4 observations made as Luton Town complete festive period with victory over Huddersfield Town
Luton Town completed a nine-point gameweek with a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town yesterday afternoon.
The Terriers, who have been unable to back up last season’s third-placed finish and are currently operating inside the relegation places, did bring some form into the clash at their Yorkshire home, winning their last two.
Duane Holmes opened the scoring for the hosts in rather fortuitous fashion, when Jack Rudoni’s effort at goal fell at his feet.
Amari’i Bell restored parity two minutes from the break after good play down Luton’s right.
The match-winner proved to be an unlikely source in Reece Burke, with the returning defender sealing the points in the 84th minute.
Reece Burke - The unlikely hero
It was a great boost to see that Reece Burke was named on the bench at Huddersfield after a long time on the sidelines.
Statistically speaking, the former Hull City man has been one of the best defenders in the division and whilst Luton’s defensive record has not been too bad at all, his absence has certainly been felt.
Showing a few signs of rustiness when he initially came on, as was to be expected, the towering centre-back grew more and more important as the game wore on.
As well as dominating defensive battles, another key feature of Burke’s game is his ability to progress the ball and make attacking runs from a right-sided central defensive position.
It was one of his trademark runs up the pitch that secured the three points for the Hatters in Yorkshire, with the 26-year-old displaying real composure to find the bottom corner.
Louie Watson gains valuable minutes
Louie Watson started his first league game for the Hatters since making his move from Derby County in the summer.
The 21-year-old was tasked with operating in a holding midfield role with Jordan Clark missing from action, with Watson gaining valuable experience.
Evidently an exciting talent, Watson showed glimpses of what he is capable of and grew more effective as the match wore on, lasting 65 minutes.
There is a lot of learning for the young midfielder to do, but ultimately, he is on the right track in his development.
A fine away record
Interestingly, Luton have accumulated seven more points on their travels than at Kenilworth Road in the Championship this season.
Winning more than 50% of away games this season, the Hatters have the second-best away record in the division, with their organisation, counter-attacking abilities and bravery in possession playing a big part in all of this.
With Kenilworth Road having what is required to become a fortress under Rob Edwards, it will be interesting to see if this notion of being more productive away from home will continue.
Ethan Horvath’s situation
Ethan Horvath has firmly established himself as Luton’s number one during the first half of the season and it does not seem likely that a change in the goalkeeping pecking order is on the cards.
Proving to be a safe pair of hands and a composed figure in possession, it will be interesting to see how this January transfer window plays out.
Nathan Jones previously hinted that there are plans in place to turn his deal permanent, with the USA shot-stopper set to see his Nottingham Forest contract expire in the summer.
Conceding 24 goals in 24 games and keeping nine clean sheets thus far, he has proven to be an impressive addition thus far.