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Luton close in on play-off places with victory over West Brom

Queens Park Rangers v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

West Brom’s search for a first win under manager Steve Bruce continues after they were beaten 2-0 by fellow play-off hopefuls Luton.

Goals from Cameron Jerome and Allan Campbell did the damage for the Hatters.

Luton went close early on. A fine move released centre-half Tom Lockyer on the right and his low cross was backheeled goalwards by Admiral Muskwe but goalkeeper Sam Johnstone gathered comfortably.

Former Newcastle and England striker Andy Carroll had one sighter but his header was saved by Jed Steer, who was making his first league start for Luton.

Matt Clarke advanced from defence to play a ball wide to Conor Townsend and then met the ensuing cross but his header went wide.

The Baggies almost took the lead with 20 minutes gone. Steer’s poor clearance was seized upon by Carroll who fed Karlan Grant and his shot went through the keeper but rolled agonisingly past a post.

Luton remained a threat too, with Jerome seeing a snapshot from 25 yards fly wide of the target.

Alex Mowatt sent two hopeful efforts over the crossbar as the Baggies should have moved in front just before the break.

Kal Naismith’s pass across his own box went straight to Grant who chipped an effort against the bar, before Carroll’s rebound was parried away by Steer.

Townsend saw a header hooked away by Gabe Osho, before Luton had a gilt-edged opportunity to move ahead themselves.

Campbell ran 50 yards before setting up Jerome and his left-foot shot beat Johnstone but the ball hit the inside of a post.

The experienced forward did break the deadlock in the 55th minute, though, when a free-kick was swung in by Naismith and met by Jerome with a bullet header that flew beyond Johnstone for his first league goal of the season.

Campbell put the result beyond doubt with six minutes to go as a neatly-worked throw on Luton’s left saw the ball played through to the Scottish midfielder and he advanced before unleashing a terrific shot past Johnstone from 22 yards.

The Baggies almost made it a nervy final few moments when Carroll escaped at the back post but he could only power a header against the bar as the Baggies’ wait for a first goal on the road since early December continued.

Darnell Furlong’s stoppage-time header straight at Steer summed up their afternoon in front of goal, as Luton leapfrogged their opponents to move within two points of the top six.

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