West Ham win spoils Luton's first top-flight home game in 31 years

Pacesetters West Ham United claimed a 2-1 Premier League victory at Luton Town thanks to headers by Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma on Friday to spoil the hosts' much-anticipated first top-flight game at their snug Kenilworth Road stadium in 31 years.

Mads Andersen pulled one back for Luton in added time to delight the raucous home fans by heading past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola but the night ended in defeat for their side.

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West Ham -- who were the last top-flight team to beat Luton at their home ground in 1992 -- are in provisional top spot on 10 points after four games, while Rob Edwards' Hatters side continue to search for their first points of the campaign.

"It's been a great start for me and the team, we are actually annoyed to be sitting here with 10 points and not 12," Bowen told Sky Sports.

Lucas Paquetá set up Bowen's third goal of the season in the 37th minute with a perfect cross to the far post that was headed in off the palms of keeper Thomas Kaminski, who fell on his back in frustration.

"I headed straight at the keeper so I got away with that one. I don't score many headers," said Bowen, the first West Ham player since 1930 to score in their first three away games.

Zouma's goal in the 85th came via a textbook corner from James Ward-Prowse.

Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma gave West Ham a victory over Luton.
Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma gave West Ham a victory over Luton.
Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

"It's a great feeling in a tough game," Zouma said of his goal. "James sent in a great ball and I just had to put it in. We knew they would put pressure on us and we had to stay calm and keep the ball.

"Luton made it tough for us, it was very busy but we had a solid match. I am very proud to be captain, by scoring today I did my best."

There were late calls for a handball against Ward-Prowse that went unheeded.

"If we are on the wrong end of a decision I will be very disappointed as those are huge for us," Edwards said. "But I can't stand here and blame it."

Luton's tight cauldron of a stadium, built in 1905 and lovingly known as "The Kenny", played a starring role on the night despite the defeat after a £10 million ($12.59m) modernisation following the club's promotion.

"We showed the character to deal with the atmosphere," West Ham manager David Moyes told the BBC. "Good against a tough team who are going to put teams under a lot of pressure. Overall I think we did a brilliant job tonight.

At the other end of the table, bottom side Luton have lost all three games having conceded nine goals and scored twice.

The Hatters are back in the top flight after an odds-defying climb up from non-league soccer to the pinnacle of the English game in 10 seasons.

"We knew it was going to be difficult," Edwards told Sky Sports. "There's nothing to fear, I've just said that to the lads in there as well, and I'm glad we experienced that.

"I'm not thinking about the result and the players aren't either, but we're desperate to get something to really get that belief going to see it and desperate to give these crowds some points to cheer about."

The newcomers had the sea of orange fans on their feet with numerous chances, including Ryan Giles' early cross into the area that Areola let slip through his gloves.

New signing Ross Barkley launched a left-foot effort moments later that sailed just wide of the West Ham goal.

Luton also had a terrific second-half chance when Alfie Doughty fired a long-range shot that was deflected over the bar but their goal came too late for a share of the spoils.