Competition is driving Collins and Hylton on

Luton striker James Collins admitted that the intense competition for the striking berths at the club is definitely pushing both himself and leading scorer Danny Hylton on this season.

James Collins and Danny Hylton celebrate at Swindon
James Collins and Danny Hylton celebrate at Swindon

The pair were on target again during Boxing Day’s 5-0 win over Swindon Town, while subs Harry Cornick and Elliot Lee came off the bench in the final 15 minutes to find the net as well.

Lee now has seven goals to his name this season, with Cornick three, as Collins knows they’re right on his heels for a first team place, saying: “Definitely, that’s what having a good squad is all about.

“We’ve all been brought in by the gaffer to do the same thing, competition is healthy and just goes to show what a good side we have got as the likes of me and Hylts come off and Elliot and H come on and do their thing."

Collins notched an 11th goal of the season and second in two games after being recalled to the side from injury, with a quite brilliant effort, curling into the top corner on his supposed weaker left foot against his former club.

He celebrated with a full length kneeslide in front of the Hatters faithful, and on the goal, Collins said: “I was delighted with it.

“I looked up and managed to cut inside, If you don’t shoot, you don’t score, so I thought I’ll have a go and was delighted to see it go in and against my old club as well, because they give me a bit of stick at half way.

“It’s nothing personal against Swindon, I enjoyed my time here, but I’m sure they’d celebrate if they scored against us.

“So definitely, always celebrate a goal as you never know when the second one will come."

It came as no shock to striker partner Hylton that Collins was able to find the net with such a finish too, saying: “He scores goals, he’s the best finisher at the club by a million miles, he is, I’m not just saying that.

“It’s no surprise to see him score that. You might look and say it’s a great finish, but he does it every day in training, so I'm delighted for him.”

Meanwhile, Hylton’s header for 2-0 was his seventh in eight games and goal number 15 of another increasingly prolific campaign.

He said: “It was a bit of play down the left, Potty’s (Dan Potts) put one in and I’ve managed to score.

“It was a great ball, he’s added goals, assists, he’s on fire this season and just when we’re playing with confidence, all the forwards at the club, we get more chances.

“I’m always happy to score, it’s what me Collo, Elliot, Cornick, whoever plays tries to do.

“If we don’t score we just try and do what we can and bring something to the team.

“Collo’s got assists too, we don’t care who scores as long as we’re winning games.”

Win they did too, as Town made it two out of two from the Christmas period and 10 victories from their last 12 matches in all competitions to remain four points clear at the top.

The triumph at the County Ground came after the scores had been goalless at the interval too, as Hylton added: “It was similar to a lot of games we’ve had.

“The first half is a little bit slower than the second half as teams are highly motivated, they try hard and they give their all.

“But we’ve seen it so many times this season, when we get the first goal, teams crumble and then we can get the second, third, fourth, sometimes sevenths and eighths.

“It wasn’t to be eight today, but we’ll take five.

“He (boss Nathan Jones) didn’t say too much (at half time), there wasn’t too much wrong, but he just said that the defence needed to step up five yards, the midfield could then get up a little bit and then it allowed us forwards to be a little higher up and closer to their goal than ours.

“We did that, and you could see the difference second half, we started getting the ball in advanced positions, we managed to get behind and we managed to score five goals.”