Luton lived up to their pledge of making it “a special day” for convalescing captain Tom Lockyer by beating Newcastle United at an emotionally charged Kenilworth Road.
Andros Townsend headed home the Hatters’ winner against his former club in Luton’s first Premier League game since Lockyer’s collapse at Bournemouth seven days earlier.
Townsend held up Lockyer’s number four shirt in celebration after the goal—one of a number of tributes paid by Hatters’ players and fans to their stricken skipper before, during, and after the game.
Only the woodwork denied Luton a more straightforward victory, as Ross Barkley struck the bar with a 35-yard thunderbolt and Jacob Brown also hit the frame of the goal from closer in.
Newcastle mounted increasing second-half pressure as Alexander Isak had an equaliser ruled out for a marginal offside, while Bruno Guimaraes and Anthony Gordon also went close.
However, they slipped to a fourth successive away league defeat to stay seventh, while Hatters‘ remain 18th but move within two points of safety and have a game in hand on Nottingham Forest, the side directly above them.