Hatters ease past Wycombe to reach round two
FA Cup, round one: Luton Town 2 Wycombe Wanderers 0
Luton continued their proud record in the FA Cup first round by easing past fellow League One side Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon.
Not since 2001 have the Hatters been beaten at this stage of the competition as a Football League club, and there was no real chance of that sequence ending today, Nathan Jones' side always the dominant force.
The hosts made one change, Harry Cornick in for the suspended Danny Hylton, moving upfront to partner James Collins.
Cornick should have put the Hatters in front after just two minutes as well, pouncing on Joe Jacobson's shockingly underhit backpass, but clean through, he took the shot on early, Ryan Allsop parrying behind.
Wycombe took 18 minutes to fashion a chance of note, Fred Onyedinma nodding over at the far post, as a first period lacking in real opportunities, saw Elliot Lee's free kick fly wide for Town, Paris Cowan-Hall slicing waywardly off target for the visitors.
However, that all changed with four minutes of the half to go, a move starting with Sonny Bradley cleverly stepping away from two opponents inside his own area.
The Hatters swiftly transferred play from one end of the field to the other, with a brief intervention from Marcus Bean the only time they weren't in control of possession.
With Wycombe finally out of position, Andrew Shinnie stepped off the right flank and finding himself 25 yards from goal, measured his sidefooted effort beyond the diving Allsop and into the net via the post for his third of the season on his 50th appearance for the club.
James Collins thought he had doubled the lead, rifling into the net after being slipped through by Shinnie, only to see the linesman's flag bring his celebrations to an early end.
In the second period, Town almost doubled their advantage when Bradley, still searching for a first Luton goal, met a corner at the far post, Gape clearing off the line.
Keeper James Shea made a fine sliding challenge inside his area to deny Alex Samuel, although the Hatters had a blow on 51 minutes, goalscorer Shinnie forced off with an injury, Jorge Grant on in his place.
Wanderers upped the ante slightly, Curtis Thompson wide, while they really should have levelled on 57 minutes, a low cross beating Town's back-tracking defence, with Gape arriving on cue only to sidefoot badly wide.
Luton then regained control though, almost having breathing space on the hour, a corner fired in, and falling to Lee, who swivelled well, only to see his effort blocked, keeper Allsop grabbing the loose ball.
Lee looked to settle it, his left-footer taking a nick and going over, the resulting corner headed wide by Glen Rea.
However, Luton had breathing space in bizarre fashion with 19 minutes to go when Adam El-Abd, in no danger whatsoever, opted for a backheel when none of his team-mates were on the same wavelength as him.
It was picked up by Cornick, who burst into the box, and this time, heeding his manager's words, went across the keeper, finding the bottom corner.
Visiting sub Randell Williams tried to get one back immediately, his effort turned behind by Shea.
Defender Matty Pearson almost capped his fine day with a goal, seeing a low shot dribble through to Allsop, who then had to parry sub Kazenga LuaLua's fierce blast, Collins flagged offside once more as he tried to turn the rebound.
From there, Town easily held out, making it three clean sheets in a row and now go into the second round draw which will be held on Monday evening.
Hatters: James Shea, Jack Stacey, James Justin, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Glen Rea (C), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie (Jorge Grant 51), Elliot Lee (Kazenga LuaLua 86), James Collins, Harry Cornick.
Subs not used: Marek Stech, Alan McCormack, Aaron Jarvis, Lloyd Jones, Alan Sheehan.
Wanderers: Ryan Allsop, Sido Jombati, Joe Jacobson, Dominic Gape, Adam El-Abd (C), Marcus Bean (Scott Kashket 85), Paris Cowan-Hall (Randell Williams 69), Curtis Thompson, Fred Onyedinma, Alex Samuel (Craig Mackail-Smith 69), Jason McCarthy.
Subs not used: Anthony Stewart, Cameron Yates, Nick Freeman.
Booked: McCarthy 34, Bean 76.
Referee: Craig Hicks.
Attendance: 5,343 (786 Wanderers).