Bald facts will show that a Zesh Rehman own goal won this FA Cup third-round replay for Luton but the real reasons were Queen's Park Rangers' own chronic finishing and a moment of madness by Stefan Bailey.
Rehman, a centre-half playing at right-back, stuck out a leg and made contact to divert the ball past the wrong-footed Simon Royce 10 minutes from time.
But the crucial incident came five minutes earlier, which set in motion the events that led to the winning strike. Bailey went for a loose ball but Ahmet Brkovic got there first and Bailey's raised two feet went through the Croat, who was carried off.
On seeing the red card Bailey appeared to brush the referee's face, which could land him in further trouble. Brkovic's replacement was Dean Morgan and it was his volley that led to the only goal.
This win set up the Hatters' manager Mike Newell for a fourth-round tie against his old club Blackburn Rovers at Kenilworth Road. "It was meant to be, to play Blackburn. It was where I spent the best and most successful part of my career," he said.
Both teams came into this match separated by one point and near the foot of the Championship. Luton are ahead by a fraction in League terms, but QPR had the better chances here and greater share of possession.
The hosts had won only twice in their previous 18 games and have recently sold two of their best players, Rowan Vine and Carlos Edwards. They have gained £4.5m but their line-up was weaker as a result. Their strikers, David Bell and Adam Boyd, did not strike fear into their guests.
This defeat extended the visitors' poor record in the FA Cup, as they have not won a game in it since 2001. Marc Nygaard was the culprit in front of goal, missing with his head before Bailey's dismissal put John Gregory's side on the back foot.
Luton Town (4-4-2): Brill; Foley, Davis, Coyne, Perrett; Robinson, Brkovic (Morgan, 77), Langley, Emanuel; Bell, Boyd. Substitutes not used: Barrett (gk), O'Leary, Keane, Stevens.
Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Royce; Rehman, Mancienne, Stewart, Milanese; Smith (Ainsworth, 84), Bailey, Lomas, Cook; Blackstock, Nygaard (R Jones, 71). Substitutes not used: Cole (gk), Kanyuka, Furlong.
Referee: M Jones (Cheshire).Reuse content