One point gained, just 10 to go until Luton Town level Derby County’s unwanted record of 11 in 2007-08, the lowest Premier League points total to date.
Luton dominated Wolverhampton Wanderers from first to last, managing 20 shots to the visitors’ three and the planets aligned for them with a serendipity that may not fall their way for some time.
Luton were fortunate that their opponents were so supine, other than one moment five minutes into the second period when Alfie Doughty squandered possession, Joao Gomes played a wonderful ball forwards and Pedro Neto outpaced and outmuscled Tom Lockyer before firing his first goal in two seasons past Thomas Kaminski.
They were fortunate too in playing against 10 men for over half the game when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, playing only his second game in English football, tangled with Lockyer on the ground and lashed out to present young referee Josh Smith with no option than a red card. “Jean’s apologised to the group,” said Gary O’Neil, the Wolves head coach, “but I need to understand why he made that decision.”
And for all their pressure, Luton were fortunate to be awarded the point-gaining penalty coolly converted by Carlton Morris. Issa Kabore‘s low cross struck Gomes’s foot, then his outstretched hand. Current guidelines state handball should not be given if a player handles after a deflection off his own body. “We’ve had better shouts in the last two games,” admitted Luton manager Rob Edwards. “If that’s a penalty we’re in a really bad place,” said O’Neil, “I forgive the referee, but VAR…”