CHERRIES survived a second-half fightback to defeat Luton Town 2-1 and return to the Championship summit.

As has happened in recent home contests against Blackpool and QPR, Cherries took a comfortable-looking 2-0 lead into half-time at Vitality Stadium.

Philip Billing broke the deadlock with a cushioned volley, before Dominic Solanke doubled the advantage.

However, Luton rallied in the second half as Cherries appeared to be running out of gas, pulling a goal back when Lloyd Kelly turned into his own net from Reece Burke’s scuffed shot.

The Hatters pushed for an equaliser, but Cherries dug in to grind out the victory which returns them once again to the top of the table.

Scott Parker named an unchanged side from the one which won at Cardiff City last weekend, with also no alterations among the substitutes.

Luton made one change from their side which threw away a 3-0 lead to draw with Swansea City last time out, Jordan Clark replacing Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu. Former Cherries youngster Harry Cornick started on the wing.

After a low-key start, it was Luton who should have taken the lead. Cornick’s low cross from the right was met at the back post by striker Elijah Adebayo, but he inexplicably blazed over the crossbar.

The same man was almost gifted a chance to quickly redeem himself moments later after a nervy moment for Mark Travers. The Cherries’ keeper’s clearance struck Adebayo, but the Irishman was able to scramble back to save.

Just two minutes later, Cherries were in front. Ryan Christie drifted in from the left and clipped a delightful ball over the defence for the onrushing Billing, who guided a right-footed volley into the bottom corner.

A second goal soon followed, with Christie heavily involved again. The Scotland international stood a cross up for Solanke in the centre, the striker nodding down and into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Cherries ended the half strongly. Goalkeeper Simon Sluga had a moment to forget, slipping and presenting the ball at the feet of Jefferson Lerma, but the Colombian’s effort was deflected wide.

Jaidon Anthony also fired off target as Cherries took a two-goal lead into the break.

Luton made a sub at half-time, introducing Amari’i Bell in place of Gabriel Osho and switching to a back three.

And the Hatters began the half brightly, only denied a goal by a stunning Travers stop. Henri Lansbury’s wicked free-kick from the wing was flicked towards his own goal by the head of Adam Smith, but Travers was alert to dive and tip the shot away.

But Travers was beaten just past the hour mark as the pressure finally told. Tom Lockyer flicked a ball on for Luke Berry, whose low cross was turned goalwards by Reece Burke, before Kelly got the final touch.

Both bosses turned to their benches as the game moved into its final 20 minutes, Morgan Rogers replacing Anthony for Cherries, while veteran striker Cameron Jerome was introduced for Luton.

With Luton still putting on the pressure, Parker added an extra defender into the mix with Chris Mepham coming on for Christie. And Travers had to be alert from a set piece to stop Kal Naismith’s effort from a tight angle.

Adebayo then headed wide from a good position as Cherries closed out the narrow win to leapfrog both West Brom and Coventry City, who each won on Friday night.

Cherries: Travers; Smith, Cahill, Kelly, Zemura; Lerma, Pearson, Billing; Christie (Mepham, 79), Anthony (Rogers, 73), Solanke (Lowe, 90).

Unused subs: Stacey, Marcondes, Brooks, Nyland (g/k).

Booked: Pearson, Lowe.

Luton: Sluga; Bree, Lockyer, Burke, Naismith; Berry (Mendes Gomes, 71), Lansbury, Osho (Bell, h-t); Cornick (Jerome, 75), Clark; Adebayo.

Unused subs: Bradley, Rea, Pereira, Shea (g/k).

Booked: None.

Referee: Tim Robinson.