Match Reports

Report | Formidable Hatters thrash Seagulls


Town 4Adebayo 1, 42, 56, Ogbene 3

Brighton 0

There have been many great nights at Kenilworth Road down the years.

But this was a night to rival the very, very best.

It began with Tom Lockyer whipping the crowd up moments before kick-off on his first return since Bournemouth – and it continued for 90 unrelenting, unforgettable minutes the words on this page will fail to properly get close to accurately telling the story of the Hatters’ biggest top-flight win since January 1989.

It was one of those nights which we all didn’t want to end.

The storylines? Too many to mention.

The headline grabber, without doubt, Elijah Adebayo. His wonderful hat-trick was the Town’s first in the Premier League and first in English football's top division since Lars Elstrup’s treble against Norwich in 1990.

Unbelievably, he had his first after just 20 seconds and it was the cue for a remarkable night under the nights – the striker glancing a close-range header home after Carlton Morris had knocked on Chiedozie Ogbene’s right-wing cross.

If those inside the Old Girl thought that was the perfect start, then one minute and 57 seconds later it, somehow, incredibly, got even better when Ogbene seized on Sambi Lokonga’s superb raking forward pass, rounded Jason Steele, the Brighton goalkeeper, and passed into an empty net at the Oak Road end.

Before kick-off the Hatters had failed to scored a goal in the first ten minutes in the Premier League this season. Here, they has two inside 137 seconds. Kenilworth Road was bouncing.

It was beautiful chaos. Brighton, wide-eyed, shell-shocked, had no answer. It wouldn’t be until the 77th minute until Thomas Kaminski saved Danny Welbeck’s shot. The Hatters were that dominant, that strong in defence that, when out of possession, the visitors had no answer. The pressing, the harrying. The Seagulls’ wings had been well and truly clipped.

As half-time approached the Town upped the ante. And they were rewarded with a third and Adebayo’s second when Ross Barkley slipped the striker through, gave Steele the eyes and tucked home. 3-0. There were almost no words.

At half-time new signing Daiki Hashioka was introduced to the Kenilworth Road faithful and the feelgood factor – as the Japanese international took in warm applause from the crowd – continued after the restart. Jordan Clark set-up Ogbene for a shot saved by Steele before Clark then saw a goal ruled out for offside after Morris’ shot was parried away.

Yet the Town would not be denied a fourth goal when Adebayo scored his first Luton hat-trick to bring the house down. Sublime play from Barkley fashioned a chance for Ogbene and from Alfie Doughty’s corner the ball bounced into Adebayo’s path and he made no mistake from close range.

Brighton continued to struggle as the Hatters continued to play with a confidence and a swagger that the crowd lapped up. Ogbene had a shout for a penalty and Morris had a shot parried – but it mattered not: four goals secured three important points to – most importantly – lift the Hatters outside of the relegation zone.

The storylines continued.

Remember the first game of the season?

The talk pre-match was about how far the Hatters had come since that opening day defeat on the south coast in August.

How far have the Hatters come? We make that 5-4 on aggregate.

On we go to Newcastle.

Never too high, never too low, a great man once said.

Enjoy it.

See you Saturday.

Town: Kaminski; Burke, Osho, Bell, Obgene, Doughty; Lokonga (sub Mpanzu 68), Barkley (sub Berry 82); Clark (sub Townsend 68), Adebayo (sub Chong 71), Morris (sub Woodrow 83)

Subs not used: Krul, Potts, Johnson, Nelson.

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