Derby delight as Stevenage defeat Luton Town

Ben Kennedy lets fly into the top corner.

Ben Kennedy lets fly into the top corner. - Credit: Archant

Ben Kennedy’s late wonder goal and Luke Wilkinson’s third minute header saw Stevenage to an eighth win from nine games and move to fourth in the table with a 2-0 derby victory at Luton Town this afternoon (Saturday).

Stevenage headed into the game looking to protect an eight-game unbeaten run which had seen manager Darren Sarll and striker Matt Godden collect manager and player of the month accolades.

Wilkinson’s towering header against his former side gave Stevenage the perfect start at Kenilworth Road on three minutes.

Full-back Connor Ogilvie strode forward down the left and his cross was blocked for a corner.

Steven Schumacher’s inch perfect set-piece picked out the central defender and he nodded past home keeper Matt Macey to leave home support stunned.

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Stevenage continued to press after their fine start forcing two more corners, but without the success of the first.

Luton came close to levelling on 10 minutes when Stephen O’Donnell’s cross from the right was headed goal wards by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu only for Jack King to clear off the line.

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There were plenty of efforts on goal from distance from the away side as Kennedy, Charlie Lee and Ogilvie all failed to find the target from outside of the box.

Chris Day was not called in to action too often in the opening 45 minutes, but the 41-year-old charged off his goalline and put in the well-timed sliding tackle to thwart the clean through Isaac Vassell.

He then did well to tip over a deflected Dan Potts effort over as Boro held the advantage at half-time.

Luton started the stronger after the break and Wilkinson and Lee made vital blocks from Sheehan and Lee.

That was before two goal-line clearances by Schumacher and Kennedy denied Hylton before the hour-mark.

Vassell was afforded too much time to control turn and run at goal by Boro, but he dragged his shot wide in what was a let-off for Boro.

Luton should have levelled on 66 minutes as Vassell crossed for Palmer, however his header was turned away by Day.

That was to prove costly as on 85 minutes the talented Kennedy collected the ball inside the Luton half, jinked his way through and fired into the top left corner before running the length of the field to celebrate in front of the delighted travelling support.

In injury time it could have been three for Boro, however the hard-working Godden sent a curler just wide.

The final whistle soon followed as Stevenage racked up another superb result.

Next up is Blackpool away on Tuesday night.

Stevenage: Day, Henry (Gorman 65), King, Wilkinson, Ogilvie, Pett, Schumacher (Tonge 88), Kennedy, Lee, McAnuff (Cowans 90), Godden.

Subs: Preston, Gorman, Tonge, Cowans, Hinds, Ntlhe, Loft.

Luton Town: Macey, O’Donnell, Potts (Gambin 46), Smith, Cuthbert (c) (Justin 70), Hylton, Cook (Palmer 65), Rea, Mpanza, Vassell, Sheehan.

Subs: Moore, Gray, Marriott, D’Ath, Justin.

Att: 9,045 (699 away).

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