Hatters hit five past Eagles in convincing victory

Pre-season friendly: Bedford Town 0 Luton Town 5

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 9:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:02 pm
James Bree was on target for the Hatters this evening

Luton continued their goal-laden pre-season by hitting another five against Southern League side Bedford Town this evening, taking their tally to 17 in just three games.

The Hatters gave a start to trialist Khanya Leshabela from Leicester City, the South African midfielder beginning the contest alongside summer signings Carlos Mendes Gomes and Cameron Jerome.

It was Jerome who almost opened the scoring on six minutes, when his fierce drive was destined to crash into the net, only for home defender Charley Sanders to bravely throw his body in the way.

Luton's quick start was rewarded on nine minutes when Mendes Gomes gained possession and arrowed an excellent shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards to put the Hatters in front.

Jerome was denied by another block, with Gabriel Osho off target from outside the box and then Mendes Gomes' tame header easy for keeper Alex Street.

The Luton striker thought he had made it 2-0 on 16 minutes, when he turned home after Street spilled Leshabela's effort, but he was adjudged to have gone in with a high foot and the goal was chalked off.

Harry Isted was called into action moments later as former Town players Craig Mackail-Smith and Connor Tomlinson combined to send the latter through, although he couldn't beat the outstretched hand of the Luton stopper.

The visitors then doubled their advantage on 34 minutes when Sam Beckwith's excellent inswinging corner from the right was volleyed into his own net by the outstretched leg of former Town youngster Drew Richardson.

On the stroke of half time, the impressive Mendes Gomes, who caught the eye during the opening period with his willingness to run at the defence almost had a brace.

Setting off on a terrific break on the left, he beat three players before exchanging passes and going through on goal, only to be denied by Street, with defender Zach Brown covering to head off the line.

The second half saw precious little in terms of goalmouth action, an offside Mendes Gomes firing against the legs of Street, Nathan Jones changing his entire 11 on the hour mark as had been planned beforehand.

On came Joe Morrell after his impressive Euros for his first outing in a Luton shirt since February, with Tom Lockyer continuing his quest for minutes, while Allan Campbell, Henri Lansbury and Fred Onyedinma featured, along with youth team keeper Jameson Horlick.

A quiet period was finally enlivened on 75 minutes when Lansbury sent over a corner which beat Eagles keeper Street to nestle into the net and make it 3-0.

That was the start of an exciting final stanza as Harry Cornick escaped on the right, is cross was met by Elijah Adebayo who couldn't get a proper contact.

Horlick was almost called into action with 10 to go, Sean Keane's rising drive not quite coming down in time, while the overlapping James Bree might had added a fourth when racing on to Cornick's pass, but his finish was awry.

Bree then tried his luck from a free kick after Morrell was clipped, just unable to find the corner, but he did get his goal with one minute to go, beating Street via a slight deflection from 20 yards.

There was still time for a further goal as Cornick went clean through, rounded Street and then slotted into the empty net to complete another convincing victory for the Hatters during pre-season.

Hatters starting XI (first 60): Harry Isted; Peter Kioso, Gabriel Osho, Kal Naismith, Sam Beckwith; Glen Rea, Khanya Leshabela, Elliot Lee; Jordan Clark, Carlos Mendes Gomes; Cameron Jerome.

Hatters XI (last 30): Jameson Horlick; James Bree, Tom Lockyer, Sonny Bradley, Dan Potts; Henri Lansbury, Allan Campbell, Joe Morrell; Harry Cornick, Fred Onyedinma; Elijah Adebayo.

Attendance: 1,419.