Managerless Hull lose again as Henri Lansbury puts the seal on Luton victory

Hull City v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – MKM Stadium
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Hull suffered a fifth consecutive loss with a 2-0 defeat at home to Luton – on a turbulent day in which manager Shota Arveladze was sacked just hours before the game.

Arveladze, who joined the club in January, was dismissed by ambitious owner Acun Ilicali following a rotten run of form, with the Turkish media mogul admitting that “our views weren’t aligned”.

Interim head coach Andy Dawson could not inspire a sudden uptick in fortune and was always up against it once Alfie Jones scored an own goal after just six minutes.

The weakest defence in the Sky Bet Championship was again unhinged on 44 minutes when Henri Lansbury let fly from the edge of the penalty area.

Hull had their moments going forward, but their cosmopolitan side are so far lacking the strength and guile to hold their own in such a robust league.

Luton, conversely, have made encouraging progress following a sluggish start to the season and moved into fifth place under Nathan Jones.

Dawson, a popular player at Hull during their halcyon Premier League days, was given a rousing reception in what will be a short-term role in charge of the club.

But home fans were soon muted when Elijah Adebayo’s sweeping hit – Lansbury this time the provider with a lovely corner – struck the underside of the crossbar, spooned off Jones’ flailing legs and into the net.

Hull might have equalised just 16 minutes later, though, when Regan Slater tried his luck from the right channel.

Slater’s swerving attempt was goalbound, but struck the head of Luton captain Dan Potts and rebounded off the crossbar.

An open first half in which Luton continually manipulated their aerial supremacy – goalkeeper Nathan Baxter was twice called upon to make good reaction saves – had looked destined to reach a subdued conclusion.

That was until Lansbury controlled Lewie Coyle’s awful headed clearance from a central position outside the penalty box, Baxter having seconds earlier done well to deny Jordan Clark.

Lansbury had not previously scored for Luton, but the manner in which he found the bottom right corner must have left away supporters wondering why it had taken him so long.

The second half was a non-event, with Luton happy to sit back and Hull lacking any semblance of attacking nous from the substitutes’ bench – despite having plenty of possession.

Ilicali might yet still have grand dreams of promotion, but Championship survival looks a far more realistic target on this evidence.

Luton, by contrast, have the structure in place to once again think about reaching the play-offs.

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