Clark scores four as Hatters put seven past the Canaries at Top Field

Pre-season friendly: Hitchin Town 0 Luton Town 7

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 4:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 4:56 pm
Jordan Clark scores his fourth goal against Hitchin
Jordan Clark scores his fourth goal against Hitchin

Jordan Clark scored four times in 15 first half minutes as Luton began their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 7-0 win at Southern League Premier Division Hitchin Town this afternoon.

With many of the near 1,500 Hatters fans getting the opportunity to watch their side live for the first time in around 18 months, Nathan Jones' side gave them plenty to cheer, scoring seven times at Top Field.

The visitors gave immediate run-outs to four of their summer signings in the first period with Reece Burke, Allan Campbell Cameron Jerome and Fred Onyedinma starting.

Full back Peter Kioso was back following his loan moves last term, with youngster Sam Beckwith also involved.

Ben Walster went closest for the hosts early on, his 22-yard free kick not missing the target by much.

Luton began to up the tempo though, with Onyedinma doing well to fashion a crossing opportunity on the left, the ball just taken off Clark's head, before Jerome diverted an effort over the top.

Hitchin certainly gave as good as they got in the opening exchanges, former Luton youngsters Callum Stead and Rio Da Silva both catching the eye, the latter denied by James Shea after Beckwith was caught out.

The Canaries did then have the ball in the net through Stead's finish from a low free kick, but he was adjudged offside.

Nathan Jones' side threatened again, Jerome side-footing off target from Onyedinma's low cross from the left, while the winger then flicked a header narrowly wide.

Despite the hosts looking to have settled, they were then hit by three goals in four minutes, with Clark helping himself to all of them.

First on the half hour, with Hitchin being caught in possession for a second time in quick succession, Campbell's delivery from the right was met by the stooping midfielder to open the scoring.

He then made it 2-0 two minutes later, with the visitors successfully hunting down the ball again, with Campbell involved once more, Clark breaking into the box to slam into the bottom corner.

Campbell, who was looking sharper and sharper as the half progressed, went close himself, his effort parried by Charlie Horlock, but the keeper was picking the ball out of the net when Clark's free kick beat everyone to nestle into the far corner.

Summer signing from Motherwell Campbell was denied once more by an outstretched hand of Horlock, before the keeper prevented Jerome opening his account from the following set-piece.

With moments to go until half time, Clark had his and the Hatters' fourth when a flowing move on the right saw Kioso's cross deflected into his path and he dummied his man before simply slotting home on his left foot this time.

It was almost 5-0 with the final kick of the opening 45, Jerome's wicked angled free kick drawing a wonderful save from Horlock who managed to stick out a left hand and turn over the bar.

Town swapped 10 players for the second period, only Beckwith remaining on the pitch, with summer additions Henri Lansbury and Carlos Mendes Gomes in action, while Gabby Osho got a run-out as well.

Dan Potts saw his cross from the left bounce up off the pitch and cannon against the outside of the post, but Town were on the scoresheet again just before the hour, when Elliot Lee's wonderful defence-splitting pass was inch-perfect for the run of James Bree whose dink beat Horlock.

Skipper Sonny Bradley was the next to venture forward, his pass reaching Harry Cornick whose cut-back was nicked away from Elijah Adebayo, the striker then heading a follow up cross behind.

With 12 minutes to go, a sixth arrived thanks to a sublime through ball by Lansbury, who impressed in the quarter back role with an exemplary array of passing, which was taken in his stride by Lee, who also lofted over Horlock.

Adebayo wanted a piece of the action himself, beating a man and then shooting straight at the Canaries keeper.

However, Luton did make it 7-0 in the closing stages when Potts got away on the left and his low cross was stabbed home by Mendes Gomes.

Hatters first half: James Shea, Peter Kioso, Reece Burke, Kal Naismith, Sam Beckwith, Glen Rea, Allan Campbell, Dion Pereira, Jordan Clark, Cameron Jerome, Fred Onyedinma.

Second half: Harry Isted, James Bree, Dan Potts, Gabby Osho, Sonny Bradley, Henri Lansbury, Sam Beckwith (Ed McJannet 60), Elliot Lee, Harry Cornick, Elijah Adebayo, Carlos Mendes Gomes.