Match Report | Luton Town 1-0 Cardiff City
City suffered late heartbreak on January 31st, falling to a single goal defeat at Luton Town.
Elijah Adebayo's 88th minute header was enough to eventually separate the two sides, following a competitive match at Kenilworth Road.
With injuries impacting his squad selection, new City boss Sabri Lamouchi named a four man back-four containing Perry Ng, Mark McGuinness, Cedric Kipré & Jack Simpson, with Romaine Sawyers acting as a deep lying midfielder in front of the defence. Joe Ralls & Ryan Wintle joined Sawyers in the midfield with a front three ahead of Callum Robinson, Mark Harris and Sheyi Ojo.
While the hosts saw plenty of the ball in the opening ten minutes, it was City who went closest to netting first. Robinson's dipping effort from 25-yards bounced clear off the crossbar.
Town came into this exchange in good form, having won four of their last five league fixtures, but Lamouchi's Bluebirds gave them a tough challenge from the starting whistle.
With 28 minutes gone, Luton had their first real chance at goal. Forward Elijah Adebayo met Cauley Woodrow's cross, but Ryan Allsop made a comfortable save to keep it level.
It was Rob Edwards' home team that had the first shot in the second period. Woodrow saw his shot tipped away by Allsop.
Ojo will have been disappointed with his free kick after 50 minutes. The winger won the set piece on the edge of the box, after being fouled by former City loanee Alfie Doughty, but he shot over the bar. The same man went close 13 minutes later. Ojo's curling effort from wide on the right troubled Ethan Horvath, but the Luton 'keeper managed to tip the shot away at the final moment.
The hosts had a huge chance to open the scoring when Cedric Kipré was harshly penalised for handball in the box, after Town forward Adebayo kicked the ball into him at close range with 70 minutes gone. Thankfully, justice was served when City's No.1 Allsop made a fine save to deny Adebayo from the penalty spot.
City had a big opportunity of their own four minutes later on a dangerous counter. Robinson did superbly down the left to break and find Wintle in acres of space, but the former Crewe Alexandra man lashed wide from the edge of the box.
The Bluebirds fought valiantly throughout, but were hit by a late sucker punch that decided the match. Doughty's late cross from the left deflected into the box off Ojo, and into the path of Adebayo, who headed powerfully into the net with just two minutes remaining.
Despite their best efforts, City couldn't find a late equaliser to take home a point from Kenilworth Road.
FINAL SCORE: LUTON TOWN 1-0 CARDIFF CITY
Luton Town: Horvath, Burke, Lockyer, Bell, Drameh (Onyedinma 69'), Clark, Mpanzu, Doughty, Woodrow (Berry 69'), Morris, Adebayo. Subs Not Used: Walton, Watson, Campbell, Thorpe, Osho.
Cardiff City: Allsop, Ng, Kipré, McGuinness, Simpson, Ralls (Philogene 77'), Wintle, Sawyers, Ojo, Harris (R. Colwill 77'), Robinson. Subs Not Used: Alnwick, X. Benjamin, Rinomhota, Davies, Etete.