Watch all seven goals from comfortable win
An experienced Hatters development squad breezed past a youthful Gillingham side with seven unanswered goals at Kenilworth Road.
The Town, who won the South East title last season, were 4-0 to the good at half-time thanks to goals from Zane Banton, Jack Marriott, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Curtley Williams.
After the break Marriott and Ruddock added to their tallies to make it six before substitute George Murray sealed the win with a seventh late on.
The Hatters starting XI included Stephen McNulty and Magnus Okuonghae at centre-half, while Alex Lawless and Jake Howells operated in central midfield.
Playing some eye-catching, fast-flowing football the Town could have been ahead as early as the second minute when a fierce drive from Marriott was beaten away by Gills goalkeeper Tom Hadler. It was the start of a busy afternoon for the young visiting stopper.
Hadler stopped a swerving drive from Luke Trotman on 21 minutes, but two minutes later the Town’s pressure finally told when Banton’s deflected shot from the edge of the box bounced past Hadler.
Chances continued to fall the Hatters’ way with Banton, Marriott and Ryan Hall all going close but the Town ended the half well in control with a three-goal burst in six minutes leading up to half-time putting them well in command.
Firstly, for the Town’s second goal, a superb left-wing cross from Hall was converted by Marriott on the stretch from 12 yards.
Two became three on 42 minutes when Ruddock bamboozled the visitors’ defence down the left to cross for Williams to tap home from six yards.
And the Hatters added a fourth goal a minute before the break when a brilliant throughball from Howells found Ruddock, who took the ball around Hadler before side-footing home.
The Town continued in the same vein after the restart and Ruddock got his second and the Hatters’ fifth goal on 51 minutes when he slammed home a well-taken shot after being found by Marriott’s right-wing pass.
Then, three minutes later, it was six when Ruddock and Banton combined on the edge of the box. The latter’s shot was parried by Hadler but only into the path of Marriott who sent a controlled first-time finish from an acute angle into the net.
Six goals to the good the Hatters remained in the hunt for more goals. Marriott saw a header saved just before the hour before Hadler did well to keep out Marriott’s goal-bound effort on 64 minutes.
Banton wormed his way goalwards on 66 minutes that led to his left-foot shot bouncing wide before the Gills’ finally registered a shot when Mike Freiter’s free-kick flew over the crossbar on 68 minutes.
With 12 minutes left on the clock substitute Murray saw a shot saved by Hadler after Hall had raced clear on the counter-attack, before the same player curled a shot inches wide of the target from the edge of the box two minutes later.
Murray, however, was not to be denied his name on the scoresheet when he tucked home from 10 yards when taking Marriott’s cross from the right to make it 7-0.
In the final moments Frankie Musonda and McNulty both had chances to make it eight but seven it stayed as the Town dev squad ran out very easy winners in their first outing of the season.
Town: King; Williams, Trotman (sub Musonda 75), McNulty, Okuonghae; Lawless (sub Justin 62), Howells, Hall, Ruddock; Banton (sub Murray 69), Marriott.
WATCH THE GOALS: