Substitute Vinicius opened his account for the season with his second-half strike which was enough for Marco Silva’s side to claim an important win weeks after they lost 5-1 at Manchester City.
A fourth defeat in a row will be a frustration for Rob Edwards as Luton now sit at the foot of the Premier League table after they failed to take their golden first-half opportunities.
The hosts were caught on the break by Tahith Chong in the fourth minute but his effort hardly tested Bernd Leno.
Luton continued their theme of a low block which favoured the technical Joao Palhinha, who returned to Silva’s XI after a failed deadline-day move to Bayern Munich.
Andreas Pereira’s whipped corner found the head of Kenny Tete but the full-back failed to keep his effort on target and it narrowly went over Thomas Kaminski’s crossbar.
The Hatters patiently waited for openings and in the 26th minute Issa Kabore went down the right from wing-back and his pinpoint cross found the head of Jacob Brown whose attempt cannoned off the post.
Edwards lauded the spirit of his side on Thursday and it was shown through the likes of Brown and Carlton Morris who defended from the front as well as Marvelous Nakamba who battled in the middle to win any loose scraps.
Brown forced a booking and a free-kick out of Issa Diop in added time and referee Michael Salisbury waved away Morris’ appeals in the area for a penalty when he was brought down.
It was Brown who created the first chance after the break in the 47th minute when he found a neat pocket of space in the channel and delivered a well-crafted cross to Amari’i Bell at the back stick but the wing-back’s shot found the gloves of Leno.
Fulham broke the deadlock in the 64th minute.
Pereira found Willian out wide before the winger’s cross forced Kaminski to parry the ball into the feet of Vinicius who was fresh off the bench to tap his side into a 1-0 lead.
Willian nearly doubled the lead straight after with a long-range effort.
Tete’s testing pass found Vinicius who could not keep his composure through on goal late on to add a second before Fulham were able to see out the game during four minutes of added time.