TOWN'S victorious team plunged straight into ice baths after giving Luton the shivers at Kenilworth Road.
The cold treatment is designed to ease aching muscles and help players recover more quickly, but it was Luton who were left needing a physical and emotional lift after suffering their first defeat of the season.
A 100% home record was also smashed by two first-half goals from Junior Mendes and 916 travelling fans in a season-high crowd of 8,192 were able to enjoy a first win in this part of Bedfordshire since 1961.
Town, so disappointing the previous week at Torquay, had more of a mean streak this time and, even though Paul Underwood put the divisional leaders back in touch with a curling shot on 57 minutes, the passionate visitors were in no mood to buckle.
They rallied around yet another tremendous performance from Nathan Clarke and responded to manager Peter Jackson's call for the sloppy defending to stop.
Indeed, it was a brilliant tackle from Steve Yates on the edge of Town's box in the 13th minute which started the move for a spectacular opening goal.
Jon Worthington, busy as ever, collected the loose ball and, breaking into space, played a lovely pass for Mendes to threaten down the left.
Worthington continued his run, distracting markers along the way, and Mendes took advantage to cut in smartly and unleash a thunderous 25-yard angled drive which giant Slovenian keeper Dino Seremet couldn't get near.
With big Steve Howard already showing his aerial prowess, you could tell the leaders felt it would be only a temporary setback.
They had reckoned, however, without some bullish ball-winning from Town and some controlled, attractive passing play which brought decent shooting chances for Worthington and Pawel Abbott before Anthony Lloyd scooped another just over the bar.
With Town's superb support roaring them on, the game took a decisive turn in the space of 50 seconds around the 33rd minute.
Firstly, Sol Davis wasted a gilt-edged chance to equalise with a close-range free header from Michael Leary's cross - it was easier to score than to miss - and then Town went straight up field to earn a corner from which they extended their lead.
Tony Carss, who along with Efe Sodje was recalled to the starting line-up for Town's toughest test of the season, swung in a near-post flag-kick to which Mendes applied the deftest of flicks.
Amidst a sea of bodies confusion on the line, the ball took a deflection and flew straight into the roof of the net.
Luton chief Mike Newell introduced on-loan wingman Gary McSheffrey for Leary just before the break, perhaps in recognition of the fact Leary had been lucky to stay on the field for a late and nasty challenge on Ian Gray just moments earlier.
Gray retaliated by keeping out McSheffrey's curling free-kick on the stroke of half time - Luton's only effort on target in the first half - and he continued to frustrate the home fans by dominating his box well in the second.
There was nothing he could do with Underwood's well-placed shot off the inside of his righthand post, and he was fortunate to see Howard's 71st-minute header bounce out off the other upright, but the low, near-post save he made from Chris Coyne's powerful header deserved any luck that was on offer.
While Clarke was commanding, Sodje and Yates made big contributions, wing-backs Andy Holdsworth and Lloyd were both in fine form and the midfield trio all worked tirelessly to ensure Luton's late efforts were more in hope than expectation.
Indeed, had Mendes celebrated his call-up to the Montserrat squad by completing a hat trick on 76 minutes instead of shooting wide and suffering an Achilles injury in the process, then Town would have had some welcome breathing space.
Jackson sent on David Mirfin and Lee Fowler to shore things up towards the end and had Andy Booth playing as a lone frontman - he headed just over from Carss' cross in stoppage time - and the points were deservedly secure.
Every player went to the Town fans after the final whistle to show their appreciation and if they can now cash in against Tranmere and MK Dons at home, the Division I table should make very appealing reading come Saturday night.
Next: Man of the Match >>>
Man of the Match: Nathan Clarke
A string of excellently timed tackles and brave headers gave him the edge and maintained his impressive run of form. His positioning at the height of Luton pressure was superb.
How they rated:
Ian Gray Made fine saves from McSheffrey and Coyne and handled well. Also commanded box solidly in the second half Rating: 8/10
Andy Holdsworth Two great early clearance successes set a high standard for the defence which was met all the way through by his colleagues Rating: 8/10
Anthony Lloyd Scooped one shot over the bar and hit another well wide, but raided well down the left when given the scope Rating: 8/10
Steve Yates Made some telling interventions at the back, including a great tackle to set up the move for the first goal Rating: 8/10
Efe Sodje Back with a vengeance to combat the aerial threat of Howard, he played his part fully against his old club Rating: 8/10
Nathan Clarke Hugely impressive once again. Quick into the tackle, he frustrated many Luton moves before they'd got going Rating: 9/10
Tony Carss Covered a lot of ground on his return to the starting line-up and his set pieces tested Luton to the full. Very solid Rating: 8/10
Jon Worthington Made the opening goal on the break and was a rock in front of the battling defence. Booked but played a vital role Rating: 8/10
Chris Brandon Harshly booked for diving in the area when he looked to have been clipped, he worked hard to get Town on the ball Rating: 8/10
Pawel Abbott Linked play excellently at times in the first half and caused Luton some problems. No real clear chances, however Rating: 8/10
Junior Mendes Five goals in the last four games and would have been top mark but for Clarke. His first goal was a true screamer Rating: 8/10
Luton Town: Seremet, Foley (Showunmi 78), Underwood (O'Leary 84), Nicholls, Vine, Coyne, Leary (McSheffrey 43), Brkovic, Howard, Davies, Davis.
Subs not used: Perrett, Beckwith (Gkp).