Hammers sink Hatters after second-half surge

West Ham United v Luton Town – Premier League – London Stadium – Report

West Ham United 3-1 Luton Town

West Ham marked David Moyes’ final home match in charge with a 3-1 win over Luton Town at the London Stadium – a defeat that now leaves the Hatters on the cusp of relegation from the Premier League just one season after their return to the top flite.  

David Moyes took charge of West Ham United for the penultimate time (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Moyes made one change to his starting line-up following the Hammers 5-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday with James Ward-Prowse coming into the side for Edson Álvarez.

Following a video tribute for the Hammers who have passed away over the course of the season – including former players Peter Bennett and Roger Hugo and former Chairman Martin Cearns, the match kicked off in bright sunshine and following early pressure the Hatters took the lead in the sixth minute when Elijah Adebayo’s shot was blocked before falling to Alfie Doughty on the left to cross for Albert Sambi Lokonga to nod home past Alphonse Areola into the bottom left-hand corner.

West Ham had a chance to draw level four minutes later after Mohammed Kudus fashioned a good opportunity for himself – only to drag his effort wide of the left upright and the Hammers went close again shortly after when top scorer Jarrod Bowen volleyed Luis Paqueta’s cross against the outside of the post in the thirteenth minute.

With the game flowing from end to end, just before the half-hour mark, Kudus’ cross was headed down for Bowen to fire goalwards, only for his shot to be hacked away from the goal line by Teden Mengi for a throw-in.

Despite much interplay and build-up by both sides, there was to be no further addition to the score in the first half as the Hatters battled hard to hang on to their lead to deservedly go in 1-0 up at the break.

Following the resumption, West Ham drew level in the fifty-fourth minute when Bowen raced clear on the right to fire a low cross into the area, only for keeper Thomas Kaminski to half clear into the path of England international Ward-Prowse to fire home from fifteen yards into the bottom left-hand corner and make it one apiece – his seventh Premier League goal of the season. 

With the Hammers buoyed by the goal and pushing forward relentlessly, Bowen’s cross bobbled its way around the Luton box before coming out to Soucek on the edge of the penalty area to crisply volley home into the right-hand corner of the net to make it 2-1 just past the hour mark.

West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek celebrates putting his side ahead against Luton Town at the London Stadium (Rob Newell CameraSport)

West Ham were most unfortunate not to extend their lead further when Bowen outpaced the Hatters’ defence out wide to play in the unmarked Kudus to fire against the outside of the post from twelve yards out.

Just a minute after being introduced from the bench, nineteen-year-old George Earthy made it 3-1 to the Hammers with his first touch of the match – tucking the ball in from close range at the far post following clever work by Kudus out on the byline.

With Luton creating very little in the second period, there was never going to be a way back into the game for the Hatters and in what can certainly be described as a game of two halves for West Ham,  Bowen spurned a good chance to make it 4-1 deep into stoppage time with Kaminski keeping the former Hull City forward’s effort out with his outstretched foot just before the final whistle.

West Ham conclude their Premier League season next Sunday at Manchester City (4pm).

West Ham United: Areola, Zouma (Capt) Coufal, Ward-Prowse, Antonio (Earthy 75’) Paqueta (Ings 84’), Kudos, Bowen, Ogbonna (Casey 93’) Soucek, Emerson (Cresswell 84’) Subs not used: Fabianski, Johnson, Cornet, Alvarez, Mubana

Luton Town: Kaminski, Osho, Barkley (Clark 39’) Morris (Capt) Adebayo, Chong, Mengi, Burke Woodrow 87’) Sambi Lokonga, Onyedinma (Ogbene 73’) Doughty (Berry 87’) Subs not used: Krul, Ruddock Mpanzu, Hashioka, Townsend, Johnson

Referee: Michael Oliver

Assistants: Stuart Burt and Dan Cook

Fourth Official: Oliver Langford

VAR: Robert Jones

Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard