McGoldrick double takes Town through
Town booked a place in the second round of the Carabao Cup thanks a brace from David McGoldrick.
The Republic of Ireland international burst clear after excellent work by Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina to find net in style 10 minutes before the break.
Luton had their chances, the best to Elliot Lee on the half-time whistle but Town could have settled the tie on a number of occasions in the second-half with McGoldrick and Flynn Downes both going close before McGoldrick found the net in added on time.
Downes was handed his first start in a Town shirt, while Celina and Tristan Nydam came in for their debuts as Mick McCarthy made several changes to the team that beat Birmingham on Saturday.
Dominic Iorfa posed the first threat of the game as he worked his way into Luton territory before Alan Sheehan cleared the danger, Adam Webster - making his first start since January after ankle surgery - taking a heavy knock after a challenge with James Collins.
Iorfa was then presented with a chance inside the Luton box but his pass inside aimed at McGoldrick was cleared by Glenn Rea, Nydam then almost released McGoldrick while at the other end it needed excellent work by Luke Chambers to stop Andrew Shinnie getting in.
Shinnie fired over after a nice touch from Jordan Cook, McGoldrick, who spun away from his marker with a clever move, then tested Marek Stech in the Hatters’ goal with a chip from the edge of the box.
Stech was then off his line to clear from Celina with McGoldrick heavily involved again.
Luton, buoyed from their eight goal salvo against Yeovil at the weekend, carried a threat with Shinnie prominent, Collins scuffing a shot inside the area.
McGoldrick smashed a 20 yarder over, the Republic of Ireland unable to make it pay after he found space from a quick and clever Cole Skuse free-kick.
Celina was crowded out as he weaved his way towards goal before Town edged in front with a slick move on 35 minutes, a terrific turn and pass from Celina and McGoldrick did the rest with a cool finish.
Luton were inches away from an equaliser before the break, Elliot Lee cutting inside and sending a curler just wide of the far post while at the other end Myles Kenlock blasted wide from the angle of the box after Celina had set him up.
The Hatters should have been level with the last kick of the first-half, Elliot Lee first to the rebound after Dean Gerken had kept out an initial shot but he stumbled into the ball with the goal beckoning and his effort sailed over the bar.
Luke Woolfenden replaced Webster at the break, the former Portsmouth defender likely to have joined Town’s increasing injury concerns.
Celina and McGoldrick linked up in the first minute of the second-half to force and corner and Chambers’ header looked destined for the net until Stech intervened.
Luton responded, Elliot Lee denied at the back post, Jordan Cook wide with another effort then Collins heading the wrong side of the post.
Downes’ willingness to drive at the opposition set up Kenlock, then McGoldrick left his marker in his slipstream but Cuthbert’s challenge as Nydam threatened prevented a second goal.
Nydam hacked the ball clear as the Hatters had shots charged down in the box, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s 25 yarder going just over before Martyn Waghorn entered the fray for his debut, Nydam making way just past the hour.
Waghorn sent McGoldrick in with a terrific pass but Stech was alert to the danger, Waghorn then denied by Olly Lee’s block 15 yards out.
More determined Luton defending kept McGoldrick and Celina out as Blues looked for a second, Downes just wide from the edge of the box after another typical direct run at the opposition.
Adam McDonnell replaced Cole Skuse in Town’s third change while Luton made a first swap with Luke Gambin on for Elliot Lee.
Stech did well to tip over McGoldrick’s effort, Jonas Knudsen heading wide from the corner, Collins then curling high and wide as Luton looked for a late reprieve.
McGoldrick made sure there was no late comeback though with a clinical finish for the second in added on time as Town made it a perfect start to the season.
Luton: Stech, Cuthbert, Stacey, O.Lee, Cook (Mullins 85), Shinnie, Rea, Mpanzu, Collins, E.Lee (Gambin 72), Sheehan. Subs not used: Senior, McQuoid, Bakinson, Shea, Musonda.
Town: Gerken, Chambers, Webster (Woolfenden 46), Knudsen, Iorfa, Nydam (Waghorn 62), Skuse (McDonnell 72), Downes, Kenlock, Celina, McGoldrick. Subs not used: Bialkowski, Webber, Rowe, Sears. Booked: Chambers, Waghorn, Downes, McGoldrick.