Luton Town’s difficult patch continued after a 2-1 home defeat by Birmingham City, which left them still bottom of the Championship.

Gary Gardner scored the winning goal for a Blues side who had arrived on the back of a 6 game winless streak.

Lukas Jutkiewicz had put Birmingham ahead inside the opening 4 minutes, before James Collins scored a penalty to equalise for Luton in the second half.

Birmingham finished the game with 10 men after captain Harlee Dean, who gave away the Luton penalty, was sent off. But they held on to take the points.

This was a 12th defeat out of 15 Championship games for Graeme Jones’ side, who are without a win since beating fellow strugglers Wigan at Kenilworth Road in early December.

Luton’s hopes of getting results against a side who also struggled over Christmas got off to the worst possible start. Jutkiewicz rose highest to meet Jeremie Bela’s cross, and beat Simon Sluga to open the scoring.

In a low quality first half, Luton’s best shot at a leveller saw a Luke Berry free-kick deflected wide.

Luton’s equaliser came just after the hour mark. From a home side free-kick, Dean fouled Matty Pearson, and the referee deemed it worthy of a penalty. Collins duly scored from 12 yards.

But Luton were only level for 7 minutes, as Dan Potts lost possession to Gardner. The midfielder ran forward, exchanged passes with Jacques Maghoma, and fired past Sluga.

Jutkiewicz had a header saved by Sluga while the striker was also on hand at the other end to clear Pearson’s header off the line.

Birmingham were reduced to 10 men with just over 10 minutes of normal time still on the clock when Dean was shown a second booking. But Luton couldn’t make the most of the man advantage and slip to another reverse.