HATTERS IN A GR-EIGHT GOAL GLUT
JAMES Collins scored a debut hat-trick as Luton ran riot against Yeovil, racking up their biggest-ever opening day scoreline to assert their League Two title credentials.
Isaac Vassell bagged a twominute brace, Alan McCormack thundered in from distance on his competitive club bow and the brothers Lee – Olly and Elliot – also got in on the goalscoring action, with the hosts notching five before half-time.
That was after the Hatters had gone one down to Otis Khan's curling free-kick. But it was a breathtaking first 45 minutes in which Collins also should have opened his account in 20 seconds, Lee hit the post and Marek Stech saved a Khan spot-kick.
“It's a dream start,” said Luton manager Nathan Jones, adding: “We'll have taken that all day long, as anyone else in the world would have.
“We were clinical in our finishing and to score eight in any game at any level is wonderful.
“But to do it here in the first game, after the disappointment of last year [play-off semi-final defeat to Blackpool], it kind of puts a few things to bed.
“We couldn't have imagined it beyond our wildest dreams and we don't take that for granted, [we won't] be coy about it, or get carried away.
“There are always some results on the first day that are a little bit freakish, but I don't think that was freakish, that was just clinical.”
Former Crawley man Collins made himself an instant hero at Kenilworth Road and Jones said: “He's an excellent finisher and he's come here to score goals. He was at a good club anyway, but he showed a lot of ambition to come here, he recognises what we're trying to do and we're delighted to have him.”
And though he didn't get on the scoresheet, it was Andrew Shinnie – another new boy – who matched the performance of Town's hat-trick hotshot.
His was a virtuoso midfield performance that included four assists, and Jones said: “I was actually looking at him when I was at Brighton, so for us to get him is wonderful.”
Yeovil chief Darren Way said: “To concede that amount of goals; I've been at Yeovil a long time and I have to take full responsibility. “You never want to get beaten, but I've got to make sure that, as the manager of the football club, that I take full responsibility, make sure we regroup and go again against Wolves on Tuesday. “I didn't see that coming. I'll have to speak to the players and even to make that commitment where I want the players to look after the supporters. “We've got to do our best to come up with a solution that rewards those supporters who travelled here today because that was totally unacceptable.” STAR MAN JAMES COLLINS Luton LUTON TOWN: (4-4-2): Stech 8, Potts 8, Sheehan 7, Cuthbert 7, Stacey 8, McCormack 8 (Rea 64 7), Lee O 8, Mpanzu 8, Shinnie 10 (Mullins, 7), Collins 10 (Lee E 69 8), Vassell 9. Subs not used: Cook, Senior, Gambin, Shea YEOVIL TOWN: (3-4-3): Krysiak 5, Alfei 4, Davies 4 (Sowunmi 45 5), N.Smith 4, Bailey 5, Gray 4, Dickson 4, C.Smith 4, Olomola 4 (Surridge 71 5), Zoko 6, Khan 6. Subs not used: Browne, Maddison, James
THAT’S A WRAP: Elliott Lee scores Luton’s eighth goal
TURNAROUND: Alan McCormack celebrates