Huddersfield Town 0-2 Luton Town: Elliot Lee scores as Hatters climb off bottom of Championship

Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley says his players are feeling the pressure of a relegation fight after their 2-0 loss at home to Luton.

Second-half goals from Sonny Bradley and Elliot Lee saw Luton climb off the bottom of the table and leave the Terriers two points above the relegation zone with three games to go.

Cowley’s side did not have a shot on target after the 35th minute and have not scored in their past three games.

“People think they don’t care,” Cowley told BBC Radio Leeds. “They do care, they care a lot, they were nervous before the game, you could sense that.

“You try to help them with that, of course, that’s our responsibility, but we played with the handbrake on and didn’t move the ball quick enough.”

Cowley joined Huddersfield, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, in early September with the club second-from-bottom of the Championship.

Having recovered from that position, a run of just five points from their past seven games has seen them go from five points clear of the drop zone to two, with games against Sheffield Wednesday, second-placed West Bromwich Albion and Millwall to come.

“It was a bitterly disappointing performance and a hard one to take, but we’ve had disappointment before, we’ve been on the canvas before, and we’ve always responded,” added Cowley.

“We had an opportunity to take a big step tonight and we’ve tripped up.

“It’s not fatal, it feels like it but it’s not, so we dust ourselves down and we go again.”

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Hatters raise their game after poor opening period

Both sides desperately needed the points but neither showed that in a sluggish first half.

Huddersfield had most of the possession before the break, and while they got into good wide areas, all too often their final ball was poor.

Emile Smith-Rowe’s deflected sixth-minute shot and a header by Jon Gorenc Stankovic from the resulting corner promised much early on.

But Lewis O’Brien’s 34th-minute shot from 25 yards, straight at keeper Simon Sluga, was the last meaningful effort the Terriers had all game.

Luton were markedly better after the break, playing in more advanced areas and stifling the hosts in wide areas.

Their opening goal came after their first shot of the game. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s effort from distance was deflected wide and Bradley held off Christopher Schindler to rise highest and nod in James Bree’s corner.

Collins almost doubled Luton’s lead just after an hour, but his curling right-footed effort from the edge of the box was just wide after he had cut in from the left and beat two defenders.

But the Hatters did not have to wait long for their second as Lee outmuscled substitute Andy King to fire the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the box after Collins’ shot rebounded off the frame of the goal.

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio:

“I thought we were magnificent tonight, tactically we were brilliant.

“They came out of the blocks, they really tried to press us, we weathered it, we played through it and we were the more dangerous side.

“I thought defensively we were excellent, structurally they were good, and they gave me a huge, huge shift.”

Line-ups

Huddersfield

Substitutes

Luton

Substitutes

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Huddersfield Town 0, Luton Town 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Huddersfield Town 0, Luton Town 2.

Attempt missed. Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Jon Gorenc Stankovic.

Substitution

Substitution, Luton Town. Martin Cranie replaces Andrew Shinnie.

Booking

Andrew Shinnie (Luton Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).

James Bree (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Harry Toffolo (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andrew Shinnie (Luton Town).

Foul by Harry Toffolo (Huddersfield Town).

Danny Hylton (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Toffolo.

Booking

Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jon Gorenc Stankovic (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Hylton (Luton Town).

Attempt missed. Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Trevoh Chalobah.

Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

Substitution

Substitution, Luton Town. Kazenga LuaLua replaces Elliot Lee.

Substitution

Substitution, Luton Town. Danny Hylton replaces James Collins.

Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Luke Berry (Luton Town).

Foul by Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town).

Elliot Lee (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Alex Pritchard replaces Chris Willock.

Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sonny Bradley (Luton Town).

Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).

Callum McManaman (Luton Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Willock with a cross.

Goal!

Goal! Huddersfield Town 0, Luton Town 2. Elliot Lee (Luton Town) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner following a fast break.

James Collins (Luton Town) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Luke Berry following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Luton Town. Callum McManaman replaces Harry Cornick because of an injury.

Foul by Karlan Grant (Huddersfield Town).

Andrew Shinnie (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Cameron Carter-Vickers (Luton Town).

Attempt missed. Emile Smith Rowe (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Willock.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Andy King replaces Jonathan Hogg.

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