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Hitchin Town 0 - Luton Town 5

Thursday, July 17 2014

It was Luton Town who stole the show on Thursday night, as they put five goals past the Canaries.

Luton kicked-off the game and immediately played with authority, with casual passing between the defence and goalkeeper Elliot Justham showing that the team were thriving on confidence.

And it wasn't long before the Hatters had their first shot - Jake Howells finding space but consequently shooting well-off target.

Luton were insistent on making Hitchin work hard and they passed the ball around the pitch with ease. However, an undeterred Hitchin did just that and they pressed for the ball in search of some control of the game.

Luton's first goal came in the 12th minute. A clever back heel from Howells allowed Shaun Whalley to pick up the ball and he needed little encouragement to drive with speed across the Hitchin defence and power one past keeper Tahj Bell.

Luton then had another chance just seconds after the restart. Howells again found himself with time and space - his shot requiring Bell to make a save.

The resulting corner gave Gary Wharton an opportunity to inflict his pace on to the Luton defence. After picking up on the poor corner, he ran in to the Luton half with ease and got a shot away. The shot was an easy save for Justham but it was an inspired moment by Wharton to show that Hitchin could pose an attacking threat.

After Wharton's break in play, Luton quickly resumed their control of the game and another corner caused concern for the Hitchin defence when Luke Wilkinson was left free to head the ball - they were surely relieved to see it go wide of the post. Then, a nice piece of build-up play saw Alex Wall with the ball and in space but he powered well over.

It was Wharton again who gave Hitchin their next chance of the first-half. Using his pace once more, he made ground upfield before putting a ball across to Robbie Burns, who unfortunately just couldn't find his feet to get a shot away.

It was then in the 30th minute when Luton's dominating presence got them their second goal, courtesy of Alex Wall, who headed home from a well-taken free-kick.

The second goal somewhat injected some life in to Hitchin and both Matt Lench and Alasan Ann took opportunities to venture upfield with the ball and looked to trouble the defence. Lench's resulting shot was an easy save for the keeper and Ann won a corner for his troubles. The corner had Simon Martin heading wide.

The last piece of action from the first-half was great work from Jonny McNamara. After pressuring Luton's Mark Oneymah in to losing the ball, he ran up the right wing and whipped in a cross across the face of goal. Unfortunately Martin mistimed his run and the ball evaded all. It was Hitchin's best chance of the game.

Half-time:  Hitchin Town 0-2 Luton Town

Luton started the second-half brightly - Alex Wall having an early chance but mistiming his shot to go wide of the post as the ball came off of his knee.

Simon Martin made way for Brett Donnelly.

Alex Wall got his second goal and Luton's third in the 51st minute - a great, skilful finish leaving the Hitchin defence and Bell with no chance to prevent it.

It was then just over 10 minutes later when Luton got their fourth. This time the goal was from the penalty spot and it was Wall again who slotted home to grab a hat-trick.

Luton then made a team substitution - the starting side making way for another set of fellow players.

The 'new' side had little intention of 'letting up' on the Canaries and they were keen to carry on the attacking mentality. Hitchin were a little subdued but nonetheless worked hard to put some pressure on to a forceful Luton Town.

After another Luton corner caused problems for the Hitchin defence, Mark Cullen eventually grabbed Luton their fifth goal in the 78th minute.

Luton's Ricky Miller then had an opportunity to make it six just minutes later when he skipped past the Hitchin defence and made space to get a shot away. The shot, however, was off-target.

Michael King had Hitchin's final chance of the game. After cleverly turning away from his opponent, he tried his luck from long-range but his shot was well over the crossbar.

Then, there was just one more chance for Luton before the full time whistle blew - Miller's shot hitting the crossbar, much to the relief of Bell, the Hitchin defence and the Canary fans.

Full- Time: Hitchin Town 0-5 Luton Town

Luton are clearly a side full of confidence and they put on a strong display against Hitchin. However, the Canaries can take much away from this game, such as the impressive performance from Gary Wharton and moments of great skill from Jonny McNamara. There is much promise that Hitchin fans can look forward to some entertaining games this season.

Hitchin: Bell, Rolfe, Corran, Jones, Ann, Pearson, Webb, Kirkpatrick, McNulty, McNamara, Barker, Lench, King, Burns, Donnelly, Martin, Wharton, Johnson, Osei-Siribour, Powell, Okojie.

Luton: Justham, Franks, McNulty, Wilkinson, Howells, Whalley, Mpanzu, Robinson, Lafayette, Wall, Oneymah

Luton (2): Tyler, Lacey, Connolly, Griffiths, Stevenson, Rooney, Drury, Lawless, Cullen, Trotman, Miller, Walker, Fitzsimons

Goals: Whalley 12, Wall 30, 51, 62, Cullen 78

Attendance: 1454

Sascha



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