 1

Kristian Pedersen puts Blues into the lead against The Hatters
Kristian Pedersen puts Blues into the lead against The Hatters

In what was a thoroughly entertaining encounter in which Blues fashioned a host of chances they scored late on to claim all three points.

BCFC

Blues made it back-to-back wins on home soil in the space of four days with a fantastic late win against Luton Town on Saturday afternoon.

In what was a thoroughly entertaining encounter in which Blues fashioned a host of chances, they were pegged back against a visiting side that rode their luck, but responded to claim all three points. 

Kristian Pedersen headed the hosts into a well-deserved lead at the end of the first-half, from another beautifully fashioned move.

But the impressive Dane was unfortunately to blame for the equaliser midway through the second-half when he miscued a clearance, allowing them to break.

However, all was forgiven as Lukas Jutkiewicz sealed the victory with an 82nd minute winner, at corner.

Pep Clotet made just a solitary change to the side that beat Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday with Ivan Sunjic returning to the starting line-up in place of David Davis following the completion of his suspension.

Blues came close to taking the lead after just two minutes when Jude Bellingham's cross found Jutkiewicz at the far post.

But the Blues striker saw his close-range goalbound header strike the thighs of 'keeper James Shea and go behind.

A minute later Blues were not far away again when Dan Crowley, who was outstanding throughout particularly in the first period, blasted a low effort narrowly wide.

Blues were continuing to press and they almost benefited from a lucky break.

Maxime Colin put in a fearsome challenge on Dan Potts and the ball flew towards the back of the Luton net before Shea tipped it over his own bar.

With 11 gone, Marc Roberts entered the referee's notebook after a clumsy but necessary challenge on Kazenga Lualua who had burst down the left flank.

Lee Camp needed be alert to deny Pelly Mpanzu moments later when the Luton man flashed a low shot towards the bottom corner of the Blues net, but Camp did well to get down quickly and turn it behind for a corner.

The match was becoming really open now and Jutkiewicz did well to get in down the left hand side of the box before dragging an inviting ball back across the front of the goal, but it just evaded Kerim Mrabti, who would have had the simple task of tapping it in.

Shea was forced to come to the rescue for the visitors once again when Jutkiewicz outmuscled his marker before drilling in a peach of a shot which the 'keeper did superbly to tip behind.

With 35 on the clock a contentious drop ball decision saw Clotet become slightly animated withe the fourth official, and following a discussion between the match officials, the Blues boss was presented with a yellow card.

As the referee had stopped play for treatment after an aerial collision, Luton were award an uncontested drop ball. But it was in the wrong place - right on the edge of the Blues box, and they swung a cross in dangerously which Colin did well to head behind.

Minutes later Blues thought they had taken the lead when Jutkiewicz turned the ball home, nipping onto Crowley's delicious low cross, but the linesman lifted his flag for offside to the obvious disappointment of the home faithful - a decision that was later proven incorrect.

The game was becoming slightly fractious with challenges flying in from both sides and no quarter being given.

Blues were continuing to play with real tempo and Jutkiewicz was just a shoe length away from connecting with Crowley's exquisite curling pass from the right.

Fran Villalba was then presented with an opening, but he skewed his volley well wide.

With the game well into stoppage-time Blues deservedly took the lead after some excellent combination play between Crowley and Colin.

Crowley lifted a neat ball over the top of The Hatters' backline where it found Colin, he chested it down, carried on and stood it up at the far post for Pedersen who made no mistake to nod in, from a couple of yards - superb play from Crowley and Colin.

Half-time: Blues 1 Luton Town 0

The second-half continued the way the first had ended, and Mrabti tested Shea with a snap shot.

Blues then had a major shout for a penalty waved away after Crowley was caught inside the box as he went for the ball.

Villalba showed some good feet on the right before finding Mrabti, but the Swede’s header was blocked.

Blues somehow failed to double their advantage when Mrabti forced his way through on the right byline before dragging the ball back for Jutkiewicz inside the six-yard box.

But with the net gaping, the normally reliable Blues striker somehow was unable to get a decent connection on it and the chance was gone. It was a huge let-off for Luton.

Blues were continuing to batter a shell-shocked Luton outfit and Bellingham saw his shot saved.

In a rare foray forward, Luton were inches away from scoring a leveller, when substitute James Collins tried his luck from distance but Camp produced a marvellous save to tip it onto the post.

However, Blues' luck was out a minute later when Harry Cornick scored for the visitors, getting a lucky break after countering on Blues after they attacked the Luton box.

Unfortunately, it was Blues’ goalscorer Pedersen who was at fault.

The Dane sliced his clearance and it fell to Cornick, who had only been on the pitch a minute after coming off the subs’ bench, and the Luton man raced into the box before firing home past Camp with a clinical finish.

The action was ebbing and flowing and Marc Roberts headed over for Blues, before Collins stabbed the ball just wide for the visitors.

With 77 minuts played, Blues boss Clotet made his first change of the afternoon when he sent on Alvaro Gimenez in place of Mrabti.

Crosses were continuing to be sent into the Luton box and Jutkiewicz met one of them but his header was well off target.

As the game entered its final ten minutes, Blues started to really ramp up the pressure and sure enough they received their reward on 82 minutes.

Villalba sent in a corner, Harlee Dean headed it back and there was the Juke to clamber above his marker to head home.

But Blues didn’t rest on their laurels and they continued to pour forward in search of third and Villaba was denied in the final seconds, his fierce shot hitting the head of a defender in front of goal, but ultimately the two goals were enough for another deserved win.

Blues (4-4-2): Camp, Pedersen, Roberts, Colin, Crowley (Maghoma, 87), Jutkiewicz, Dean, Villalba, Mrabti (Gimenez, 77), Bellingham (David Davis, 87), Sunjic.

Subs (not used): Trueman, Harding, Clarke-Salter, Bailey.

Bookings: Roberts (11), Clotet (35).

Goals: Pedersen (45+3), Jutkiewicz (82)

Luton Town (4-1-2-1-2): Shea, Cranie, Potts, Tunnicliffe (Cornick, 66), Bradley, Pearson, McManaman (Collins, 60), Mpanzu, Bolton (Butterfield, 87), Brown, Lualua.

Subs (not used): Sluga, Shinnie, Bree, Jones.

Bookings: Lualua (45+2), Collins (70), Cranie (90+1).

Goals: Cornick (67).

Referee: Dean Whitestone.

Attendance: 21,799 (2,676 Luton fans)

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