Lansbury's scorcher seals Town's third away win on the bounce against managerless Hull
Town midfielder Henri Lansbury's scored an absolutely astonishing goal to ensure Luton recorded a third straight away win and continued their dominance at Hull's MKM Stadium with a 2-0 success this evening, sending Nathan Jones' side up to fifth in the table.
If the talking points prior to the fixture were about the struggling Tigers' decision to sack manager Shota Arveladze just hours before kick-off, then following the final whistle they would definitely have been on Lansbury's stunning first strike for the club that doubled the visitors advantage just before the break.
Hunting their first back-to-back victories this season, Luton made one change to the side that beat Blackburn Rovers before the international break, with Cauley Woodrow out through injury and Elijah Adebayo returning, midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu on the bench for the first time this campaign as well.
The hosts meanwhile had, as mentioned, had been rocked by the news that Arveladze was shown the door in the morning, paying the price for a poor run of four defeats in a row, City conceding 11 in that time.
Following an excessive light show before kick-off, it was the Hatters who illuminated the early stages, taking the lead on just six minutes when Carlton Morris won a corner on the right.
Lansbury's set-piece looked to have initially been scuffed, but it was straight from the training ground, met on the half volley by Adebayo, his shot cannoning off the underside of the bar only to hit home defender Alfie Jones and dribble over the line before the Tigers could clear.
Lewie Coyle's ambitious attempt was easy for Ethan Horvath, before another corner caused the hosts problems, Dan Potts left unmarked, but at full stretch could only put his header straight at Nathan Baxter.
The Tigers responded well to falling behind, Ryan Longman bending an attempt narrowly over the bar, although Luton also looked dangerous, James Bree outpacing his markers on the right.
Reaching the byline, he looked up and seeing Morris in space, produced a controlled cross that Town's top scorer, who had support to his left, lofted over first time, when he might have been able to take a touch.
Hull were centimetres, millimetres in fact from levelling on 20 minutes when Regan Slater took aim from 25 yards, his shot flicking off the head of Tom Lockyer and crashing against the bar.
It bounced down on the line and somehow spun away, with referee James Linington's watch not signalling a goal, ensuring Town's slender lead remained in tact.
Luton were looking dangerous from set-pieces throughout the half, as six minutes before the break, Bree's deep free kick met by Morris, whose downward header was well clawed out by Baxter.
It was then time for Lansbury to become the star attraction though, Adebayo picked out after the visitors won the ball back, combining with Morris for Clark to see his attempt well parried by Baxter.
The danger from Bree's cross appeared to have been cleared, but Hull hadn't reckoned on Lansbury.
With the ball bouncing out to him, many others would have looked to solidify possession, but not Town's number 12, the midfielder cutting across his effort with the most exquisite of half volleys that skimmed across the turf and into the corner of the net via the inside of the post, giving Baxter no chance at all.
It was quite simply a goal that only he could score.
The lawnmower celebration that followed was also one to remember as the ex-Arsenal youngster, who has a genuine passion for anything lawn-based, celebrated a first goal since April 2018 when at Aston Villa.
One slight tarring of the half saw Reece Burke pull up in the closing stages with a hamstring problem and he failed to reappear after the break, Gabe Osho taking his place.
Before the hour mark, Hull withdrew not only their, but the division's top scorer in Oscar Estupinan, who hadn't been afforded a kick by Lockyer, but they still found chances hard to come by, Longman flicking wide and Ozan Tufan prodding behind.
Bree had a chance to try and repeat his wonderful free kick from last year's 3-1 win midway through the half, this time unable to get his right-footer up and down in time.
Morris had huge claims for a penalty after being felled in the box on 67 minutes, but Linington waved them away and then booked the Town forward for his ensuing complaints.
He also kept his whistle in his hand moments later, but this time it was to Town’s advantage, when Longman appeared to have his shirt pulled in the box.
To the credit of the hosts' players and supporters, the Tigiers didn't give the situation up, as they had a good spell of pressure, Cyrus Christie curling narrowly over and Jones attempting to atone for his earlier error, stretching to divert a cross off target.
Luton responded by bringing on Mpanzu for his first outing since April, in place of Lansbury, for the final 15 minutes, Cameron Jerome replacing Morris.
With the game all but won, Hull remained content to patiently try and pick a way through, causing the visitors very few problems, if any really in the closing stages, Horvath off his line to collect a late cross as the Hatters now appear to be back to the kind of performances they churned out last term which saw them eventually reach the play-offs.
Tigers: Nathan Baxter, Lewis Coyle (C), Callum Elder, Jacob Greaves, Alfie Jones, Ozan Tufan, Ryan Woods (Jean Michael Seri 71), Ryan Longman (Dogukan Sinik 71), Oscar Estupinan (Greg Docherty 58), Dimitrios Pelkas (Cyrus Christie 58), Regan Slater.
Subs not used: Matt Ingram, Tobias Figueiredo, Sean McLoughlin,
Hatters: Ethan Horvath, James Bree, Reece Burke (Gabe Osho 46), Tom Lockyer, Dan Potts (C), Amari'i Bell, Henri Lansbury (Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu 75), Allan Campbell, Jordan Clark (Fred Onyedinma 90), Carlton Morris (Cameron Jerome 75), Elijah Adebayo (Harry Cornick 90).
Subs not used: Harry Isted, Alfie Doughty.
Referee: James Linington.
Booked: Adebayo 26, Woods 34, Bree 54, Morris 67.