VIDEO: Hatters hammer seven past Gillingham

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu scored twice against Gillingham
Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu scored twice against Gillingham

Luton Town began their Final Third Development League South East campaign in style by hammering a youthful Gillingham this afternoon.

Hatters, who won the title last season, gave starts to the likes of Steve McNulty, Magnus Okuonghae, Alex Lawless and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu.

It didn’t take Luton long to get into their stride as Jack Marriott’s shot was beaten away by keeper Tom Hadler, who then saved from Luke Trotman.

However, the pressure told on 21 minutes when Zane Banton’s deflected effort bounced in.

Banton, Marriott and Ryan Hall all went close, before Luton blitzed the visitors in the final six minutes of the half, netting three times.

Firstly, an inch-perfect cross by Hall was converted by Marriott from 12 yards, before Curtley Williams tapped home Ruddock Mpanzu’s delivery.

The fourth arrived shortly too as a brilliant through ball from Jake Howells found Ruddock Mpanzu, rounded Hadler to score.

In the second period, Luton continued their domination as Ruddock Mpanzu slammed home his second, while Marriott also completed his brace, netting from an acute angle after Banton’s shot was parried.

Hatters kept looking for more as Hadler did well to keep out Marriott’s goal-bound effort on 64 minutes and Banton sent his drive narrowly wide.

Gillingham finally registered a shot when Mike Freiter’s free-kick flew over the crossbar, but Luton were back in the ascendancy as sub George Murray, a first year youth team forward, went close twice.

He was not to be denied though, tucking home from close range after fine work by Marriott.

Hatters’ next fixture in this competition is away at Leyton Orient next Tuesday.

Hatters: Craig King, Curtley Williams, Luke Trotman (Frankie Musonda 75), Steve McNulty, Magnus Okuonghae, Alex Lawless (James Justin 62), Jake Howells, Ryan Hall, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Zane Banton (George Murray 69), Jack Marriott.