Luton Town suffered a 2-1 home defeat by Barnsley as they suffered defeat in their second Easter fixture.
Nathan Jones had been hoping for a return to winning ways after a Good Friday defeat at Derby County. But instead, two goals by Barnsley’s American loanee Daryl Dike won the match for the play-off chasing Tykes.
James Collins grabbed a goal back for Luton late on moments after Dike had missed a penalty. But Luton couldn’t grab an equaliser and slipped up to a second defeat in four days.
The result leaves Jones’ Hatters 13th in the table, with the team currently 16 points behind the play-offs and 15 points ahead of the relegation zone.
Luton made two changes from the defeat at Derby and did have an early chance, as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall saw a volley saved by Brad Collins.
Barnsley began to come more into the contest as the game approached the half hour mark. They would come close when Callum Brittain was denied by Simon Sluga, before scoring with their next attack.
Cauley Woodrow received the ball and released Dike, and the striker on loan from MLS side Orlando City held off Matty Pearson before beating Sluga to put Barnsley in front.
Luton struggled to create a lot in response to the away side’s opening goal. While the home side would improve after a double substitution at half-time, the Hatters would fall 2-0 down just before the hour mark.
Woodrow saw a low shot from the edge of the box saved by Sluga but the Croatian failed to hold onto the shot and Dike turned the rebound home.
Barnsley could’ve made things worse moments later, but Callum Styles’ strike was denied by Sluga.
Luton had a few half-chances but hadn’t made a dent in the two goal lead by the time the game moved into the final stages.
The visitors were then presented a chance to increase their lead after a foul on Dike. However, the man who’d scored Barnsley’s first two goals would be denied by Sluga from the spot.
Seconds after the penalty save, Kazenga LuaLua released Collins, and the striker beat Collins to reduce the home side’s deficit to one.
But Luton were unable to grab a second goal in the closing stages. It allowed Barnsley to claim a 10th win in 13 games as their unlikely play-off charge continues, while Luton remain in midtable. The team will seek to return to winning ways against struggling Wycombe next weekend.