Ruthless Hatters are happy to ram home their advantage

Goal hungry Hatters showed no mercy as they hammered Hereford United 7-0 at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19th February 2014, 2:00 pm
L14-187 LTFC v Hereford at Kenilworth road, Luton 7:0 win
Mike Simmonds
JR 8
Howells celebrate goal 3
L14-187 LTFC v Hereford at Kenilworth road, Luton 7:0 win Mike Simmonds JR 8 15.2.14 Howells celebrate goal 3

A ‘tight’ first half gave way to a free-scoring second as the Hatters boosted their goal difference to plus 45.

Town have been in deadly form in front of goal in recent weeks, as returning striker Jon Shaw said: “The one thing that’s impressed me, especially while I’ve been out and watching the lads, is they really step on.

“When we’re 1-0 up, 2-0 up, there’s no take our foot off, let’s be cagey, or let’s not let them back into it, it’s let’s go and get two, three four.

“It was really noticeable against teams like Kidderminster and today, obviously Hereford have been struggling a little bit, but it was no mercy, the lads just went really at them and what a result.”

But he admitted striker Paul Benson’s second goal had been key, saying: “I think we needed the second.

“It could have come in the first half, Andre he’s hit the one over the bar and we’ve had a few little chances, Paul’s gone through…

“I think we just needed that second one, not to steady it, but the game was a bit bitty and I think Hereford had something to hold on to, they might have just waited for a set-piece or a chance, but then early in the second half you get that second goal and it seemed to knock the stuffing out of Hereford a little bit and the lads just really went for it.”

Fellow substitute Alex Lawless was also full of praise for Town’s gung-ho approach.

He said: “That’s what the difference is. We scored six goals in the second half and you can see when we score it’s not alright, 2-0, 3-0 we can sit on this and we’ve won.

“Everyone’s keen to get more goals and when we approach it like that teams struggle to deal with it, which is great for us. A great performance.”

The creative midfielder admitted it had been difficult to envisage such a rout at the break, but mastering the difficult conditions was key.

He said: “Definitely not. But I think we had a few chances early on and to be honest I thought if that had happened, if we had a got a few goals early on, I think it would have been much the same in the first half.

“But it was tough with the conditions as well, not forgetting that. In the first half it was nice to go in at half time winning, and you’ve had a half of the conditions and then you get together and have a chat and stuff and obviously we’ve taken on board everything from the first half and gone for it second, which has happened.”

Lawless played a vital role following his introduction, laying on the third for Andre Gray’s hat-trick and also added the icing with Town’s seventh,

On Gray’s third, he said: “That’s always nice to see for your team-mates, especially as our main aim is promotion. When you’ve got strikers scoring goals like they are and Andre’s on fire and to see him get hat-tricks is great for his confidence, which is great for the team and then it would be nice as well to see a team-mate get to the top of the charts as well because that’s obviously in the sights now. We’ve just got to see that happen.

“You know what, sometimes them crosses they get blocked, sometimes like it did they fall straight to where you want it to and it’s one of them which is great because I want to get as many assists as I can to help the team and you want to see your strikers getting in on the goals like that so it was great to see from Andre.”

Home debutant Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu admitted he had never played in a match quite like it, saying: “No I don’t think I have. It was a great game.

“The first half was a bit tight, we were only 1-0 up and they had a few chances and we had a few chances.

“Second half I think we surprised ourselves how well we played, we kept the ball going and scored a couple of goals and it was a good romping performance second half.”

There had been some concern over the powerful youngster who rolled his ankle in the first half and looked to be struggling.

But he brushed off the injury, saying: “It wasn’t a worry because I’m quite fit and quite strong so just brushed it off and carried on going and thankfully I completed the game and scored a goal.”

It was the ninth time Luton have won exactly 7-0 in their history, the last time against Southampton in 1985, but previously you had to go back to 1935 and the rout of Newport.

Mpanzuo though was delighted by the victory, as he added: “It was a good performance. The boys put in some good work in the first half which was a bit tight, 1-0.

“We had a few chances and they had a few chances, but second half we came out and put in a great performance and scored six goals and hopefully we are all happy with the performance and move on to next Saturday.

“First half was a bit of a tight game and didn’t really get going and I thought second half might be a bit tighter, but we produced some fantastic football for the goals and I was surprised that we scored so many goals, but we are capable of that and it was great to get seven goals on the scoreboard.

“Hereford, they’re a good team, a good side and showed why, and Paul Benson he’s scored earlier so settled us down.

“So we kept going, kept moving the ball and scored three, four, five and the score kept going up so it was good Paul scored early and we kept going.”