Luton pay the price for poor finishing as their dismal record at QPR continues

Championship: QPR 2 Luton Town 0

Friday, 19th November 2021, 9:47 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:31 pm
Allan Campbell closes down at QPR this evening

Luton's atrocious record at QPR continued as their winless run at the venue, now titled the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, stretched to 18 games with this defeat in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

In fairness to the Hatters, they might have got something from the game, playing their part in what was for large parts an absorbing and entertaining contest, only to concede early in each half, which combined with some awful finishing, wrecked their hopes of a first victory in almost 40 years.

Boss Nathan Jones made three changes from the 1-0 defeat at Stoke as Henri Lansbury, Tom Lockyer and Fred Onyedinma came in for Gabe Osho and Amari'i Bell, who dropped to the bench, Reece Burke missing out completely.

Town lined up with their now favoured three centre halves, Onyedinma starting in the left wingback role for the first time this term, as the visitors might have broken through twice in the opening five minutes, thanks to the pressing of Elijah Adebayo.

First he was sent away on the right, but rather than fully drive forward, tried to find Harry Cornick who was crowded out, while he charged down Jimmy Dunne's casual backpass, but couldn't lift the ball over the advancing Seny Dieng, who made a vital save, Cornick's rebound blocked.

Ilias Chair showed his obvious threat for the hosts, dancing into a shooting opportunity, as his 25-yarder was fingertipped over the bar by Simon Sluga, although a goal kick was awarded.

With Town in the ascendancy and looking the more likely, they were then undone on 10 minutes, and to make matters even more frustrating for Jones, from their own corner as well.

A hopeful ball forward released Chris Willock, but there didn't appear to be a great deal of danger on, only for Sluga, to come rashly racing off his line, caught in no man's land, giving the former Arsenal youngster the easy task of lobbing into the vacant net.

A high boot saw Lansbury, only just back from suspension, receive an early yellow card as the game continued to ebb and flow at a quite brilliant rate, with both sides looking capable of scoring.

Lee Wallace curved wide for QPR, before Cornick was left in acres of space, unable to beat Dieng at his near post, Adebayo then nutmegging his man, only to see a low drive just about blocked by a flying defender.

Midway through the half and Town went close again, Kal Naismith with a delicious dink over the top that saw Onyedinma released but he lofted over the advancing Dieng and unfortunately the bar as well.

Back came QPR, Charlie Austin breaking into the area and going for goal, dragging wide of the upright, while after a mini lull in terms of goalscoring opportunities, Adebayo's hopeful curler was easily gobbled up by Dieng.

The second half saw Town inches away from restoring parity inside the opening five minutes, Bree's corner met by Lockyer and kicked off the line, only as far as Town's right back though.

He transferred it back into the danger area, for an unmarked Naismith to see his downward header flick the side-netting on its way behind, leading to a number of the away fans behind the goal to wrongly assume he had made it 1-1.

Onyedinma cut off his flank to blaze into the stands, but just as they had in the first half, the Hatters conceded when looking like they were on top again, as Austin, who else, was able to head home from close range and double the host's advantage.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu's ambitious attempt at pulling one back was never threatening Dieng, while Bree saw his free kick cannon into the wall, Lansbury's snapshot always rising.

Town's accuracy was a bone of contention all evening, with 16 attempts in total, but just three on target, Onyedinma lashing over, and then sub Admiral Muskwe teed up by some never-say-die pressing from Mpanzu but he also couldn't display any composure, disappointingly wide on his left foot.

Late on, Adebayo wasn't able to turn home Naismith's deep cross, while in stoppage time, Town's evening was summed up when Mpanzu was teed up on the edge of the box, but like almost every chance that had gone before him, sliced wide as the Hatters fell to their second successive defeat, missing out on the chance to jump into the play-offs ahead of tomorrow's .

Rangers: Seny Dieng, Lee Wallace, Rob Dickie, Yoann Barbet, Stefan Johansen ©, Ilias Chair (Luke Amos 89), Charlie Austin (Sam Field 74), Andre Dozzell, Jimmy Dunne, Chris Willock, Albert Adomah (Osman Kakay 75).

Subs not used: Jordan Archer, Dominic Ball, George Thomas, Stephen Duke-McKenna.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree, Tom Lockyer, Sonny Bradley, Kal Naismith, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Allan Campbell (Cameron Jerome 74), Henri Lansbury, Fred Onyedinma, Harry Cornick (Admiral Muskwe 68), Elijah Adebayo.

Subs not used: James Shea, Danny Hylton, Jordan Clark, Amari'i Bell, Gabe Osho.

Bookings: Lansbury 12, Bradley 56, Adebayo 58, Dozzell 60, Dickie 90.

Referee: Matthew Donohue.

Attendance: 15,602 (2,452 Luton).