Cornick at the double as Luton deservedly end their long wait for a win at Millwall

Championship: Millwall 0 Luton Town 2

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 5:04 pm
Harry Cornick on the ball against Millwall this afternoon

Harry Cornick continued his mightily impressive start to the season with a clinical double as Luton Town ended another lengthy away hoodoo by winning at Millwall for the first time since May 1999 with a confident 2-0 triumph this afternoon.

The attacker, who hadn't ever scored a brace in his professional career before the recent 5-0 hammering of Coventry, made it two in three matches, with a marvellous display of finishing at the Den to end the hosts seven-game unbeaten run.

It was been the one area of Cornick's game that has drawn criticism at times, the forward readily admitting himself it's not his strongest point, but that can start to be put to bed now with the unerring accuracy in which he found the net to set the Hatters on their way to what was a well-deserved victory.

Town made one change to the side that drew 0-0 with Huddersfield before the international break as Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu came in for Luke Berry who dropped to the bench.

There he joined former Millwall winger Fred Onyedinma, involved for the first time since late August, alongside Admiral Muskwe after he scored for the development side in midweek.

A scrappy opening saw Town's defence almost caught out by one pass from the back, but Jed Wallace couldn't get enough purchase on his effort, Simon Sluga collecting easily.

The Hatters then led on 11 minutes with their first venture into the opposition penalty area as James Bree and Jordan Clark did well to hunt the ball down high up.

It led to Clark advancing and breaking a challenge before teeing up an unmarked Cornick who picked his spot quite emphatically, fairly hammering his first-time effort into the top corner, giving keeper Bartosz Bialkowski absolutely no chance at all.

Town looked for a second, as Bree and Elijah Adebayo combined well on the right, the striker using his body well to roll an opponent and find the overlapping full back whose cross was just beyond the well-marshalled Cornick.

Clark's attempt to find the top corner with an ambitious volley was wayward, before the midfielder was involved at the other end, as with Tom Lockyer, they blocked Ben Afobe's close range shot, which looked set to draw the hosts level.

Lockyer then took Sheyi Ojo's blast in the midriff and also blocked the Liverpool loanee's follow-up effort to concede a corner that Town defended solidly, something that hadn't always been the case on previous trips to the Den.

Jake Cooper put a header wide from a deep cross into the area, but after the break, the Hatter had real breathing space on 53 minutes with another excellent team goal.

Mpanzu did well on the left, picking the ball up and nutmegging his man to find Clark who looked up and slid Cornick clean through again.

The attacker coolly hurdled the ball to open up the shooting angle and then confidently dispatched his effort into the bottom corner to double Town's advantage as an increasingly vociferous home support let manager Gary Rowett know in no uncertain terms their feelings towards both him and the performance they were witnessing.

Mpanzu was inches away from making it 2-0 as on 57 minutes he had a crack from 25 yards, Bialkowski only able to stand and watch it cannon off the crossbar and away to safety.

Cornick wasn't afforded the chance to get his first-ever senior hat-trick, replaced by Cameron Jerome with 22 minutes to go, as manager Nathan Jones clearly had an eye on Tuesday night's trip to Derby County.

Centre half Jake Cooper's header was straight at Sluga, who was extended on 73 minutes, flying to his left to tip Jed Wallace's free kick behind.

The Lions then had a marvellous opportunity to halve the deficit with seven to go, as Kal Naismith was adjudged to have handled in the area by referee Chris Kavanagh, the defender's claims he had been pushed falling on deaf ears.

Wallace stepped up and drove his penalty to Sluga's right, only for the Croatian to guess correctly and make a wonderful stop, getting a firm hand to push it behind for a corner.

Skipper Sonny Bradley almost diverted into his own net moments later as the Lions bombarded Town's box from the wide areas in the closing stages, but they couldn't break through, Sluga saving Matt Smith's late header, as Jones' side chalked up a sixth clean sheet of the season

Lions: Bartosz Bialkowski, Danny McNamara (Matt Smith 55), Murray Wallace (Ryan Leonard 68), Shaun Hutchinson ©, Jake Cooper, Jed Wallace, Sheyi Ojo, George Saville, Benik Afobe (Billy Mitchell 78), Daniel Ballard, George Evans (Mason Bennett 78).

Subs not used: George Long, Maikel Kieftenbeld, Tom Bradshaw.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree, Tom Lockyer (Reece Burke 87), Sonny Bradley ©, Kal Naismith, Amari'i Bell, Glen Rea, Jordan Clark (Henri Lansbury 76), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Harry Cornick (Cameron Jerome 68), Elijah Adebayo (Admiral Muskwe 79).

Subs not used: James Shea, Luke Berry, Fred Onyedinma.

Bookings: Cooper 70, Clark 72, Naismith 83.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.

Attendance: 14,227 (1,631 Luton).