Jack's sharp in the box with 11-minute hat-trick
Bedford Town 0
Luton Town 9
Potts 5, McQuoid 27, McGeehan 35, Hylton (pen) 44, Banton 50, Marriott 52, 58, 63, Hawkes OG 56,
Jack Marriott hit an 11-minute hat-trick as Luton Town opened their domestic pre-season programme with a 9-0 victory at neighbours Bedford Town this afternoon.
Manager Nathan Jones fielded 23 players at the Eyrie, changing his entire outfield ten at half-time with triallists Isaac Vassell and Lewis Kinsella introduced for the second half.
It didn’t alter the torrent of goals that rained on the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central hosts, with eight coming in a devastating 36-minute spell either side of the interval after Dan Potts had given the Town a fifth-minute advantage.
The Hatters dominated possession from the off and they had the lead in the fifth minute when Potts stormed in at the far post to head home James Justin's cross from the right, after a fine cross-field pass from Olly Lee.
Danny Hylton was looking lively up front and twice went close with headers, first from a deep Alan Sheehan cross and then, on 16 minutes, when latching onto a long clearance from Justin.
Sheehan was keen to try his luck too, flashing a 35-yard effort low past Bedford keeper Sam Wyer’s left post, before Cameron McGeehan – seconds after almost teeing Josh McQuoid up with a low cross from the right – forced Wyer to tip a shot onto the post.
With 20 minutes on the clock, and Wyer out of his goal, Lee tried a volley from inside his own half that was on target, but gathered safely by the back-pedalling goalkeeper on the edge of his six-yard box.
The Hatters were two goals to the good on 27 minutes when Sheehan whipped in a delicious free-kick from the right, after the rampaging Justin had been felled, and McQuoid glanced a header in at the near post.
McGeehan was running the midfield and he set up Jordan Cook for a curling shot on the half-hour, then Hylton went close twice more, nipping in front of Wyer to head inches wide before firing an effort on target from a tight angle by the right touchline.
It was 3-0 ten minutes before the break when McGeehan, after collecting the ball in the middle of the park, combined with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu to burst into the box and finish coolly from close range.
Then Hylton called Wyer into action once more, seconds before the Eagles keeper raced off his line and brought down McQuoid for the penalty that produced goal number four a minute before half-time, Hylton sending the home stopper the wrong way from 12 yards.
Jones changed all ten outfield players at half-time, leaving just goalkeeper Christian Walton on the pitch of those who started, but the fluency was retained.
The Hatters were five up five minutes into the second half when Zane Banton met Stephen O’Donnell’s cross with a tidy header.
And within two minutes Jack Marriott had added a stunning sixth – cutting in from the left wing to fire a powerful effort into the top corner from the angle of the box.
Marriott created the seventh by racing to the byline and cutting back a cross that home centre-half Lee Hawkes turned past sub keeper Adam Harpur and into his own net on 56 minutes.
Then the Town striker grabbed the eighth – and his second – for himself by tucking a shot inside the far post from a short corner routine with Banton two minutes later.
Marriott’s 11-minute treble was complete in the 63rd, latching onto a fine through ball from Tyreeq Bakinson to steer his shot low past Harpur from the edge of the area.
After a period of calm, Bakinson went close to making it ten with a 20-yard shot that whistled past the top corner, and then again with a low, side-footed effort that Harpur got down low to gather with ten minutes to go.
Bedford went close to registering three times in the closing stages, Ben Farrell twice trying to catch Liam Gooch – who had come on to replace Walton on the hour – off his line.
The first curling effort went inches over, however, and the young Hatters stopper was equal to the second with four minutes to go, comfortably catching the ex-Cambridge midfielder’s 25-yard attempt.
Hatters starting XI: Walton, Justin, Mullins, Sheehan, Potts, Lee, Ruddock, McGeehan, Cook, McQuoid, Hylton.
Second half: Walton (Gooch 60), O’Donnell, Musonda, Famewo, Kinsella, Banton, Smith, Rea, Bakinson, Marriott (Atkinson 75), Vassell.