Collins and Hylton earn Town victory at Stanley

Hatters celebrate James Collins' opener at Accrington this afternoon
Hatters celebrate James Collins' opener at Accrington this afternoon

League Two: Accrington Stanley 0 Luton Town 2

Luton Town climbed back into the top three after a hugely professional victory at Accrington Stanley this afternoon, their fifth victory in six League Two encounters.

The Hatters were everything that is needed from an away side at a wet and windy Wham Stadium, resolute in defence, solid in midfield, and with a front three, who always possessed a potency as well.

With Barnet drawing 0-0 against Coventry in the early kick-off, Town knew that a victory would see them up into third place, as visiting boss Nathan Jones made one change from the team who beat Newport 3-1, Luke Berry back from suspension to replace Luke Gambin, who was with Malta.

After a quiet opening 20 minutes, Luton then stepped it up, with Olly Lee instrumental in doing so.

First he twinkled his way past a few challenges and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box that keeper Aaron Chapman parried away.

He then played a huge role in the opener on 22 minutes, the first goal Luton have scored in the opening half on their travels this season.

Dan Potts did superbly to flick the ball down the line and send over a cross that Lee arrived on time to power a head goalwards, James Collins turning the ball over the line from a yard for his seventh of the season and first in three matches.

Jordan Clark shot was well handled by Marek Stech, before there was a huge case of argy-bargy on the half hour in the home area, when Potts took exception to a challenge in the area, remonstrating with a Stanley defender.

He was then barged to the floor by Billy Kee and after a period of uncertainty from the otherwise excellent referee Martin Coy, saw yellow for his troubles, meaning he will miss next weekend's home game with Stevenage after chalking up five cautions, while Kee somehow escaped unpunished.

With five minutes to go until half time, Luton almost had a second as Alan Sheehan's free kick saw Chapman punch clear under pressure, Berry's header from the rebound, drawing a fine diving clearance by Mark Hughes.

However, Luton did make it 2-0 when a clever corner routine saw the visitors win a penalty on 44 minutes, Hylton teeing up Sheehan who was fouled by Janoi Donacien.

Hylton stepped up from the spot, with no Panenka this time, shooting hard and low beyond Chapman into the bottom corner, for his fourth goal in four games.

After the break, Stanley almost had one back straight away, Stech making a smart stop at full stretch from Sean McConville's clever flick.

The visitors then had their best spell, as they put the Hatters under pressure, but Luton ensured there were no clear-cut chances and remained a constant threat themselves too, Harry Cornick rounding Chapman on the edge of the box, his cross was cut out by the covering defenders.

Sheehan took aim with a free kick from 25 yards, arrowing an attempt that Chapman had covered.

Stanley brought on sub Mekhi McLeod, the winger causing plenty of problems to Jack Stacey on Hatters' left, sending in a shot that required Stech to save.

With Luton dominating the corner front, their 10th of the afternoon saw the ball find Scott Cuthbert, and his effort was deflected behind by Chapman.

Stech had to have his wits about him on 72 minutes, parrying Scott Brown's drive, with Liam Nolan skying the rebound over the top.

Luton threatened from yet another corner, Collins glancing over, but Town brought on Lawson D'Ath for his first league action of the season and then James Justin, as they confidently held on for victory, becoming the first team to stop Accrington scoring this term in the process.

Stanley: Aaron Chapman, Mark Hughes, Janoi Donacien, Liam Nolan, Jordan Clark (Mekhi McLeod 58), Scott Brown (Erico Sousa 77), Sean McConville (Mallik Wilks 58), Jordan Thorniley, Farrend Rawson, Seamus Conneely (C), Billy Kee.

Subs not used: Ben Richards-Everton, Tom Dallison, Nathan Wolland, Callum Johnson.

Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, Dan Potts, Scott Cuthbert, Alan Sheehan, Glen Rea, Olly Lee, Luke Berry (Lawson D'Ath 78), Harry Cornick (James Justin 86), Danny Hylton, James Collins.

Subs not used: James Shea, Akin Famewo, Jordan Cook, Johnny Mullins, Elliot Lee.

Booked: Potts 33, Conneely 44.

Referee: Martin Coy.

Attendance: 2,193 (587 Luton).

Hatters MOM: Olly Lee – got through plenty of hard work in the midfield.