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Carlow Nationalist — Luton’s survival hopes dashed as Brentford run riot at Kenilworth Road

By George Sessions, PA

Luton’s Premier League survival hopes were dealt an enormous blow after they suffered a 5-1 home defeat to Brentford, which virtually guaranteed the visitors of a fourth consecutive season in the top flight.

The 18th-placed Hatters could have moved out of the relegation zone with a win, but were undone by a slick attacking display from the Bees led by Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo.

With Ivan Toney not involved due to his ongoing hip issue, Thomas Frank watched his fluid front four run riot at Kenilworth Road with Wissa on target twice in the first half to reach 10 goals for the campaign.

Ethan Pinnock made the points safe with a third in the 62nd minute before Keane Lewis-Potter claimed a deserved goal two minutes later.

The brilliant Mbeumo had a hand in Brentford’s fifth when Kevin Schade fired home after 86 minutes and despite a stoppage-time consolation for Luke Berry, the afternoon belonged to Brentford after they moved on to 35 points – 10 above Rob Edwards’ strugglers with four matches left.

Luton were boosted before kick-off with Gabriel Osho and Albert Sambi Lokonga surprisingly declared fit and a raucous atmosphere greeted the players, but it was the visitors who started the strongest.

The fit-again Pinnock headed wide before Lewis-Potter squandered a golden opportunity when he fired into the side-netting after being played through by Mikkel Damsgaard.

While the Hatters responded with Alfie Doughty able to test Mark Flekken, Brentford continued to create chances and Thomas Kaminski produced a fine save to thwart Lewis-Potter’s 19th-minute header after an excellent Sergio Reguilon cross.

It felt only a matter of time before the Bees’ attacking quartet punished the home team and it duly arrived with 24 minutes played.

A crucial interception by Kristoffer Ajer found Mbeumo in space and he touched on for Wissa, who rifled beyond Kaminski from 20 yards for a superb opener.

Luton almost equalised immediately when Jordan Clark played through to Tahith Chong, but he smashed over before they suffered another setback when Issa Kabore went off with an ankle injury.

Brentford continued to threaten and only a block by Teden Mengi denied Lewis-Potter after a dangerous run before a sumptuous curled effort by Mbeumo smashed against the crossbar.

Yet Luton’s luck did run out in first-half stoppage-time as Mbeumo dribbled into the area and his cross rolled into the path of Wissa, who scuffed home.

Edwards reacted by bringing on Berry, but Brentford’s attacking prowess remained the difference and Kaminski had to be alert to save Damsgaard’s low strike before the hour mark.

A third goal came soon after when Pinnock powered in a header from Reguilon’s corner, which sparked ‘we are staying up’ chants by the away fans.

Two minutes later they had a fourth to celebrate after Damsgaard’s lofted pass found Mbeumo, who knocked on for Lewis-Potter to head home at the back post.

Mbeumo had been superb and he was again involved in Brentford’s fifth after his defence-splitting pass found Vitaly Janelt, who set up Schade for a simple tap-in.

Luton did have the final say as Berry latched onto a mistake to round Flekken and make it 5-1 in the second minute of added time, but their hopes of beating the drop look even slimmer now despite being applauded off by the home fans at full-time.

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