Luke Garrard’s side fell to their first defeat of pre-season as League Two Luton Town battled to a 0-2 win at Meadow Park.

 Luton broke the deadlock just 12 minutes in when Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu slipped the ball past Grant Smith, and despite a worthy fight back from the home side, they couldn’t find a way past the Hatters’ defence.

Olly Lee (50) then doubled Luton’s advantage early into the second half to send Nathan Jones’ side home with the win.

The Wood continued in their usual 3-5-2 as Garrard looked to hold onto the side’s perfect pre-season record this campaign.

Luton opened the scoring 12 minutes in, Alan McCormack turned on the halfway line and sent the ball long for Mpanzu, the former Boreham Wood academy graduate latched onto the through ball and coolly slotted past Grant Smith.

Wood refused to be rattled and almost equalised minutes later, Ricky Shakes’ corner found the head of Dave Stephens, it pin-balled around the box before Shaun Jeffers stabbed at a chance, Luton blocked and thrashed clear.

The home side continued to press, a long ball from the defence was only headed clear as far as Shakes, the winger took a touch and lashed it goal-wards, but it sailed over the crossbar.

It was Garrard’s men who were dominating play, but the Hatter’s appeared content with their lead and simply sat back and soaked up the pressure.

Still on the attack, Kieran Murtagh launched a ball forward from deep into the opposition half, Jeffers took it down, and flashed it at goal, but it went just shy of the post.

In search of a second, James Collins played a through ball down the channel for Jack Stacey, the full-back drove it low from a tight angle, but Smith was down to palm wide.

The Wood should have equalised on the half hour mark, Kane Smith crossed from the by-line and the goal was gaping, but Paul Benson sliced it wide.

Andrew Shinnie had been quiet for Town in the opening 45, but awoke on the brink of half-time with a dangerous cross from the left, but the Wood headed confidently clear.

Luton were quick out of the blocks after half-time and made the home side pay just five minutes in. Shinnie’s initial shot was saved excellently by Smith, but the stopper couldn’t recover in time as Stacey put it back into the box and Lee (50) headed in.

The away side began to take control following their second, a one-two from Shinnie and Collins fed Isaac Vassell, but his lashed shot was well saved by Smith.

Sach leapt highest to meet a Shakes corner, the ball ended up at the feet of the striker, but he could only angle his shot past the post of Marek Stech.

Luton’s attack was in full force and Smith had to be at his best again to push another strong effort from Lee wide.

Two free-kicks from Bruno Andrade in as many minutes nearly saw the home side open their account; the attacking midfielder drove both low, but narrowly missed the target on each occasion.

Wood XI: G Smith, K Smith, Woodards (Gordon), Ricketts ©, Stephens, Shakes, Benson (Ash), Murtagh (Keita), Johnson, Jeffers (Sach), Balanta (Andrade)

Subs not used: Annakie

Luton Town XI: Stech, Stacey (Musonda), Potts (Senior), McCormack (Bakinson), Mullins (Famewo), Cuthbert (Rea), Mpanzu (Lee), D’Ath (Cotter), Collins (Cook), Vassell (McQuoid), Shinnie (Gambin)

Subs not used: Shea

Goals: Mpanzu (12), Lee (50)


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