Championship
LutonLuton Town1WatfordWatford0

Luton Town 1-0 Watford: James Collins scores penalty with first touch in derby victory

James Collins scores for Luton against Watford
James Collins' 78th-minute penalty was his 12th goal of the season

James Collins came off the bench to score a penalty with his first touch as mid-table Luton Town earned a deserved derby victory over promotion-chasing Watford.

Substitute Collins was brought on by boss Nathan Jones and instantly stroked the ball past keeper Daniel Bachmann, who had brought down Elijah Adebayo.

Second-placed Watford were outplayed before the break, but an improved second-half display looked like earning them a point which would have maintained their seven-point advantage over Swansea City, who fought back to draw with Wycombe Wanderers.

But with 12 minutes left Collins calmly struck the winner and, despite a frantic finish in which the Hornets had Kiko Femenia sent off and Andre Gray saw an equalising goal disallowed, the hosts held on.

The Hornets were furious with the assistant's decision to flag for offside when Gray nodded the ball in from close range after a corner was headed back in to the box.

But Swansea's failure to beat lowly Wycombe means, with just four games remaining, Watford still have a six-point advantage over the Welsh side.

With Norwich already promoted, the race for the second automatic promotion place could go down to the final day, when the Swans visit the Hornets.

The visitors can have few complaints about the outcome as, discounting the disallowed goal, they failed to have a shot on target.

Luton's threat was far greater, but their finishing was also wayward.

Bachmann did have to save a Luke Berry strike, the only other attempt to trouble the keeper in the match.

But Sonny Bradley sent a header over and Leicester City loanee Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall twice went close with powerful strikes from distance.

A more even second half followed, before Collins settled a fiery game at Kenilworth Road.

Hatters 'totally dominant' - reaction

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"Today was about us. We didn't just win, we were totally dominant from start to finish.

"It was one of the most complete performances since I've been a manager.

"If we had a clinical edge about us today, and probably the raw quality they do, we would have won that by three or four."

Watford manager Xisco Munoz told BBC Radio London:

"Today was not a good game for us. It wasn't our best level.

"We know it is difficult to play here. We know the high intensity we need to play here.

"Right now is the moment for everyone to stay together more and give the same passion and the same power for our team."

Line-ups

Luton

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 12Sluga
  • 26Bree
  • 6Pearson
  • 5BradleyBooked at 28mins
  • 24NaismithSubstituted forPottsat 90+1'minutes
  • 18Clark
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 8BerryBooked at 80minsSubstituted forReaat 83'minutes
  • 25LuaLua
  • 29AdebayoSubstituted forCollinsat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Shea
  • 2Cranie
  • 3Potts
  • 4Tunnicliffe
  • 14Moncur
  • 16Rea
  • 19Collins
  • 28Morrell
  • 30Pereira

Watford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26BachmannBooked at 75mins
  • 21FemeníaBooked at 88mins
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 31SierraltaBooked at 76mins
  • 17LazaarSubstituted forGrayat 82'minutes
  • 28C SánchezSubstituted forCleverleyat 61'minutes
  • 19Hughes
  • 7ZinckernagelSubstituted forSuccessat 45'minutes
  • 23Sarr
  • 10João Pedro
  • 12SemaSubstituted forHungboat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Foster
  • 8Cleverley
  • 15Cathcart
  • 16Gosling
  • 18Gray
  • 22Success
  • 27Kabasele
  • 32Navarro
  • 44Hungbo
Referee:
Gavin Ward

Match Stats

Home TeamLutonAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home16
Away5
Shots on Target
Home2
Away0
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Luton Town 1, Watford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Luton Town 1, Watford 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Luton Town).

  4. Post update

    Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kazenga LuaLua (Luton Town).

  6. Post update

    Tom Cleverley (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Luton Town. Dan Potts replaces Kal Naismith.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Watford. Isaac Success tries a through ball, but Andre Gray is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Kal Naismith.

  10. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Kiko Femenía (Watford) for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Kazenga LuaLua (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Kiko Femenía (Watford).

  13. Post update

    James Collins (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by João Pedro (Watford).

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Francisco Sierralta (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by William Troost-Ekong.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Sonny Bradley (Luton Town).

  17. Post update

    Francisco Sierralta (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Kal Naismith.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Luton Town. Glen Rea replaces Luke Berry.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Will Hughes (Watford) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich42279666313590
2Watford422410859283182
3Swansea4222101052331976
4Brentford412014771403174
5Bournemouth4221111069412874
6Barnsley412181254441071
7Reading4219101357461167
8Cardiff4216121458461260
9Millwall421417114140159
10QPR421611155051-159
11Middlesbrough42169174947257
12Stoke421414144546-156
13Luton41168173646-1056
14Bristol City42156214156-1551
15Blackburn421311185448650
16Nottm Forest421213173441-749
17Preston42147214155-1449
18Huddersfield421211194562-1747
19Coventry411112183756-1945
20Birmingham411112183150-1945
21Derby421110213148-1743
22Rotherham39116224153-1239
23Sheff Wed42119223555-2036
24Wycombe42810243266-3434
View full Championship table

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