In-form Lu­ton are sim­ply four-some

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Thomas Han­nah

IT’S FOUR wins from four for Lu­ton Town as they romped to vic­tory at Hartle­pool United.

Backed by Pools’ boss Ron­nie Moore to win the ti­tle this sea­son, the Hat­ters showed their clin­i­cal na­ture as they took their chances.

At the other end, Pools had 17 shots at goal – and con­verted only one as they lost heav­ily at home for the sec­ond time in a week.

Sub­sti­tute Jack Mar­riott net­ted twice to turn the game on its head, and vic­tory was capped off by a fine strike in in­jury time by midfielder Ol­lie Lee.

Hat­ters’ as­sis­tant boss Terry Harris said: “We are de­lighted with the re­sult af­ter a few miles this week. To score seven away in two games is fan­tas­tic.

“We’ve got 15 on the road this sea­son al­ready and only got 23 all last sea­son – but it was a bit too open for me.

“Los­ing Craig Mack­ail-Smith early on with a ham­string prob­lem was a blow, but Jack came on and stretched their de­fence well.

“Jack has six for the sea­son now and he’s only made two starts! He’s a night­mare to play against al­ways look­ing to get in be­hind.’’

Jonathan Smith cracked the visi­tors into the lead with a crisp, first-time strike af­ter goal­keeper Adam Bartlett par­ried Luke Gut­tridge’s ini­tial shot.

But Pools lev­elled when Rhys Oates swung a cross over for Billy Paynter to head in at the far post in an en­ter­tain­ing first half.

Mar­riott then took charge with two goals in four min­utes to make it six for the sea­son.

On as a re­place­ment for Mack­ail-Smith, who was suf­fer­ing from a ham­string strain, the for­mer Ip­swich prospect was a con­stant men­ace.

First he got in be­tween de­fence and goal­keeper to poke the ball un­der Bartlett af­ter a long header from Steve McNulty caught Pools cen­tre-half Scott Har­ri­son nap­ping.

Then he tucked in from close range, meet­ing a cross from the im­pres­sive Gut­tridge af­ter Bradley Hal­l­i­day missed the ball.

Pools pressed and kept go­ing, but were un­able to get past inspired Mark Tyler.

The Hat­ters’ keeper saved three one-onone ef­forts af­ter the striker was in on goal. Pools’ boss Moore said: “I don’t know how we lost – football can be cruel.

“We had the first chance af­ter four min­utes, score and it’s dif­fer­ent.

“We got in be­hind them, got on the front foot and it was cruel to be one down. We got level, good ball in, good fin­ish and I don’t think any­one in the ground saw that sec­ond half com­ing.

“We de­fended slop­pily – a long ball from the back catches us flat and they score, then we miss a cross com­pletely and the lad taps in. Fourth one, good fin­ish, but we didn’t de­fend it well enough in the build up.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.