League Two: Luton Town 1 Chesterfield 0
Danny Hylton's second half winner ensured that the Hatters made it three wins in a row for the first time this season by beating managerless Chesterfield this afternoon.
Claiming nine points from a possible nine had proved a massive hindrance for Luton's promotion hopes last season, only managing to do it once from the five opportunities they had, that on the very last day of the campaign.
However this time, once Hylton had broken the deadlock shortly after the break, Luton always looked favourites to triumph, and really should have made it more comfortable by the end, missing a host of glorious chances.
They had to finish the game with 10 players though, as Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu was harshly dismissed with 13 minutes to go for a high challenge on Andy Kellett, but see it off they did, particularly with sub Harry Cornick causing havoc in the closing stages.
Prior to that, Hatters boss Nathan Jones made three changes, with Luke Berry starting his three game ban for an off the ball incident at Wycombe last weekend, while Alan McCormack wasn't risked after his groin injury too.
Glen Rea dropped to the bench, as Luke Gambin came in for his first league start of the season, while Scott Cuthbert and Olly Lee returned, as recent signing Aaron Jarvis was among the substitutes too.
With Mpanzu dropping into the holding midfield role, Luton began brightly, Jack Stacey's cross headed narrowly wide by Hylton, with Gambin going it along, his blast not missing by much.
Town were forced into an early change, when Andrew Shinnie injured himself after a heavy collision with keeper Joe Anyon, replaced by Jordan Cook on 21 minutes.
The visitors finally made Marek Stech work, Matthew Briggs's low effort from 25 yards requiring stopping, while Town's number one was needed again on 35 minutes, as Chris O'Grady fed Andy Kellett, who beat Stacey, but not the legs of Stech.
The recalled Gambin continued to send over some delightful crosses from the left hand side, and it was from another wonderful delivery that Luton should have moved in front on 44 minutes, only for Mpanzu to somehow fail to direct his header on target from a matter of yards.
After the break, Mpanzu almost made instant amends with a rasping drive that Anyon gathered at the second attempt.
Town then did have that crucial opener they needed to bring the visitors out on 53 minutes, when Cook's superb ball split the defence and set Hylton away.
He still had plenty to do, but did it to perfection, cutting inside Scott Wiseman and drilling a splendid effort beyond the advancing Anyon and covering defenders.
The visitors almost levelled instantly, Louis Reed sending his diving header from Kellett's dangerous ball into the box.
Luton were suddenly not exuding the security they had done in the first half, O'Grady unable to turn in a few dangerous crosses.
However, they always looked a threat going forward, Hylton coming close to netting the tension easing second, once again twisting and turning, but this time firing into side netting.
He then turned provider, whipping over lovely cross from, that Collins, all alone and just four yards out, could only nod into Anyon's grateful grasp.
Cook could have made it easier too, blasting waywardly when well placed, while Robbie Weir had a sighter for the visitors, shooting at Stech from 25 yards.
Town were then reduced to 10 men with 14 minutes to go, as Mpanzu was dismissed for a high challenge on Kellett, which was deemed a straight red offence by referee Charlies Breakspear.
Despite the man disadvantage, Luton should have made it 2-0, as Stech came out to claim, before sending Cornick away through the middle and he looked to have sealed it, only to fire against the outside of the post.
Collins almost teed up Cornick, the ball just out his reach, before Town's top scorer took the direct approach himself, his toepoke flashing across the face.
Late on, Collins could have had a hat-trick, volleying off target and then sliding another effort wide, but Luton kept their opponents at arms length to move back into the automatic promotion places once more.
Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, Dan Potts, Scott Cuthbert, Alan Sheehan, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Olly Lee (Harry Cornick 74), Luke Gambin (Glen Rea 66), Andrew Shinnie (Jordan Cook 21), Danny Hylton, James Collins.
Subs not used: James Shea, James Justin, Jack Senior, Aaron Jarvis.
Spireites: Joe Anyon, Sam Hird (C), Scott Wiseman, Chris O'Grady (Gozie Ugwu 74), Diego De Girolamo (Reece Mitchell 68), Jordan Flores (Jak McCourt 64), Andy Kellett, Louis Reed, Robbie Weir, Matthew Briggs, Zak Jules.
Subs not used: Tommy Lee, Kristian Dennis, Connor Dimaio, Delial Brewster.
Booked: Hird 25, Sheehan 80.
Sent off: Mpanzu 77.
Referee: Charles Breakspear.
Attendance: 7,575 (310 Chesterfield).
Hatters MOM: Scott Cuthbert. Immense at the back as Spireites went long.