Hatters boss thrilled as 'front-footed' Luton equal their Championship goals tally for last season

Adebayo's 12th of the season draws Town level

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 12th February 2022, 8:28 am
Gabe Osho celebrates Luton's first goal on Tuesday night that was awarded to team-mate Allan Campbell - pic: Gareth Owen
Gabe Osho celebrates Luton's first goal on Tuesday night that was awarded to team-mate Allan Campbell - pic: Gareth Owen

Luton boss Nathan Jones highlighted the impact of striker Elijah Adebayo and the rest of his side’s attacking prowess this season after they equalled their tally for Championship goals for the whole of last campaign during the 2-1 win over Barnsley on Tuesday night.

An impressive 12th place finish last term saw Luton score just 41 goals from their 46 games, 25 at home and 16 on the road, a number they reached thanks to Adebayo's penalty on the hour mark in midweek.

It was the forward's 12th league goal of the season, and means he has scored in 10 games now, with doubles in the 3-3 draw against Swansea and 5-0 win over Coventry, Town still yet to lose when he is on the scoresheet.

Last term it was a bit different with leading marksman James Collins, who left for Cardiff City in the summer, finding the net 10 times, but only scored in eight second tier matches, as he notched a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Preston.

That coupled with a lack of goals elsewhere, as Adebayo with five was his nearest rival, despite only joining in February, while there were three each for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, George Moncur and Glen Rea, saw the Hatters draw a blank in 19 fixtures.

This time, Adebayo has been backed up by eight from Harry Cornick, with Luke Berry on four and summer signing Allan Campbell grabbing his third when beating the Tykes.

Speaking about how he has made his side more of a force in the final third, Jones said: "What we did, we’ve replaced James with Elijah and to be fair, James got a lot of penalties last year and scored a lot of his goals in two, three games.

"He scored a couple of hat-tricks (one in the Carabao Cup) which took up a bulk of his goals, so we knew we needed to replace him and we did.

"Then Harry’s got goals, the midfield players are getting goals, we’re getting goals from set-plays, so we’re scoring more, but we’re a much more front-footed side now as well.

"We know we can do that and we have to as we’re slightly more open than we were last year, slightly more aggressive than we were last year.

"We’re delighted with 17 games to go we’ve equalled the same amount of goals we scored last year, so god willing, providing we don’t not score for the rest of the season we should beat that."

Campbell is a good example of how Luton are becoming better at finding the net this term, as he took until his 11th league outing to score a first goal, that a fine strike against Bournemouth, but has now notched three in his last seven appearances.

Team-mates James Bree continued: "They've all come at once, his one against Bournemouth, that was a great goal and it just filled him with confidence.

"He’s just made that position his own now, he rats about in there, keeps it nice and simple for us, think he’s a really good player."

The former Motherwell midfielder might have been celebrating a fourth too, but couldn't get over Fred Onyedinma's cross from just a few yards out.

Bree said: "I don't know what happened with AL, he seemed like he was so close, but it doesn’t matter.

"We’ve won the game, three points is all that matters, so move on to the next one."

There had been some confusion over Campbell's first too, with Gabe Osho trying to claim it, as boss Jones joked: "I don't really care who scored, if Allan turns into a goalscoring midfield player then he’ll be worth more!"