REPORT | Luton Town 2 Charlton 1

Charlton slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Luton Town on Tuesday night after Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Izzy Brown’s goals cancelled out Jonathan Leko’s early opener. 

The defeat leaves the Addicks winless in six as injuries continue to take their toll on Charlton’s form. 

Lee Bowyer had opted to make four changes to the side which drew 2-2 with Cardiff City at the weekend, with Naby Sarr, Chris Solly, Albie Morgan and Darren Pratley all coming into the fold for the fixture.

A fine atmosphere was being generated beneath the floodlights at Kenilworth Road with both fans in full voice. 

Luton were the first to have a bite of the cherry as James Collins had a pop from distance, Dillon Phillips assumed it was off target only for it to dip and hit the bar. 

But Charlton would take the lead just moments later when Leko was slipped through by Macauley Bonne and used all of his pace to edge out the Hatters' defence and slot coolly past James Shea. 

Charlton looked confident with and without the ball, pouncing on any loose touches or stray passes but the hosts did just enough to keep the deficit at one. 

But with 19 minutes played, Luton found themselves level. A free-kick from Brown was mere margins from going in but was deflected wide for a corner. The corner was played short and fell to Mpanzu who drilled his shot low into the far corner. It looked, however, that a Luton player was stood in front of Dillon Phillips as the shot came in and should have been ruled out for offside. But despite the referee speaking to the linesman, the goal was awarded.

With the scores level, Luton began to grasp a hold on the contest, making a number of forays into the Charlton half.

And the hosts nearly made their pressure count when Mpanzu managed to find Collins via a poor touch from a Charlton defender, but his effort was high and wide. 

Luton began to dominate the game as the half-hour mark approached, forcing the Addicks to tighten up at the back with persistent attacks on Phillips’ goal. 

Charlton recognised Luton were beginning to take charge and slowed the game down, getting a feel of the ball again and began to craft chances culminating in nothing but a yellow card for Gallagher – adding to Bowyers selection concerns - he will miss Saturday's clash with Sheffield Wednesday having picked up his fifth booking of the season. 

Bonne would go close on 39 minutes when Darren Pratley’s quick free-kick made its way to Solly on the right who floated in the cross only for the striker's header to go just shy of Shea’s post. 

Leko was next to chance his arm, letting fly from a tight angle but dragging his effort wide of the post. 

Up the other end, Tom Lockyer had to time his challenge on Harry Cornick perfectly to deny the Hatter the chance to het his shot away after Mpanzu had picked him out.

With the announcement of two minutes added time, the game exploded into an end to end affair before an eyebrow raising passage of play from the hosts culminated in Dan Potts rifling an effort into the stands. 

With the second-half underway Bowyer's men were to get the next sniff of goal when Solly drilled in a low cross which Leko slid in to meet only to see his effort knocked wide by an orange shirt. 

With 53 minutes gone, Brown put the home side ahead. Sloppy play in the midfield from Charlton saw the Luton man charge forward and stick home the ball from close range. A gutting moment for Charlton who started the game well and it another goal conceded that would prove to be controversial, with Brown seemingly handling the ball before scoring.

Graeme Shinnie almost extended Luton’s lead moments later when he let fly from the edge of the box, the Addicks only being saved by the post. 

Brown would again chance his arm, this time from a set-piece, unleashing a fine strike which had the home fans up but ultimately flew wide of the goal frame. 

With over an hour gone, the Addicks were struggling to break Luton down and were frequently being tested defensively. 

But Charlton were refusing to lie down and Morgan began to try and craft some chances from midfield with a number of fine, searching balls. 

With less than 10 minutes left to play, frustration began to set in for the visitors, with wayward passing halting any chance of Charlton finding an equaliser.

Another difficult result to take for the injury-plagued Addicks who go again at The Valley on Saturday.

Luton Town: Shea, Potts, Tunnicliffe [Bolton 79], Bradley, Pearson, Shinnie, Cornick, Mpanzu, Collins, Brown, Bree

Subs (not used): McManaman, Sluga, Bolton, Galloway, LuaLua, Jones, Butterfield 

Goals: Mpanzu 19, Brown 53

Booked: Brown 59, Mpanzu 90

Charlton: Phillips; Purrington [Davison 85], Lockyer, Pearce (C), Sarr [Doughty 59], Solly; Pratley, Morgan, Gallagher Leko; Bonne

Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Matthews, Oshilaja, Davison, Doughty, Vennings

Goal: Leko 7

Booked: Gallagher 35

Referee: Darren England 

Attendance: 10,004 (1,032 from Charlton)

Read Time: 5 mins