Cornick nets for the Hatters but Luton finish pre-season with Brighton defeat
Pre-season friendly: Luton Town 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 3
Luton ended their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 defeat against Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.
The Hatters named only two of their summer signings from the start in Fred Onyedinma and Allan Campbell, while Brighton went strong, regular Premier League participants Yves Bissouma, Robert Sanchez and Adam Lallana all beginning, plus ex-Town loanee Aaron Connolly up front as well.
Town boss Nathan Jones opted to use Gabe Osho in the defensive midfield role early on, Kal Naismith and Glen Rea as the makeshift centre half pairing, while Harry Cornick partnered Elijah Adebayo up front.
The hosts made the brighter start too as Adebayo did superbly on the right hand side, beating Dan Burn and breaking into the area where he picked out Cornick, but the attacker side-footed disappointingly straight at Sanchez from a few yards out.
Brighton then took the lead with their first attack of note though, scoring a goal of real quality, Bissouma finding Lallana, who sent Connolly through to coolly beat Simon Sluga.
With the Seagulls starting to assume control following their opener, it took until 28 minutes for Luton to threaten a leveller, Solly March's weak back header seized on by Cornick, but the angle was always against him, Sanchez out to block with his legs.
With 10 minutes to go until half time, Brighton moved 2-0 ahead with another high-class goal, March's left-wing cross met by midfielder Enock Mwepu, who confidently swept his shot beyond Sluga.
Shane Duffy thumped a header over from March's corner, but just before the break, Luton were handed a lifeline thanks to an absolute howler from Burn.
His attempted pass crossfield was shanked straight at Cornick who faced with just Sanchez to beat, did exactly that this time, comprehensively finding the corner of the net to halve the deficit.
Jones made just one change for the second period, Jordan Clark on for Rea, with the substitute quickly finding space 20 yards from goal, only to send his drive tamely wide of the target.
Cornick's cross from the right was then pawed away by replacement keeper Jason Steele, who was called into action shortly afterwards, repelling another attempt from Clark and then Cornick's flick with his outstretched foot following good work by James Bree.
However, Brighton had the all-important third goal on 63 minutes, when Naismith felt he was fouled on the left touch-line, only for referee Graham Scott to disagree.
South Africal international Percy Tau took the ball on and with a fine individual effort, beat Dan Potts' cynical attempts to trip him, left Osho on the deck and then coolly slotted into the bottom corner.
At the midway point of the second period, Jones opted to make six changes, Joe Morrell, Elliot Lee, Luke Berry, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Peter Kioso and Cameron Jerome on for Bree, Cornick, Adebayo, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Onyedinma and Campbell, as Dan Potts swiftly followed too holding his hamstring, trialist Reece Hutchinson taking his place.
Late on, Admiral Muskwe replaced Naismith, as Town created a mini flurry of opportunities, Mendes Gomes spinning his man and having a shot blocked, Berry trying his luck too.
Mendes Gomes should have done better moments later, picked out by Clark's delivery, only to get underneath his header and clear the bar.
Sluga prevented Tau from adding to his own tally late on, getting down well to turn his daisycutter behind, while Antef Tsoungui then volleyed wide at the far post, Andi Zeqiri also narrowly missing the target too as the top flight visitors coasted to victory.
Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree (Peter Kioso 68), Dan Potts (Reece Hutchinson 70), Gabe Osho, Kal Naismith (Admiral Muskwe 77), Glen Rea (Jordan Clark 46), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Elliot Lee 68), Allan Campbell (Joe Morrell 68), Harry Cornick (Carlos Mendes Gomes 68), Fred Onyedinma (Luke Berry 68), Elijah Adebayo (Cameron Jerome 68).
Subs not used: Jameson Horlick, Sam Beckwith, Dion Pereira, Harry Isted.
Seagulls: Robert Sanchez (Jason Steele 46), Aaron Connolly (Florin Andone 46), Yves Bissouma (Taylor Richards 64), Neal Maupay (Percy Tau 46), Enock Mwepu (Marc Leonard 80), Adam Lallana (Pascal Gross 64), Jakub Moder (Michal Karbownik 46), Solly March (Andi Zeqiri 64), Shane Duffy (Antef Tsoungui 80), Dan Burn (Leo Ostigard 57), Joel Veltman (Steven Alzate 46).
Referee: Graham Scott.