Luton down Cardiff for second win in Wales this season
Luton’s habit of winning in south Wales continued as the Hatters triumphed 2-1 at Cardiff.
Luke Freeman and Gabriel Osho scored second-half goals as Luton and their Rhondda-born manager Nathan Jones won in this part of the world for the fourth time since February.
Romaine Sawyers gave Cardiff hope by drilling home low from 25 yards five minutes from time, but it could not prevent Steve Morison’s side sliding to a first home league defeat this term.
Luton were victorious at Cardiff and Swansea last season and have now repeated the feat in the opening weeks of this campaign.
The 2-0 win at Swansea earlier this month was Luton’s only previous success this season.
But Jones, a self-proclaimed Cardiff fan, has now overseen a three-game unbeaten run after the Hatters had appeared to be suffering a hangover from reaching last season’s Sky Bet Championship play-offs.
There did not seem much chance of a goal fest with Cardiff scoring only three in their first six games and Luton managing just four.
Both sides decorated the first half with some flowing football, but their shortcomings in front of goal were evident.
Cardiff had three chances in as many minutes with Max Watters sparking a period of early pressure by forcing Ethan Horvath into a fine save.
Sheyi Ojo lifted the ball over from six yards and Niels Nkounkou, the on-loan Everton youngster making his first Cardiff start, drove wide.
Luton also had their moments with Elijah Adebayo unable to take advantage of a misguided back pass.
Carlton Morris also brought home goalkeeper Ryan Allsop into action before Cardiff captain Joe Ralls’ rising drive cleared the Hatters’ crossbar.
Luton took the lead two minutes after the restart with substitute Fred Onyedinma making an instant impact.
Onyedinma drove to the byline to beat Nkounkou and deliver a cross which Freeman dispatched in fine fashion.
Mahlon Romeo was quick to try and revive Cardiff, just wide with an attempt from distance before a touchline charge stirred the home fans.
But Romeo was guilty of losing possession on the edge of his penalty area and Morris was inches away from curling Luton into a two-goal lead.
That advantage did arrive after 62 minutes when Bree delivered an enticing free-kick to the far post that substitute Osho gratefully met.
Cardiff camped inside Luton territory for the final quarter but had gone seven hours of football without scoring until Sawyers struck his second Bluebirds’ goal.
That set up a grandstand finish, but Luton held on to climb above Cardiff in the Championship table.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.