Leicester on loan midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored his first goal for Luton as the Hatters ended a three-game winless streak by beating Bristol City 2-1 at Kenilworth Road.
Glen Rea sent the hosts back in front after 17 minutes, but Sonny Bradley’s own goal just past the hour restored parity.
Luton only took seven minutes after that leveler to find the winning goal, however, with Dewsbury-Hall scoring a nice strike to clinch the three points.
Former Town striker Chris Martin threw a free kick early for the visitors, but the home side went ahead with a magnificent goal.
Dewsbury-Hall sent a corner for Rea to meet on the fly and hammer past Dan Bentley and into the net for his second of the season.
City had screamed for a denied penalty in the 28th minute when Antoine Semenyo appeared to be down inside the area, but they were ruled out by referee Gavin Ward.
Luton midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu then hooked up to the fresh air rather than the ball as he missed a chance to make it 2-0 for the hosts.
The Robins continued to push for a leveler, Semenyo’s shot parried by Simon Sluga, before Martin was inches away, meeting Jack Hunt’s cross to see his header come back from below the bar.
Rea searched for a second of the evening, his 25 yards soaring above the bar, and he continued to do so after the break, seeing another attempt fly into the empty pits.
Luton’s top scorer, James Collins, should have extended his team’s lead in the 52nd minute, chosen by Harry Cornick. However, with only Bentley to beat, he couldn’t do it, with the keeper saving well.
Han-Noah Massengo failed to obey a cross at the far post to bring the score to 1-1, but City equalized in the 61st minute when Nahki Wells’ low cross was turned into his own net by Town Bradley captain.
Luton responded well, Cornick so close to putting his side forward, but seeing his outside drive with his right foot flashing a few inches from the target.
The Hatters were back in the lead, however, after 69 minutes, when Dewsbury-Hall scored his first goal since arriving on loan from the Foxes, taking a nice walk down the 22-yard bottom corner.
Rhys Norrington-Davies nearly scored a third with four minutes remaining, his attempt attracting a good save from Bentley and the rebound faded.
City’s last chance saw Tommy Rowe’s low ball in the box missed by everyone as Luton went six games unbeaten at Kenilworth Road.
What the managers said …
Luton Nathan Jones: “That’s a huge, huge three point. We had a meeting on Monday and we said ‘whatever happens this week at five o’clock on Saturday we’re not on 27 points’. That’s what We started the day and we wanted to increase our point total as we get to halfway.
“To get to the halfway point and double down we’re at 27 which would mean we’re at 54 which is better than last year but we don’t just want to settle for that. Three big points tonight to prepare us well for the weekend and to move forward. Those were good goals. First is a field training routine, then Kiernan did that for Leicester, he did it for Blackpool and that’s part of why we brought him here. “
Bristol City’s Dean Holden: “We missed a header and we need to improve on set pieces, we concede too much. We imagined our chances of coming here and getting a result tonight, and we played well enough to get something thing, no doubt deserved. winning the game. it’s difficult (injury situation). take out those first team players of any team and it will be difficult.
“But this is what we got, these are the cards we have and we have to use those cards as well as we can. The guys are giving it their all, we have kids on the bench who have never been involved. at this level. It won’t be an excuse, but it is difficult. Sometimes you don’t get decisions like that (penalty for Semenyo). I don’t know why he didn’t . “