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KO: 20:00
Kenilworth Road
Luton Town
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Wednesday 27th September 2023
KO - 19:45
At Away
LNER Stadium
Lincoln City

Luton Town 1-2 West Ham United
Premier League, Kenilworth Road, Friday 1 September 2023, 8pm BST


Jarrod Bowen’s incredible form continued as his first-half header set West Ham United on course to victory at Luton Town and back to the top of the Premier League table.

After failing to score on the road in the top-flight last season, Bowen has now scored in all three away games this term, becoming the first Hammer to do so since Vic Watson in 1930/31.

The UEFA Europa Conference League hero’s latest winner came eight minutes before half-time, when he stole behind his marker to head Lucas Paquetá’s cross past Thomas Kaminski, silencing the home fans in a capacity crowd at Kenilworth Road.

And, despite a determined effort from the EFL Championship Play-Off winners, Kurt Zouma finally silenced the home fans with a powerful header five minutes from full-time.

There was still time for Mads Andersen to set up a nervy finish with a goal in added-time, but the Irons held on for a third win in four matches to kick-off the new season.

Despite their defeat, though, Luton will never forget 1 September 2023. Thirty-one years after goals from Brian Stein and Mark Pembridge secured them a 2-0 home win over Aston Villa in May 1992, top-flight football returned to the town on Friday evening.

Amid deafening noise created by just over 10,000 supporters inside this famous stadium – home to the Hatters since 1905 – referee Paul Tierney blew his whistle and Tatith Chong kicked-off an historic night in Bedfordshire.

Luton Town

And it was the Dutch midfielder Chong who created the game’s first chance on 90 seconds, when his cross was half-cleared to Ross Barkley, only for the former England international to drag his right-foot shot wide. The same player had another opportunity on 15 minutes, this time after controlling and on his left foot, but again could not find the target.

West Ham would have expected a fast start from the hosts on their big night, with Luton known for the direct playing style that helped win them promotion, but the Irons negotiated the opening 20 minutes without any further alarms. Indeed, they fashioned one opportunity of their own, but Saïd Benrahma’s volley flew into the side-netting at Thomas Kaminski’s near post.

Another of Luton’s strengths is their set plays – similar to their opponents – and Rob Edwards’ side forced a trio of early corners in the opening quarter, the last of which was headed wide by Danish centre-back Andersen.

Continuing on the theme, Jarrod Bowen went up the other end and fired a low effort past Kaminski’s right upright, before Benrahma sent his second volley even wider of the other post. And the Algerian was off-target for a third time, this time curling high and wide after former Hammer Reece Burke had blocked Edson Álvarez’s initial shot.

Moments later, though, Bowen broke the deadlock, heading in Paquetá’s inch-perfect cross, albeit home goalkeeper Kaminski should arguably have kept the ball out.

Unsurprisingly, Luton rallied, with Moses Adebayo and captain Carlton Morris seeing efforts fly too high, before Chong could only divert Burke’s downward header a yard past the post from another corner.

Into the second half and this time it was West Ham who started quickest, only for Emerson to see a second goal ruled out for offside against Michail Antonio in the build-up. That let-off roused Luton and their fans, who saw Alfie Doughty’s shot deflected over, then the impressive Burke power a header too high.

As the game ebbed and flowed past the hour-mark, Benrahma then saw his fourth shot saved comfortably by Kaminski, before being replaced by Pablo Fornals.

Zouma scores at Luton

Luton were still just a goal down, though, and both they and their supporters believed they could find an equaliser. Instead, moments after Morris had blazed over, they fell two behind.

Ward-Prowse provided the assist from a corner and unmarked Zouma the finish with an unstoppable downward header inside the near post.

Andersen gave them a late score by heading past Areola with Luton’s first shot on target at the 15th attempt two minutes into added-time, but West Ham were going back to the top of the Premier League!


Luton Town: Kaminski, Burke, Andersen, Giles (Kaboré 72), Bell, Doughty (Ogbene 78), Nakamba, Barkley (Mpanzu 71), Chong (Woodrow 84), Adebayo (Brown 71), Morris ©
Subs not used: Krul (GK), Berry, Johnson, Francis-Clarke

Goal: Andersen 90+2


West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma ©, Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Ward-Prowse, Bowen, Paquetá (Kudus 90+1), Benrahma (Fornals 72), Antonio (Ings 80)
Subs not used: Fabiański (GK), Cresswell, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Cornet, Mubama

Goals: Bowen 37, Zouma 85

Booked: Emerson


Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 10,802


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