Luton reach the FA Cup fifth round with a convincing victory at Cambridge

Reece Burke scored his first Luton goal to put the Hatters 1-0 up at CambridgeReece Burke scored his first Luton goal to put the Hatters 1-0 up at Cambridge
Reece Burke scored his first Luton goal to put the Hatters 1-0 up at Cambridge
FA Cup fourth round: Cambridge United 0 Luton Town 3

Luton reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2013 with what was an ultimately convincing and comfortable triumph at Cambridge United this evening.

What had on paper been a really tricky tie against their League One hosts, who would have definitely fancied their chances after producing one of the shocks of the competition in the previous round when beating Premier League Newcastle United at St James' Park, never ever looked like materialising.

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An early goal from Reece Burke, his first for the club, quickly followed by Carlos Mendes Gomes' maiden strike as well, killed off any realistic hopes the U's had, with a much-changed Luton able to see the rest of the contest out with relative ease.

Boss Nathan Jones swapped eight from the 1-0 win at Swansea on Tuesday night, midfielder Elliot Thorpe and deadline day signing from Aston Villa Jed Steer handed their debuts, Dan Potts, Tom Lockyer, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Peter Kioso, Admiral Muskwe and Cameron Jerome all included.

James Bree, Danny Hylton, Amari'i Bell and Danny Hylton dropped to the bench, where they were joined by youngsters Josh Neufville, Ed McJannet and Aidan Francis-Clarke.

The hosts looked to have settled quickly in what was a vociferous atmosphere at a sold-out Abbey Stadium, with the home fans eager to see their side engineer another Sunday spent on the back pages.

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They looked capable of doing so in the early stages too, cheered on by a boisterous and lively home crowd, who clearly remembered their rivalry from the Conference days, Wes Hoolahan drilling over from an acute angle after some miscommunication between Steer and Potts, while Adam May sliced wide after Town couldn't clear their lines effectively.

Despite struggling to get a foothold in the opening 10 minutes, Luton did start to find one, Osho's lofted ball over the top for Muskwe seeing the attacker scamper away, his cross met by Jerome first time, who diverted wide.

Another fine move down the right on 14 minutes saw the visitors do what the top flight Magpies simply couldn't in the last round, and beat U's keeper Dimitar Mitov, as some fine link-up play through the lines saw Muskwe clumsily taken out.

The free kick was delivered into the area with real quality by Thorpe and Burke was there with a downward header which nestled in the corner of the net.

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It was the perfect start for Jones' side, sapping the enthusiasm from the both their opponents and also the stands, and it was hit with what appeared a hammer blow just nine minutes later, Town notching a second.

The goal was one of United's doing too, a harmless throw forward met by home defender George Williams, who could only misdirect his header into the path of Jerome.

He advanced and picked out Mendes Gomes to his right who was able to take a touch and then clinically slam a low shot beyond Mitov to double the visitors' advantage.

The remainder of the half saw Luton in real control, reducing the Cambridge threats to a minimum, United unable to cause any problems from dead-ball situations, or look capable of finding a way through the Hatters' solid back-line.

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Luton couldn't add to their tally, although they almost did 10 minutes into the second period, Osho doing superbly on the left to link with Jerome, his cross met by Muskwe, a stretching Lockyer lofting over from two yards.

The U's should have really halved the deficit just before the hour mark, a long ball not dealt with by Town, falling for a stumbling Sam Smith inside the area, but 12 yards out, he scuffed tamely wide.

Thorpe's maiden outing was ended on 70 minutes after he couldn't shake off an earlier knock, Hylton on in his place to renew his acquaintances with the Cambridge defence and supporters again.

There was still no real head of steam from the U's though, Hoolahan with a deep cross gathered at the second attempt by Steer, sub Jack Lankaster sending an ambitious well, well wide.

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The Luton keeper did have to finally extend himself with five minutes to go, diving full length to his left and palm Ben Wormans's daisycutter away, the rebound sent against the bar by Smith, who had been flagged offside.

Jones took the chance to firm things up for the final few minutes, Campbell and Bell on for Onyedinma and Mendes Gomes, but he needn't have worried as rather than try and hold on, the Hatters just went and made it 3-0.

Harry Cornick, introduced earlier, did well on the right and Muskwe transferred it onto his left foot, shooting past Mitov via a slight deflection from just inside the box, to leave Luton fans tuning into tomorrow's fifth round draw with hopes of a bumper tie.

U's: Dimitar Mitov, George Williams, Paul Digby (C), James Brophy (Ben Worman 75), Samuel Smith, Harrison Dunk, Wes Hoolahan, Jubril Okedina, Adam May (Jack Lankester 75), Sam Sherring, Harvey Knibbs (Lorent Tolaj 75).

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Subs not used: Jonah Gill, Greg Taylor, Liam O'Neill, Liam Bennett, Kai Yearn, Glenn McConnell.

Hatters: Jed Steer, Tom Lockyer, Reece Burke, Dan Potts (C), Peter Kioso, Fred Onyedinma (Amari'i Bell 88), Gabe Osho, Elliot Thorpe (Danny Hylton 69), Carlos Mendes Gomes (Allan Campbell 88), Admiral Muskwe, Cameron Jerome (Harry Cornick 78).

Subs not used: Harry Isted, James Bree, Josh Neufville, Ed McJannet, Aidan Francis-Clarke.

Referee: Josh Smith.

Booked: May 46, Onyedinma 57, Digby 77, Kioso 90.

Attendance: 7,937 (1,470 Luton).