The match ends, Birmingham City 0, Luton Town 1.
Carlton Morris scored his 13th goal of the season to give play-off chasing Luton their first Championship win in four games at the expense of troubled Birmingham City.
Defenses were well up in the first half with only a shot on goal from Hatters midfielder Jordan Clark in the 12th minute.
However, it only took two minutes into the second half for the visitors to take the lead with Alfie Doughty providing an excellent cross which Morris headed past John Ruddy.
The Blues rarely threatened an equalizer until 11 minutes from time when Scott Hogan saw a header deflected off the crossbar.
Luton remain in the play-off places, in sixth place, while Birmingham, who have now lost four games in a row, remain in 19th place, seven points above the relegation zone after all the teams in action below of them also lost.
The Hatters created the first pair of starts with Elijah Adebayo finishing wide in the 11th minute before Clark’s effort, which Blues captain Ruddy handled easily.
Birmingham’s attacking partnership came together as Lukas Jutkiewicz crossed for Hogan but could only head wide in a quiet opening half-hour in which both sides largely canceled out.
Adebayo had another headed chance on 32 minutes when he was found by a measured cross from Doughty but again the striker missed the target.
The decisive moment came after 47 minutes from another Doughty cross, and this time Morris made no mistake, deftly passing past Ruddy.
Morris nearly got his second just after the hour mark, but the striker headed Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s cross just wide, and then had to leave the field after being injured by a high tackle from Marc Roberts that earned him a yellow card. Substitute for the Blues.
Hogan’s header against the bar was the closest Birmingham had come to an equalizer and Luton almost doubled their lead in the closing stages when Cauley Woodrow’s long-range effort was almost loosed by Ruddy over the line.
Blues boss John Eustace told BBC WM 95.6:
“There was nothing in the game and in the first half we really fought well against a good and experienced Championship team and the effort from the guys in the first half was excellent.
“Obviously the way we started the second half wasn’t very good. We had a lot of chances to clear the ball and stop the cross, so it’s a disappointing goal to receive. In the game we came off on the wrong end of the score.
“Confidence is low in camp, you can see it, and in the last third we were bad, making the wrong decisions. We are on a disappointing losing streak, but we have a group that is very honest and we are.” I will continue to work hard and be 100% committed until the end of the season.”
Luton manager Rob Edwards told BBC Three Counties Radio:
“I don’t think it was ever going to be pretty today. Grounds all over the country at this stage of the seasons are quite difficult to play and Birmingham were fighting for their lives as well. It was a challenging game but to come at the far right is obviously very nice.
“We know how important points are in every game now. Today we had to push ourselves a bit, but we showed some good moments at key moments. I think we looked like a threat and it was a great goal.”
On Marc Roberts’ entry into Carlton Morris:
“I think the challenge was bad and I know it happened fast which makes it difficult for the referee, but it wasn’t a yellow card so it’s disappointing because we could lose him now and we know how important it is for us.” .”
- 12Deansubstituted forJamesin 90+2′minutes
- 23longelosubstituted forgrahamin 86′minutes
- twentygardenersubstituted forbacunain 64′minutes
- 6Mejbrisubstituted forchangin 64′minutes
- 35Hallsubstituted forrobertsin 64′minutesBooked at 67 minutes
- 3. 4horvath
- sixteenBurkesubstituted forcampbellin 55′minutes
- Four. FiveDoughtyReserved at 19 minutes
- 9Morrissubstituted forWoodrowin 73′minutes
- 1she to
- david webb
Second Half ends, Birmingham City 0, Luton Town 1.
Offside, Birmingham City. Marc Roberts tries a through ball, but Tahith Chong is caught offside.
Substitution, Birmingham City. Jordan James replaces Harlee Dean.
Attempt saved. Cauley Woodrow (Luton Town) right footed shot from long range on the left. Assisted by Alfie Doughty.
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town) has received a foul on the right wing.
Foul by Alfie Chang (Birmingham City).
Substitution, Birmingham City. Jordan Graham replaces Emmanuel Longelo.
Elijah Adebayo (Luton Town) has been fouled in the opposite half.
Foul by Kevin Long (Birmingham City).
Attempt saved. Elijah Adebayo (Luton Town) header from the center of the box. Assisted by Cody Drameh with a headed pass.
Gabriel Osho (Luton Town) has been fouled in the defensive zone.
Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City).
Offside, Birmingham City. Lukas Jutkiewicz tries a through ball, but Maxime Colin is caught offside.
Scott Hogan (Birmingham City) hits the bar! counter header from the center of the area. Assisted by Tahith Chong with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Marc Roberts (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the center of the box.
Attempt blocked. Marc Roberts (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the center of the box.
Attempt blocked. Clear shot by Kevin Long (Birmingham City) from the center of the area. Assisted by Juninho Bacuna with a cross.
Foul by Gabriel Osho (Luton Town).
Maxime Colin (Birmingham City) has been fouled in the opposite field.