Championship: Luton Town 1 West Bromwich Albion 2
Luton Town lost in the league at home for the first time since March 2018, as five minutes of madness cost them dearly against an experienced West Bromwich Albion side this afternoon.
Going into the break, everything looked rosy, the hosts 1-0 ahead and producing a first half that was spot on tactically, defending their area with real bravery, and always looking to hit the Baggies on the break.
However, interval substitute Grady Diangana, on loan from Premier League West Ham, was to prove the difference, finding the net twice in three minutes to knock the stuffing out of Graeme Jones' side.
They had half chances to win it from there, but could never really mount a head of steam to ever really test visiting keeper Sam Johnstone, as they were left searching for a first Championship win.
Jones had made one change for the clash from their 2-1 defeat at Cardiff last weekend, Harry Cornick in for his first league start of the season, George Moncur dropping to the bench where he was joined by Kazenga LuaLua and Izzy Brown.
Despite the Baggies dominating possession early on, it was Luton who created the first chance on five minutes, Callum McManaman sending over a cross that James Collins twisted acrobatically to head straight at Johnstone.
Although they had been on the back foot possession-wise in the opening 15 minutes, Town then had the lead when the ball was spread wide for full back Martin Cranie.
He delivered a fine cross into the area where an unmarked Cornick leapt highest to power a wonderful bullet header into the top corner for his first goal of the season.
Albion looked to hit back, Matt Phillips wide from 20 yards, while Jake Livermore's rasping blast required turning over by Simon Sluga and then Kenneth Zohore glanced off target.
Cornick was almost sent through by Ryan Tunnicliffe for a second, Johnstone out to avert the danger with the angle against Town's attacker.
The visitors brought on Diangana on for the second half and the winger had an instant effect, picking up the ball after Luton gave it away on the left, arrowing his 25-yarder past the sprawling Sluga and into the bottom corner.
After defending with such commitment in the opening 45 minutes, the goal was a real blow to Town, who would have wanted to keep the Baggies at arms length and then draw them out as the second period went on.
It went from bad to worse though just moments later, as a deflected shot into the area saw that man Diangana pop up again with a diving header to somehow put the Baggies 2-1 in front.
Jones made an immediate double change, bringing on Brown and LuaLua for Cornick and McManaman, with LuaLua trying to level the contest, his low 20-yarder palmed behind by Johnstone.
Brown was then starting to pull some strings in midfield, bursting forward to tee up the overlapping Dan Potts, whose low cross was just out of the reach of the stretching Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.
The midfielder then almost turned provider, his ball from the left drifting over the head of James Collins.
With 10 to go, the visitors showed just what kind of resources are available at this level, bringing on £4m signing Charlie Austin, who might have put the game beyond doubt within seconds, off target.
Austin had an even better chance to put the result to bed on 85 minutes, found after some wonderful skill by Diangana, only to crash against the post from five yards out.
He thundered another effort over, but Town just couldn't break down the dominating back-line a second time, who confidently saw out the final few moments to end the hosts' impressive sequence in front of their own fans.
Hatters: Simon Sluga, Martin Cranie, Dan Potts, Sonny Bradley (C), Matty Pearson, Jacob Butterfield, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Andrew Shinnie 75), Harry Cornick (Kazenga LuaLua 54), Callum McManaman (Izzy Brown 54), James Collins.
Subs not used: James Shea, James Bree, George Moncur, Elliot Lee.
Baggies: Sam Johnstone, Kieran Gibbs, Kyle Bartley, Semi Ajayi, Filip Krovinovic, Jake Livermore (C), Kenneth Zohore (Charlie Austin 80), Matt Phillips (Matheus Pereira 75) Romaine Sawyers, Kyle Edwards (Grady Diangana 46), Nathan Ferguson.
Subs not used: Chris Brunt, Conor Townsend, Jonathan Bond, Dara O'Shea
Booked: Bartley 20, Potts 65, Shinnie 89.
Referee: Andy Woolmer.
Attendance: 10,059 (1,033 West Brom).