Hatters coast to victory over nine man Glovers

League Two: Yeovil Town 0 Luton Town 3

Danny Hylton tucks home his penalty against Yeovil this afternoon
Danny Hylton tucks home his penalty against Yeovil this afternoon

A dramatic first half saw the Hatters take yet another mighty step towards promotion to League One as they continued their Indian sign over Yeovil Town this afternoon.

Going into the game having put eight past the Glovers on the opening day, plus wins of 4-0 and 5-2 last season as well, the Hatters scored a further three time in the first 45 minutes, making it 20 in just four matches, with their hosts going down to nine men as well.

Luton then controlled the second period without any alarm, reducing the contest to a pedestrian pace as they secured a play-off place, the least of their aims now, Mansfield and Swindon unable to catch them after dropping more points.

The visitors made one change, Scott Cuthbert out injured and Mansfield match-winner Glen Rea getting the nod as Johnny Mullins returned to the bench.

Town made a magnificent start to proceedings against their opponents, who went into the fixture three unbeaten and buoyed by a 6-2 win at Coventry last time out, as Dan Potts' ball forward was flicked on by Danny Hylton for Elliot Lee who had timed his run to perfection.

The striker advanced on Stuart Nelson and waited for the keeper to commit himself, coolly placing the ball into the corner for his 11th of the season.

Town simply had to double their lead on 11 minutes when Elliot Lee picked up a terrible clearance by Shaun Donnellan, his effort parried by Nelson.

The loose ball was then hammered into Glovers defender Omar Sowunmi by a nervous Donnellan falling on a plate for Hylton just eight yards from goal, but maybe startled by the ease of the chance, he could only sidefoot tamely straight at Nelson.

Nelton had to turn over Hylton's cross, and from the corner, Alan McCormack hooked the ball back for Elliot Lee to head goalwards, Sowunmi nodding away from under his own bar.

Yeovil had to wait 15 minutes for their first chance, Jared Bird's cross swung in for for Alex Fisher who couldn't direct his header on target.

Luton took a stranglehold on the game with 20 minutes gone as Olly Lee's 20 yarder was parried straight back into the danger area by Nelson where Ryan Dickson pulled back the lurking Hylton.

The offence was spotted by the linesman with referee Brendan Malone dismissing the Glovers defender for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, leaving the hosts with 70 minutes to play with 10 men.

Hylton doubled the punishment and the lead too, netting possibly his best penalty yet for the club, hammering into the top corner, as Nelson waited for the dink down the middle.

As if the hosts afternoon couldn't get any worse, it did on the half hour, as Francois Zoko was dismissed for an off the ball challenge on McCormack, leaving the hosts down to nine men and an hour of the game remaining.

Rea, buoyed by last week's goal, tried his luck from 30 yards, his effort veering wide, while Potts dinked a cross over for James Collins to head straight at Nelson.

Luton then made it even better on 39 minutes when Collins sent over a cross from the left and Hylton prodded against the post, converting the rebound when it fell kindly for him.

However, he was then booked for celebrating right in front of the Yeovil fans and spoken again to before the game resumed, as he was immediately substituted by a clearly annoyed Nathan Jones to avoid seeing red.

Jake Jervis was on in his place and came close immediately, sending a back header narrowly over.

After the break, the game was played virtually played at a walking pace at times, resembling a training exercise of keep ball, Yeovil unable to get any kind of possession and Luton just toying with them.

Collins went close to making it 4-0, his stabbed effort parried by Nelson who then got down to cling on to McCormack's low attempt.

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu looked to break his own personal duck for the season in spectacular fashion, thundering an effort that whizzed over, while Yeovil's Lewis Wing's 30-yard free kick that didn't trouble James Shea.

The Town keeper then ensured a first clean sheet on the road since Grimsy away in January, denying the hosts a consolation in stunning fashion, somehow changing direction to repel Wing's deflected effort.

Yeovil's supporters had their biggest cheer of the afternoon when McCormack was finally withdrawn for Flynn Downes with 13 minutes to go, the midfielder also walking a tightrope having been booked moments earlier.

It mattered little though as Town saw the game out without any further alarms, remaining eight points clear of fourth placed Exeter, now with just four games to go.

Glovers: Stuart Nelson, Jared Bird, Lewis Wing, Rhys Browne (Bevis Mugabi 21), Ryan Dickson, Francois Zoko (C), Jordan Green (Oscar Gobern 71), Omar Sowunmi, Alex Fisher (Sam Surridge 55), Thomas James, Shaun Donnellan.

Subs not used: Jonathan Maddison, lefe Santos D'abadia, Otis Khan, Marcus Barnes.

Hatters: James Shea, Jack Stacey, Dan Potts, Glen Rea, Alan Sheehan (C), Alan McCormack (Flynn Downes 77), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Olly Lee, Elliot Lee (Luke Gambin 88), Danny Hylton (Jake Jervis 45), James Collins.

Subs not used: Marek Stech, Johnny Mullins, James Justin, Harry Cornick.

Referee: Brendan Malone.

Booked: Hylton 45, Stacey 70, McCormack 75.

Sent off: Dickson 19, Zoko 32.

Attendance: 4,316 (1,126 Luton).

Hatters MOM: Elliot Lee, striker got Town off to the best possible start.