Sky Sports – LONDON, Brentford kept up the pressure on the Sky Bet Championship’s top two with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Luton that stretched their unbeaten league run to 16 games.
Saman Ghoddos’ 15th-minute header was the difference between the sides in a game of two halves as he headed home Ivan Toney’s pinpoint right-wing cross from close range.
The game ended in controversy, with Hatters defender Tom Lockyer getting a straight red and Brentford’s top scorer Toney picking up a second yellow for an off-the-ball clash.
The Bees dominated the first half but it was all Luton after the break as they pressed for an equaliser against a dogged home rearguard.
The visitors survived an early scare when Mathias Jensen’s volley from the edge of the box hit Lockyer’s arm, but any punishment would have been harsh.
Brentford winger Sergi Canos was first to test the Luton goalkeeper with a 10th-minute drive from 25 yards which Simon Sluga did well to palm away from under the angle.
The home side started with plenty of energy and Ghoddos celebrated making his loan deal permanent by giving Sluga no chance at the end of a slick counter-attack.
Canos stung Sluga’s fingers with a drive and Toney chanced his arm with a speculative effort that flashed wide as Luton struggled to gain an early foothold in the game.
But the visitors gave the hosts a scare just before the half-hour when James Collins’ looping header from a George Moncur cross forced Brentford ‘keeper David Raya to retreat and catch the ball just below the crossbar.
Brentford thought they had a chance to stretch their lead when Toney was manhandled to the ground in a goalmouth melee, but all protests were waved away.
The Hatters started asking a few questions before the break and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu should have done better with an effort from the edge of the box which was always rising.
Luton flew out of the blocks after the break and Collins came within a whisker of an equaliser but just failed to get on the end of a superb James Bree chip which Raya parried to safety.