Elijah Adebayo makes amends for missed penalty to send Luton up to fourth
Luton striker Elijah Adebayo made amends for a penalty miss by scoring a late winner to consign new Cardiff manager Sabri Lamouchi to a 1-0 defeat in his first match in charge.
The Hatters forward had seen a weak spot-kick saved by goalkeeper Ryan Allsop after 70 minutes but did not let it affect him, heading home from close range with time running out to take his side up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship.
Town made a bright start, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s fierce effort charged down, but Cardiff were a threat too as Sheyi Ojo fired straight at Luton goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.
Callum Robinson then had a go from even further out, deceiving Horvath, but his attempt clipped the top of the crossbar on its way behind.
Ojo had another strike which Horvath managed to get behind at his near post.
Luton made a good break down the right in the 26th minute, with Cauley Woodrow hanging a cross up for Adebayo to head straight at Allsop.
The Hatters threatened first after the break as Reece Burke teed up Woodrow in the area and his first-time attempt was narrowly over the bar.
The Bluebirds had a good free-kick opportunity that Ojo sent wastefully off target from 20 yards, but he went closer than most shortly afterwards, denied by a flying save from Horvath at full stretch.
Adebayo won a penalty with 20 minutes remaining when his flick in the area was handled, but his effort was turned past the post by Allsop.
Cardiff should have made the hosts pay just five minutes later when Ryan Wintle, with the freedom of Kenilworth Road when picked out by Robinson’s pass, could only shank woefully off target.
Alfie Doughty then saw an ambitious volley whistle wide, as lively substitute Fred Onyedinma’s cross-shot was fingertipped away by Allsop.
However, Luton kept going and with two minutes left, Doughty’s deflected cross was headed in by Adebayo from close range – the fifth successive game he has been on the scoresheet and his eighth goal in all competitions this season.
The Bluebirds stay fourth bottom, just three points clear of safety, as Lamouchi now knows the full extent of his task.
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