McGoldrick's double sends Luton out of Carabao Cup
Carabao Cup, first round: Luton Town 0 Ipswich Town 2
Luton Town's impressive recent record in the Carling Cup, Capital One Cup, EFL Cup, Carabao Cup, whatever you want to call it, was ended at the first hurdle by Ipswich Town this evening.
The Hatters held their own for long periods of the tie, but the Tractor Boys always had that bit extra, in particular from two goal striker David McGoldrick, who looked a class above, producing two confident finishes to send his side through.
The big news ahead of kick-off was the absence of Isaac Vassell from Luton's squad after increasing rumours about the striker's future, with Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp confirming an interest in the in-demand forward, although Town chief Nathan Jones revealed later it was down to illness.
His place went to Elliot Lee, while Glen Rea and Jordan Cook came in for Alan McCormack and Dan Potts, Alan Sheehan moving to left back, Rea slotting in alongside skipper Scott Cuthbert.
After the fun and games on Saturday, it was always going to be that much tougher against the Championship outfit, and so it proved in the first half.
Town had the odd moment, Cook and Olly Lee combining for Andrew Shinnie to thump over and some classic centre forward play from James Collins saw him shrug off his marker and might have done better than tamely fire at Dean Gerken.
After weathering the spell of pressure, Ipswich moved ahead on 34 minutes with a lovely goal as Man City loanee Bersant Celina showed all his class to slice Town's defence apart, with the impressive David McGoldrick confidently beating Stech.
Luton were almost level instantly as Elliot Lee's curler went just the wrong side of the post, while Celina twinkled his toes again to find Myles Kenlock, as he drilled narrowly off target.
Town then fluffed a glorious chance to level on the stroke if half time as Cook did excellently to outmuscle Dominic Iorfa and when his shot was too hot for Gerken to handle, Elliot Lee could only fire the rebound over the gaping goal from close range.
After the interval, Stech made a smart save to deny Jonas Knudsen's glancing header, before Luton really start to get to grips with their task, playing with a greater tempo and intensity.
First Elliot Lee's cross was just deflected away from Cuthbert of all people at the back post and Cook found the side-netting after a neat one-two with Mpanzu.
It became a proper cup tie from there, with Cuthbert almost putting through his own net only to come close at the right end, Gerken was out to smother, Mpanzu slamming over too.
The visitors found a second wind to push Town back, McGoldrick just having his pocket picked by Cuthbert, while new signing Martyn Waghorn curled off target from outside the box and Flynn Downes whistled inches wide.
Stech touched a deflected attempt from McGoldrick over with 10 minute to go, but the striker settled the tie in stoppage time, confidently slotting into the bottom corner to send Luton out.
However, not having the distraction of a cup run may just play into Town's favour this season, as they clearly have bigger fish to fry.
Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, Alan Sheehan, Scott Cuthbert ©, Glen Rea, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Olly Lee, Jordan Cook (Johnny Mullins 86), Andrew Shinnie, James Collins, Elliot Lee (Luke Gambin 74).
Subs not used: James Shea, Jack Senior, Josh McQuoid, Tyreeq Bakinson, Frankie Musonda.
Ipswich: Dean Gerken, Dominic Iorfa, Jonas Knudsen, Luke Chambers ©, Adam Webster (Luke Woolfenden 46), Cole Skuse (Adam McDonnell 73), David McGoldrick, Bersant Celina, Flynn Downes, Tristan Nydam (Martyn Waghorn 63), Myles Kenlock.
Subs not used: Danny Rowe, Freddie Sears, Bartosz Bialkowski, Pat Webber.
Booked: Chambers 42, Waghorn 81, McGoldrick 90.
Attendance: 4,610 (796 Ipswich).