Clinical Cullen’s treble delight

Mark Cullen
Mark Cullen

Striker Mark Cullen was delighted to notch his first professional hat-trick during Luton’s 3-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.

The striker bagged the perfect treble too, notching with his head, right foot, then left foot, to move up to eight goals for the campaign.

Cullen said: “I didn’t even realise it at the time (perfect hat-trick), then one of the supporters told me, so happy days.

“That’s my first professional hat-trick too.

“To get three goals in the game is a strange feeling because sometimes you don’t even get three shots, so I’m really, really pleased.

“I got myself some decent chances, the lads have been setting me up and I’ve been putting them away.”

Cullen’s first came largely to the fine work from Andy Drury, who dinked over a delightful cross for the striker to head home.

He said: “Dukes has done really well at the side and hung up a good ball for the back post.

“I fancied myself against the full back the majority of times, I’ve got a little run on him and managed to beat him.

“You’ve got to be brave, if you’re not brave you don’t get the rewards and it’s gone in the bottom corner.”

The second came after Cullen was picked out by Jonathan Smith’s through ball and beat onrushing keeper Mark Cousins before slotting in.

He said: “It was a great ball by Smudger and we work on that quite a bit, sliding them down the sides.

“The two centre halves didn’t really have a clue where I was and the goalie, I don’t know what he was doing, the hokey cokey I think.

“He did me a favour as I don’t think he had a clue where he was, but I’ve got round 
him and managed to squeeze it in.

“When you’re on a bit of form goalscoring wise, you feel like every shot you have is going to go in and that’s what you want.

Cullen’s third was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch as he rifled Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s cut back into the top corner.

He added: “Pelly got his head up on the wing and he’s pulled it back.

“I didn’t try and take the leather off it, just tried to cushion it in and it was a good finish.

“The fact I’m scoring the goals and we’re getting the wins as well, you can’t really ask for much more as a football player.

“As a striker, I come in every day to score goals in training and games. So to get the games and get the goals, it’s really, really good.”

Boss John Still was thrilled with his striker’s form, saying: “Cully’s electric at the moment and he’s a terrific player.

“His work-rate, ball retention, heading for someone not so big, finishing.

“We see it in training, he’s so clinical in training and now he’s showing in the Football League that he is a very, very good player, so well done Mark Cullen.”

Meanwhile, full back Scott Griffiths added: “Im very happy for him, he took the first two well, but I thought he took the third one exceptionally well.

“It was good work from Pelly, credit to him of course, but that’s Cully’s first hat-trick and lets hope there’s plenty more for him.”

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