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REPORT | Luton Town 8-2 Yeovil Town

Glovers suffer defeat on opening day

5 August 2017

Yeovil Town suffered an 8-2 defeat at the hands of Luton Town on the opening day of the 2017/18 season at Kenilworth Road.

Otis Khan’s sublime free-kick fired Town into the lead in the early exchanges, before five answered strikes from the hosts before the break.

Olly Lee levelled the scores before James Collins made it 2-1 after 19 minutes, with an Isaac Vassell brace and Alan McCormack thunderbolt completing the first-half scoring.

Collins completed his hat-trick with strikes either side of the hour-mark, before Zoko added a consolation for the green and whites prior to Elliot Lee rounding off the scoring.

Town boss Darren Way opted to hand out six debuts on the opening day, with Dan Alfei and Keston Davies debuting in the back four.

In a new look midfield, Connor Smith, Jake Gray and captain James Bailey all made their first competitive appearances in green and white.

Fela Olomola appeared alongside last season’s stalwarts Khan and Zoko to complete an 11 packed with new faces.

With the Bedfordshire outfit tipped for promotion following their summer acquisitions which included last season’s League Two top scorer Collins, the hosts started in determined fashion.

Inside the opening minute the former Crawley striker drew a good save from Artur Krysiak having latched on to a looped through ball, before having an effort cleared off the line by Nathan Smith minutes later.

Having survived the early onslaught, the Glovers took the lead following their first venture into Luton’s half.

Expert hold-up play from Zoko won a free-kick 20 yards from goal, providing the platform for Khan to curl an effort into the top corner leaving Marek Stech no chance with seven minutes played.

With Town’s travelling faithful still celebrating the opener, the hosts levelled the scores five minutes later when Vassell’s cross was met by Olly Lee at the back post who volleyed the ball back where it came from and past a hapless Krysiak.

In a frantic start to proceedings the Glovers almost re-took the lead with the game’s next opportunity, as neat footwork from Khan saw him beat Jack Stacey and race along the byline before slamming an effort off the post.

Quickly becoming a breathless affair, the Hatters notched their second with 19 minutes played, as the twice thwarted Collins made no mistake third time around with a neat chip over Krysiak.

The pressure continued to come from Nathan Jones’ side and their lead was doubled five minutes later in unstoppable fashion.

Lee’s corner was headed clear by Zoko only to come back with interest as McCormack powered a first-time volley into the bottom corner from 25 yards for an early goal of the season contender.

After four goals in the opening half-an-hour the game plateaued for a spell allowing Town to enjoy a spell of possession, before a quickfire Vassell double extinguished any hopes of a comeback.

Bringing down an angled through ball, the former Truro forward calmly fired past Krysiak on 35 minutes, before notching a second 180 seconds later.

In an opening 45 minutes crammed full of action, the Glovers were awarded a penalty as the half drew to a close after McCormack brought down Ryan Dickson.

Aiming to double his tally for the campaign Khan stepped up from 12 yards, only to be denied by a sprawling Stech to keep it at 5-1.

In the last action of the half, Olly Lee cannoned an effort back off the post from 20 yards, ending a difficult start to the 2017/18 season for Way’s side.

Looking to arrest the pattern of the first-half Omar Sowunmi replaced Davies at the break, as Town matched Luton’s diamond 4-4-2 formation.

The tactical switch saw the Glovers enjoy the lion-share possession after the restart and should’ve seen a goal clawed back, only for a superb reaction save from Stech to somehow deny Zoko from close range.

Despite an encouraging start to the second 45 the Hatters added a sixth on 58 minutes when Collins capitalised on a defensive error to fire past Krysiak, before completing a debut hat-trick with a low effort from 25 yards which squeezed into the bottom corner.

With applause still rippling from the home quarters, the visitors reduced the arrears when Zoko nodded Dickson’s cross past Stech, for little more than a consolation.

Boasting a five goal advantage the closing stages became little more than a formality before Elliot Lee rounded off an afternoon to forget for Town with an eighth goal with the last action of the match.

Luton Town: Stech, Stacey, Cuthbert, Sheehan, Potts, McCormack (Rea 64’), O. Lee, Mpanzu, Shinnie (Mullins 74’), Collins (E. Lee 69), Vassell.
Bookings: McCormack 41’, Mpanzu 60’, Rea 90’.
Subs not used: Cook, Senior, Gambin, Shea.

Yeovil Town: Krysiak, Alfei, Davies (Sowunmi 46’), N. Smith, Dickson, Gray, Bailey, C. Smith (Santos 64’), Olomola (Surridge 71’), Zoko, Khan.
Bookings: C. Smith 32’, Olomola 62’, Alfei 90’.
Subs not used: Maddison, James, Browne.


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