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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
05:02 25th January 2014

The Hatters stormed 14 points clear at the top of the Skrill Premier with a thumping 5-0 win over Wrexham.


The Town were 4-0 up at half-time after a stunning first half display in which Luke Guttridge scored twice and Andre Gray and Paul Benson scored once.


The Hatters managed a fifth midway through the second half through a Jake Howells penalty to make it back-to-back 5-0 wins following Saturday’s triumph at Nuneaton. 


Showing an unchanged side for the fourth match running the Town could have been behind as early as the first minute if it wasn’t for an early glaring miss by Wrexham striker Rob Ogleby. However, a minute later the Town were ahead when Benson and Howells combined to tee-up Guttridge to slide a right-foot finish beyond Wrexham goalkeeper Andy Coughlin.


It got better for the Hatters just six minutes later as a breathless start to proceedings continued. Fraser Franks was the architect, side-footing a pass into the path of Gray. He bundled his way past three Wrexham defenders before coolly slotting home is 24th goal of the season.


The Town kept coming forward ominously so. Pelly Ruddock was urged to shoot by the Kenilworth Road crowd on 15 minutes following a fine flowing move. This time his shot was held by Coughlin.


Two minutes later, though, the majority inside Kenilworth Road were on their feet again as Guttridge made it 3-0 with his second of the night. Benson, Gray and Howells were again involved in a superb one-touch move that Guttridge finished with aplomb into the bottom corner of the net.


The Hatters were playing some breathtaking football but Wrexham, managerless after Andy Morrell’s decision to quit the day before the game, were still creating chances. Brett Ormerod should have scored on 19 minutes when poking over a shot from close range before defender Joe Clarke’s cross-cum-shot from the right two minutes later clipped the top of the Town crossbar.


Back came the Town. Ruddock’s shot was blocked on 26 minutes before Gray’s effort – after a swift counter-attack from Howells – was also charged down by the Wrexham defence on 29 minutes.


However, the Hatters didn’t have long to wait for yet another goal to celebrate when Benson got in on the act seven minutes before half-time. Gray’s cross was headed straight into the path of Ronnie Henry and his unselfish cross was met by Benson who side-footed home his 15th of the season and fourth in three games.


By now the Town were sensing blood and a fifth before half-time. A wonderful move in first half stoppage time almost led to a fine goal and the Hatters continued in the same vein after the break.


Half-chances came and went as Wrexham tightened up defensively after a ramshackle first 45 minutes and John Still made his first substitution on 64 minutes when Jon Shaw replaced Benson. Within six minutes of coming on, Shaw’s header freed Howells before he was upended by Mark Carrington in the penalty area and Howells dusted himself down to slot home his seventh of the season to make it 5-0.


The crowd thought the Town had a sixth on 80 minutes only to realise Shaw’s rasping low drive had hit the side-netting following another slick build-up involving Ruddock and substitute Alex Lawless, and it wasn’t until the first minute of stoppage time that Wrexham tested Mark Tyler for the only time – a comfortable save following a piledriver from Clarke.


Cambridge’s defeat at Braintree meant the Hatters could celebrate going further clear at the top. It was a 24th game unbeaten and a 12th successive home league win at Kenilworth Road, not to mention 17 goals in the last three games.

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.