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Luton end five-match losing run with morale-boosting win against Charlton

Luton ended their run of five straight defeats with a much-needed 2-1 victory over Charlton at Kenilworth Road to climb out of the relegation zone.

Charlton took an early lead through Jonathan Leko but the hosts hit back through Pelly Ruddock and Izzy Brown to secure just their second league win in nine matches.

The visitors tried their luck early on through Conor Gallagher’s ambitious long-range effort which flew well over.

James Collins looped an effort against the crossbar from outside the box, but Athletic were ahead after seven minutes when Sonny Bradley gave the ball away and Leko raced away to easily beat James Shea.

Town were almost back on level terms as Brown’s free-kick drew an excellent fingertip save from goalkeeper Dillon Phillips, who managed to flick it behind.

Luton were not behind for long, though, level after 19 minutes when Brown’s cross was half-cleared and Ruddock thundered a first-time effort into the bottom corner on his left foot for his second goal of the season.

Hatters’ leading scorer Collins then wasted a decent chance, firing over when the ball dropped invitingly to him, while with half-time approaching, Macauley Bonne headed off target for the visitors.

Harry Cornick had an effort blocked by a fine covering challenge and left-back Dan Potts shot over the bar as Town finished the first half strongly.

After the break, Luton led in the 54th minutes when Brown scored his first goal for the club, cleverly taking Andrew Shinnie’s pass in his stride to beat the visiting defence and slid home past Phillips.

Shinnie then curled a magnificent effort against the bar from 20 yards as Town looked for a third, with Brown’s free-kick flashing inches wide shortly after.

Collins saw his effort cannon off a defender and deflect over before Cornick should have given his side breathing space after being found by Brown, only to screw wide when he through on goal.

Gallagher went close to drawing the visitors level in the closing stages, seeing one shot easily saved by Shea, before his 25-yard 3ffort brushed the outside of the post on its way behind.

However, even throwing Phillips up front for a late free-kick came to nothing as the Hatters saw out stoppage-time comfortably enough to move three points clear of the relegation zone.

For the visiting Addicks, it was a sixth game without a win, as injuries continue to hit Lee Bowyer’s side hard after what had been a promising start to the Sky Championship campaign.