Birmingham end miserable run with victory at struggling Luton
Birmingham ended a run of six league games without a win with a 2-1 victory at bottom side Luton.
Pep Clotet’s side had taken just one point from a possible 18 going into the game, but always looked the better side at Kenilworth Road, as struggling Town suffered a third straight league defeat.
The Blues led with their first attack, Jeremie Bela’s cross from the left hand side headed in by the towering Lukas Jutkiewicz at the far post on four minutes, despite the best efforts of keeper Simon Sluga.
Town went close when Luke Berry’s free kick required a hurried clearance from the visitors’ defence, before Jutkiewicz threatened a second, his low effort saved by Sluga.
The hosts struggled to create anything meaningful for the rest of a desperately poor first half, while Blues continued pressing and after the break, Bela’s free kick flicked the side-netting on its way behind.
Town almost found a way back into the game on 50 minutes, as Harry Cornick powered forward and found the impressive Kazenga LuaLua, who fired over the top.
The introduction of substitute George Moncur then looked to have changed the complexion of the game, as he along with LuaLua, gave City something to think about, the visitors starting to concede a number of free kicks.
From one of them, the hosts were level. Blues skipper Harlee Dean fouled Matty Pearson in the area for a penalty that was coolly converted by James Collins on 62 minutes.
However, Town were level for just seven minutes as half-time sub Dan Potts gave the ball away inside his own half and Gary Gardner raced away to exchange passes with Jacques Maghoma to slot past Sluga.
The keeper then denied Jutkiewicz from eight yards, while Town were inches away from levelling, Pearson’s header from a corner cleared off the line by City’s top scorer.
Luton were given a late boost when Blues were reduced to 10 men for the final five minutes, Dean picking up his second yellow for a foul on Collins and was sent off.
However, Hatters could not make their numerical advantage count, Moncur’s late attempt clearing the stands.
Blues sub Dan Crowley almost made it 3-1, twinkling his way through Town’s defence, with Sluga preventing his shot creeping in.
Luton could have snatched a point in stoppage time, as Collins backheeled to makeshift striker Sonny Bradley, but Lee Camp saved with his legs to ensure Blues were triumphant.