Hatters finally end QPR hoodoo with stunning Loftus Road victory to complete the double over R's
Carlton Morris notched two and Alfie Doughty thundered home a late thunderbolt as Luton Town finally ended their Loftus Road hoodoo in the best way possible with a 3-0 victory in front of the Sky TV cameras this evening.
Not since 1984 had the Hatters tasted victory in West London, with their previous 18 matches ending in 11 defeats and seven draws, as a last success was some 38 years ago, a 3-2 Division One triumph courtesy of goals from Steve Elliot, Paul Elliot and Brian Stein.
However, Town seem to have clicked into another gear over this Christmas period, with the arrival of manager Rob Edwards doing wonders as he masterminded a second win in three days, with Luton continuing to register candidates for their Goal of the Season award.
Town dropped James Bree into the back three, Doughty going to right wingback and Bell on the left, Cornick partnering Morris upfront.
The latter two almost combined for the opener on six minutes, with Cornick's long throw inadvertently flicked on by a home defender, and Morris' acrobatic volley straight at keeper Seny Dieng.
Town then had the lead for the first time at the venue since the 2000-01 season with a goal of real counter-attacking class on 10 minutes.
Jordan Clark's clever header found Tom Lockyer and he lofted a pass forward with the outside of his right foot to release the unmarked Doughty.
He took the attack up, cutting in and finding Morris, who transferred the ball on to his left foot and sent an angled drive into the bottom corner.
The striker almost had his second on 15 minutes, when Bell stepped out of defence to intercept a pass and released Cornick.
The recalled forward burst into the area before picking out Morris, but this time, he couldn't beat Dieng, curling too close to the Senegal international.
Rangers' representative at the recent World Cup, Ilias Chair, then served further notice of his trickery on the ball, ghosting past two opponents and when in range of goal, forced Ethan Horvath to save low down.
Boss Edwards quickly switched Lockyer to mark the diminutive midfielder for a spell, Doughty also getting tight in a bid to stop his obvious threat and it worked for the rest of the half, Luton keeping any threats on their goal to a minimum.
On the stroke of half time, Horvath had to backpedal and tip over a deep cross, as Luton then got the best start possible to the second period.
Winning a free kick, Bree swung in a dangerous delivery that flicked off a QPR head before an unmarked Morris ghosted in at the far post and cushioned an fine finish into the net to double his tally and move up to 10 for the season.
The goal seemed to pep up Rangers though, who began to show far more urgency such was their perilous position in the game, Tyler Roberts almost pulling one back when his stooping header from a free-kick bounced off the top of the bar.
Town brought on Boxing Day hero Cauley Woodrow in a bid to give themselves more control upfront and he almost had a second goal in as many games, one angled drive kicked away.
Despite having the majority of possession, the hosts struggled to really create anything noteworthy until their best opportunity on 74 minutes when on-loan Leeds midfielder Roberts delivered a wonderful cross from the right.
Scottish international Dykes got in front of Lockyer for one of the only times of the evening, but at full stretch, he could only divert it agonisingly wide of the far post.
With cramp forcing skipper Dan Potts off, Luton were then forced into their now almost inevitable defensive reshuffle, but this time it worked in their favour as they sewed up the points.
Moved out to left wingback, Doughty was found by Campbell, and fizzed a return pass into Morris, taking a touch to then absolutely hammer a left footed exocet beyond Dieng and into the corner, right in front of the 1,500 delirious visiting supporters.
In the closing stages, Rangers missed a sitter to pull back a consolation, but there was no stopping Town’s fans from finally enjoying a trip to the R’s.
Rangers: Seny Dieng, Jimmy Dunne, Rob Dickie, Lyndon Dykes, Ilias Chair (Chris Willock 66), Tyler Roberts (Taylor Richards 79), Sam Field (C), Kenneth Paal, Olamide Shodipo (Albert Adomah 78), Ethan Laird, Tim Iroegunam.
Subs not used: Jordan Archer, Osman Kakay, Luke Amos, Conor Masterson.
Hatters: Ethan Horvath, Alfie Doughty, James Bree, Tom Lockyer, Dan Potts (C Luke Freeman 76), Amari'i Bell, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Allan Campbell (Luke Berry 85), Jordan Clark, Harry Cornick (Cauley Woodrow 58), Carlton Morris (Cameron Jerome 85).
Subs not used: Harry Isted, Elijah Adebayo, Louie Watson.
Referee: Gavin Ward.
Booked: Doughty, Clark, Potts, Mpanzu
Attendance: 16,030 (Hatters 1,526).