Luton Town ended a 15-year wait to secure all three points against QPR yesterday afternoon, with the Hatters temporarily taking hold of a play-off spot.
Elijah Adebayo nodded the Bedfordshire club into a first-half lead when he met Carlton Morris’ perfectly-weighted cross, with Cameron Jerome doubling the advantage in the 77th minute.
The visitors halved the deficit in the 90th minute when Osman Kakay’s header ricocheted off the bar and Ethan Horvath before crossing the white line, however, Luke Freeman ensured a nerve-free final couple of minutes when he tapped in from Harry Cornick’s cross a minute later.
Here, are five observations that were made during an entertaining clash at Kenilworth Road…
Front two are in sync
Elijah Adebayo and Carlton Morris caused the QPR defence all sorts of chaos during the 90 minutes, with the pair’s physicality, relentlessness and intelligence being on show for all to see.
Not only are they bullying defences at present, but they are also carving them open with clever link-up play in the final third.
In the build-up to Adebayo’s opener, it was the 24-year-old who first put in an enticing ball that was nearly met by Morris’ head, before the roles were reversed and the net was hit.
Defence continues to impress despite adversity
Reece Burke has emerged as a vitally important player for the Hatters during the early stages of this season, with his absence a real shame. The same could be said about Gabe Osho who brings athleticism and technical ability to the back three.
However, a back three of Tom Lockyer, Sonny Bradley and Dan Potts secured a clean sheet at West Brom, and they all put in stellar performances against one of the best attacking forces in the division yesterday afternoon.
Bradley may have picked up the Man of the Match award but his two defensive colleagues were equally as good.
It was a slight surprise to see both Adebayo and Morris coming off at the same time yesterday, especially with the pair continuing to run the QPR defence ragged in the second half but it proved to be an inspired decision by the Luton boss.
Harry Cornick and Cameron Jerome almost instantly were able to enjoy success against a battered QPR backline, with the former’s pace being a real cause for concern.
In fact, it was Jerome’s turn of pace in the 77th minute that paved the way for the Hatters to double their lead, whilst the 36-year-old dominated the physical battle for the short time he was on the pitch.
Allan Campbell gobbles up possession-based midfielders for breakfast
Some of Allan Campbell’s best displays have been against teams who like to dominate possession statistics and those who look to keep the ball moving from side to side.
Yesterday was no different, with the Scottish midfielder causing problems for the likes of Sam Field and Luke Amos, whilst combining well with the forwards when he was able to win possession in good areas for the Hatters.
With Henri Lansbury in the side, there is more scope for him to press higher up the pitch, something that worked a treat for the Hatters yesterday afternoon.
Despite sitting in seventh spot, the Hatters are a mere four points from the Championship summit.
Nathan Jones’ side have recently embarked on a six-game unbeaten run and they are now competing at the top end of the division again.
Of course, these next two fixtures against Norwich City and Watford will be extremely testing, but ultimately, they have brought some excellent form into what is a tricky run of fixtures on paper.