Dewsbury-Hall signs off with a goal as Luton finish 12th following QPR defeat

Championship: QPR 3 Luton Town 1

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 8th May 2021, 2:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 11:52 am
Harry Cornick tries to race away against Derby County this afternoon

Luton finished an excellent second season in the Championship by seeing their six game unbeaten run ended at the hands of QPR this afternoon.

Although defeated, which is usually the outcome at the now named Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, Town can still reflect on a hugely impressive campaign that saw them finish in 12th place.

They might have climbed up to 10th with victory, after both Millwall and Middlesbrough lost, which at one stage looked on the cards after an impressive first half, only for two goals from the hosts after the break prove enough to secure victory.

Visitors boss Nathan Jones made three changes from the goalless draw with Rotherham, George Moncur Harry Cornick and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu coming in for James Collins, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Dan Potts, while Luke Berry was back on the bench once more.

Rangers almost conceded a bizarre own goal when Cornick's attempted through ball cannoned off a defender and flew inches wide from outside the box.

Moncur also curled over in the opening 10 minutes, while Rangers started to show their attacking intent, Chris Willock dragging his attempt out for a throw after Stefan Johansen's clever reverse pass.

It was Moncur who went close for Luton moments later, picked out by Cornick's deep cross, he took a touch before trying to bend in the far corner, missing the target.

An open contest, which was expected due to the freedom both sides could play with, saw Elijah Adebayo have a crack after beating the offside trap, unable to locate the bottom corner.

The deadlock was then broken on 20 minutes when Rangers broke down the left and Lyndon Dykes' cushioned header was perfect for the completely unmarked Charlie Austin to take a touch and simply sidefoot beyond Simon Sluga.

Luton responded to the setback well, a flowing move from back to front started by Kal Naismith seeing Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall pick out the run of Moncur, who went with his left foot, deflected behind.

The corner was cleared as far as Cornick on the edge of the box, his powerful attempt taking a nick on its way behind, as did Dewsbury-Hall's potshot when he went for goal from 20 yards as well.

James Bree produced a superb recovery run to slide in and block Willock's low effort as the former Arsenal and Benfica midfielder sprinted away from the half-way line following a speedy counter attack.

Town then went as close as they had in the closing stage of the first period, Dewsbury-Hall's pinpoint free kick perfect for Sonny Bradley who flicked goalwards, only to see keeper Seny Dieng make a splendid save, tipping the point blank effort on to inside of the post and away.

Luton did then level on 42 minutes, deservedly so too, as after yet another break, Dewsbury-Hall set up Moncur on the left, who hit the target this time, Dieng parrying.

The ball dropped to Dewsbury-Hall though, who on his right foot, was able to beat the Rangers keeper and give Luton a leveller their opening half display had fully merited.

The hosts managed to wrest the initiative back in the early stages of the second period, and made their improvement pay on the hour mark with an incisive moved slicing open the Hatters' defence, with Johansen going clean through to deftly dink an effort over Sluga.

Rangers continued to dominate, Austin sending a rising attempt over from 20 yards, while Sluga then excelled in denying Willock a third, his low daisycutter tipped behind despite being unsighted by Bradley.

Town boss Nathan Jones made a triple change with 19 minutes to go in a bid to try and get something out of the game, James Collins, Luke Berry and Kazenga LuaLua on, the move close to paying dividends immediately, Berry's low shot gathered by Dieng.

Illias Chair's inventive volley had Sluga scrambling before dropping wide, before Naismith was teed up by Berry 25 yards from goal, his fierce drive brushing the roof of the net on its way over.

With four minutes left, Town gave Dion Pereira his debut after impressing for the U23s in recent weeks, but Rangers added a third with the last kick, Albert Adomah tapping into an empty net after Naismith couldn't prevent a cross beating Sluga from the right hand side.

Rangers: Seny Dieng, Lee Wallace (C), Rob Dickie, Jordy De Wijs, Yoann Barbet, Lyndon Dykes (Sam Field 46), Ilias Chair (George Thomas 77), Stefan Johansen (Geoff Cameron 86), Chris Willock, Osman Kakay (Albert Adomah 76), Charlie Austin (Macauley Bonne 66).

Subs not used: Joe Walsh, Tom Carroll, Niko Hamalainen, Faysal Bettachie.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree (Dion Pereira 86), Kal Naismith, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley ©, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Glen Rea (Luke Berry 71), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, George Moncur (James Collins 71), Harry Cornick (Kazenga LuaLua 71), Elijah Adebayo.

Subs not used: James Shea, Martin Cranie, Joe Morrell, Dan Potts, Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Bookings: Austin 1, Rea 44.

Referee: Tony Harrington.