Luton end their winless run in style by putting Blackpool to the sword
Championship: Blackpool 0 Luton Town 3
Luton ended their four game winless run with a real flourish as they eventually swept aside hosts Blackpool this afternoon.
In absolutely dreadful weather conditions, a gale-force wind and driving rain buffeting Bloomfield Road throughout the 90 minutes, the visitors stood firm, their back-line in particular outstanding, to pick up what was a hugely welcome three points thanks to goals from Sonny Bradley, Elijah Adebayo and Jordan Clark.
Ahead of kick-off, Hatters boss Nathan Jones made five changes for the second game running, with Carlos Mendes Gomes in for his first start since September 11.
He was joined by James Shea, Reece Burke, Henri Lansbury and Allan Campbell, with keeper Simon Sluga absent through illness, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu dropping to the bench, Harry Cornick, Glen Rea and Tom Lockyer missing out completely.
With both sides enduring a tough time on the pitch recently, Luton without a victory since November 3 and the Seasiders on a similar run, October 30 the date of their last triumph, it magnified the need for a result, especially as Town welcome promotion favourites Fulham next week.
A bright opening by the visitors saw Mendes Gomes have an early attempt charged down following good work by Adebayo, Town's top scorer through the middle as expected, with Jordan Clark to his right and Mendes Gomes left.
With the rain lashing down, a mistake at the back by Luton saw Owen Dale unleash a snapshot that was saved by Shea at his near post.
Clark had penalty appeals turned down, as Town produced a decent spell of pressure, Burke getting away on the right, his cross going through to Lansbury to curl a presentable opportunity over.
James Bree's hanging cross was palmed away by Chris Maxwell, the ball finding Clark whose shot was deflected, while a wonderfully disguised pass from Lansbury saw Clark tee up Bree whose whipped cross was met by Adebayo, directing a header straight at the Tangerines keeper.
Adebayo had another effort on 16 minutes, released by Mendes Gomes' weighted through ball, timing his run to beat the offside trap, but then firing into the side-netting.
Blackpool began to dominate possession, getting a grip on proceedings, as they were a whisker away from moving ahead on 22 minutes, Reece James' low shot not dealt with convincingly by Shea, and Demetri Mitchell's follow-up trickling against the outside of the post, Bradley clearing.
The Tangerines went close again as Dale's cross met by Dujon Sterling at the far post, the visitors defence able to crowd Mitchell out, with Shea making a fantastic save to fly to his left and tip over Ryan Wintle's 25-yard drive that appeared destined for the top corner.
The Luton keeper clawed out Dale's close range header as Blackpool used the wind to their advantage when attacking, particularly on the right, Adebayo making three excellent headers to prevent crosses finding their target.
After soaking up the pressure, Town made use of their own set-pieces, with Bree's deep free kick shovelled behind by Maxwell.
From the resulting corner taken by Naismith this time, his ball to the far post was met by centre half partner Bradley, whose downward header went in via the underside of the bar for his second goal of the season and first without the Sky cameras present, three minutes before the break.
Town made a change at the interval, replacing Lansbury with Mpanzu, as despite the wind now being in Town's favour, Blackpool threatened first, Jerry Yates' snapshot over.
However, Luton soon got hold of the ball and kept their hosts penned back, Clark seeing plenty of the ball as he had two efforts blocked as Town started to really assert their authority.
They got their crucial second on 54 minutes as well, Clark the architect, dinking a cross to the far post for Adebayo to send his stooping header into the net for a ninth of the season.
Blackpool replied by bringing on the tricky Josh Bowler and top scorer Shayne Lavery, as they began to look capable of halving the deficit, Wintle curling a decent opening well wide.
Shea continued his fine performance by diverting James' deflected attempt behind, as the visitors had to weather not just the storm that was swirling around the stadium, but a real head of steam from the hosts as well, Naismith throwing his body in the way of Lavery's blast.
Having seen off the challenge from the hosts, Luton then added further gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time, sub Admiral Muskwe going on a superb run on the left to pick out Clark whose clever volley made it 3-0 for second goal in successive games.
With Coventry losing to West Bromwich Albion ahead of kick-off, it saw Town close the gap to the Sky Blues in sixth to five points, ahead of their home clash with the table-topping Cottagers next weekend.
Tangerines: Chris Maxwell, Dujon Sterling, Marvin Ekpiteta, James Husband, Reece James, Ryan Wintle, Kenny Dougall (Sonny Carey 78) Demetri Mitchell (Josh Bowler 60), Keshi Anderson, Owen Dale (Shayne Lavery 64), Jerry Yates.
Subs not used: Dan Grimshaw, Jordan Gabriel, Callum Connolly, Richard Keogh.
Hatters: James Shea, James Bree, Reece Burke, Sonny Bradley, Kal Naismith, Amari'i Bell, Henri Lansbury (Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu 46), Allan Campbell, Jordan Clark, Carlos Mendes Gomes (Admiral Muskwe 77), Elijah Adebayo (Danny Hylton 81).
Subs not used: Harry Isted, Dion Pereira, Fred Onyedinma, Gabe Osho.
Referee: Peter Bankes.
Attendance: 11,366 (Luton 1,391).