Hatters return to winning ways with comfortable Colchester triumph

Olly Lee scores the opener for Luton this afternoon
Olly Lee scores the opener for Luton this afternoon

League Two: Luton 3 Colchester United 0.

Luton Town bounced back from defeat at Barnet last weekend to emerge comfortable victors over what was a negative Colchester United side at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

After a frustrating first half, in which the visitors displayed little or no ambition to make a game of it, crucially, Olly Lee netted at the second attempt from a corner on the stroke of half time to send the Hatters into the break a goal to the good.

That saw an end to the spoiling tactics on display from a U's side without a win so far this season, as they were forced to actually venture into the opposition half with a greater amount of urgency and regularity.

With space finally available in behind the visitors defence, it allowed Town to pick them off in style, courtesy of further goals from James Collins and Dan Potts to climb back up to third in the table.

Luton boss Nathan Jones had made two changes to the side that lost 1-0 to the Bees, with Danny Hylton in for his first league start of the season, while as expected, Glen Rea replaced injured skipper Scott Cuthbert.

United had looked capable of showing some adventure early on, Alan McCormack making a a crucial block from Frankie Kent and Marek Stech down low to collect Doug Loft's daisycutter.

A lovely ball by Lee then released Jack Stacey and from his cross, Hylton's header was parried by Sam Walker, in what was one of the only real serious attack in the opening stages for Town.

However, Hatters' brief spell of pressure was quickly extinguished, and United had a go from range, Kane Vincent-Young missing the bottom corner.

With neither side creating anything to write home about, Luton finally put a move of real quality together on 35 minutes, Hylton's incisive pass finding Lee, whose superb backheeled control left him one-on-one with Walker, the keeper excellently deflecting behind for a corner.

Town had appeals for a penalty turned down five minutes before the break, as Dan Potts went over in the box, only to see referee Seb Stockbridge dish out a yellow card for what he interpreted was a dive.

With the home support finding their voices to berate the official, Luton finally started to crack up the tempo, Stacey galloping down the right, as he did throughout, and from his cut back, Andrew Shinnie's first time thudded into the gloves of Walker.

However, Hatters did have the lead in the first minute of time added on, as they showed their further potency from set plays this term as Colchester didn't properly clearing their lines from a corner.

McCormack headed back into the area, Hylton knocked down for Lee, who saw Walker block his first effort, but not the second, volleying in his second goal of the campaign.

Buoyed by the goal, Luton came out for the second half and unlike previous seasons where they constantly started on the back foot, inviting pressure on to them, noticeably went for the jugular in an attempt to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

McCormack was denied in truly stunning fashion by Walker who had no right tip over his thunderous blast from just inside the box, but somehow managed to do just that.

There was nothing the keeper could do to prevent James Collins from notching on 52 minute though as some lovely play on the right between Lee and Jack Stacey saw the full back deliver a cross to the back post.

Town's hitman picked up the loose ball, played a one-two with Shinnie, before beautifully picking out the top corner, Walker rooted to the spot.

Stech ensured there wasn't an immediate reply as he made what can only be described as a truly wonderful save from Sammie Smozidics, changing direction almost mid-air to stick out a hand and divert his close range header away from goal.

With the game now opening up, Hylton almost had a goal on his comeback, unluckily denied by the crossbar from McCormack's marvellous dink over the top.

Alan Sheehan also saw his cross rebound off the woodwork although he was to have an integral part in Luton's third, swinging over a delightful free kick that Dan Potts touched home for his first of the season.

Late on, United saw a few potshots fly high and wide, but Luton's maiden clean sheet of the campaign was never seriously threatened, as they can now head to what were the bookies favourites Mansfield next weekend with a real spring in their step once more.

Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, Dan Potts, Scott Cuthbert, Glen Rea, Alan Sheehan, Alan McCormack, Olly Lee, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie (Jordan Cook 88), Danny Hylton (Elliot Lee 88), James Collins (Harry Cornick 88).

Subs: James Shea, Johnny Mullins, James Justin, Luke Gambin.

United: Sam Walker, Lewis Kinsella, Tom Lapslie (C Sean Murray 54), Frankie Kent, Drey Wright (Tariq Issa 76), Doug Loft, Sammie Szmodics, Cole Kpekawa (Denny Johnstone 63), Tom Eastman, Mikael Mandron, Kane Vincent-Young.

Subs not used: Tommy O'Sullivan, Rene Gilmartin, Cameron James, Eoin McKeown.

Booked: McCormack 34, Potts 39, Kinsella 61. Kent 72.

Referee: Sam Stockbridge.

Attendance: 7,865 (445 Colchester).

Hatters MOM: Olly Lee. Good in possession and notched the crucial opener.