Rampant Vassell fires five-star Hatters into semi-final

Isaac Vassell makes it 5-2 to Luton against Yeovil
Isaac Vassell makes it 5-2 to Luton against Yeovil

Checkatrade Trophy: Luton Town 5 Yeovil Town 2

Luton Town moved to within one game of a Wembley appearance with a magnificent victory over Yeovil Town this evening, courtesy of some breathless second half entertainment.

The Hatters had looked in full control, leading 1-0 at the break, and doubling that through Alan Sheehan's free kick after 50 minutes.

However, four goals in the space of seven minutes saw the tie sway back and forth, with the Glovers twice getting back to within one, but crucially, Luton immediately restored their two goal advantage on both occasions, to eventually cruise through to a home semi-final tie with League One Oxford United.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones opted for a strong side, making just five change from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Grimsby, giving on-loan Arsenal keeper Matt Macey his debut, while Johnny Mullins, Stephen O'Donnell and Alan Sheehan were recalled, with Jonathan Smith fit to return too.

As has been the case in this competition, Luton played with an attacking freedom rarely seen at Kenilworth Road in League Two, going close inside five minutes, Danny Hylton controlling immaculately and teeing up Smith, whose low drive was saved by the legs of Johnny Maddison.

Macey was tested early on, gathering Shayon Harrison's effort at the second attempt, before Isaac Vassell should have made it 1-0, but took an age to finish as a covering defender intervened.

Hatters continued to catch the eye when venturing forward, Mpanzu's low curler requiring palming aside from Maddison, however, there was nothing the Glovers keeper could do on 11 minutes, Jordan Cook thumping home when Vassell's cross deflected into his path.

Despite Town's dominance, Macey had to be alert to turn away Harrison's curling attempt, as he gave a decent display between the posts on his first start for the club since arriving from the Emirates.

Five minutes before the break, Smith almost scored what would have undoubtedly been his best ever goal in a Luton shirt, thundering a volley against the bar with Maddison completely beaten.

Into the second period and Luton appeared to take complete control on 50 minutes as Sheehan's 25-yard free kick beat Maddison who really didn't cover himself in glory, eventually palming into the top corner.

Within 60 seconds, Hylton headed over an open goal from all of two yards from Vassell's perfect cross and the visitors were back in the game out of nowhere on 58 minutes, a long free kick pumped into the box and flicked on for Francois Zoko to take a touch and cleverly beat Macey.

However, Hatters flew straight back on the front foot, and moved 3-1 ahead straight away as Vassell raced past two defenders and then hammered beyond Maddison.

A breathless few minutes saw Hatters pegged back again on 63 minutes, when the towering sub Omar Sowunmi climbed highest to head past Macey.

As they had done moments earlier though, Luton restored their two goal advantage instantly as Vassell caused havoc on the right hand side, crossing for Hylton to convert and make it 15 for the season, as the pair made what should be a watertight case to be Town's first choice forward pairing when Crawley visit on Saturday.

Still Luton weren't finished, Mpanzu's curler palmed over by Maddison,. who then produced an even better stop to turn Hylton's header behind.

With both sides now starting to draw breath, the final 10 minutes saw Luton always keep the visitors at arms length and even manage to add a fifth in stoppage time, the outstanding Vassell turning in from close range.

Hatters: Matt Macey, Stephen O'Donnell, Jack Senior, Johnny Mullins, Alan Sheehan, Glen Rea, Jonathan Smith, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jordan Cook (Scott Cuthbert 63), Isaac Vassell (Jack Marriott 90), Danny Hylton (James Justin 90).

Subs not used: Craig King, Jake Gray, Olly Lee, Luke Gambin.

Glovers: Johnny Maddison, Nathan Smith, Matthew Dolan, Bevis Mugabi, Kevin Dawson, Tom Eaves (Omar Sowunmi 53), Ryan Dickson (C Tom James 79), Francois Zoko, Matt Butcher, Ben Whitfield (Brandon Goodship 81), Shayon Harrison.

Subs not used: Artur Krysiak.

Booked: Dawson 30, Rea 58, Senior 63, Sowunmi 86.

Attendance: 2,480 (88 Yeovil).

Referee: Ben Tozer.

Hatters MOM: Isaac Vassell. Simply outstanding throughout the entire evening.