Marriott, Banton and Smith on target in Town win
LUTON TOWN RESERVES 4
DERBY COUNTY RESERVES 1
A strong Hatters reserve side beat Championship side Derby County 4-1 at Kenilworth Road this afternoon as first-team coach Joaquin Gomez oversaw a useful work-out against his former club (click here to watch Joaquin Gomez's post-match interview here).
Jack Marriott and his trialist strike partner scored either side of an equaliser by the Rams’ Emil Riis Jakobsen in the first half, before substitute Zane Banton and captain Jonathan Smith added to the scoreline after the break.
Jakobsen had an early effort fly narrowly wide for the visitors, but the Hatters were playing some neat football through midfield and at the end of one fine passing move, Marriott fired a right-footed shot inches wide.
Derby keeper Henrich Ravas flew across his goalline in the 19th minute to push Smith’s shot away, after good work down the right by Stephen O’Donnell, then – again down the right – Jake Gray crossed low for Marriott on 26 minutes, but his near post flick was just too high.
Within seconds, however, the same pair combined to give the Town the lead, Gray picking up possession midway inside the Derby half and feeding Marriott, who hammered the ball past Ravas for 1-0.
The Rams were level on 34 minutes when Jakobsen rifled a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner, but Marriott teed up the Town’s trialist striker to restore the advantage with a bullet header four minutes before half-time.
Marriott might have extended the lead ten minutes into the second half when Gray once again played him in to the right side of the area with a fine throughball, but this time the Town striker dragged his 15-yard shot wide.
The Hatters’ trialist striker was enjoying his afternoon at the Kenny and he stung Ravas’ palms just after the hour, before Tyreeq Bakinson did likewise in the 74th minute after being teed up by Banton, who had come on for Marriott three minutes earlier.
The man who has been on loan at St Albans grabbed the third goal in the 77th minute after fellow substitute Arthur Read split the Derby defence with a superb pass for O’Donnell, who crossed low for Banton to tap-in from close range.
Then, on 84 minutes, O’Donnell was again raiding down the right, this time trading passes with another sub, Kavan Cotter, before crossing for Smith to sidefoot home from ten yards out.
Banton might have added a fifth in the last minute after tricking his way past a couple of defenders to the left of the penalty area, but all in all, a thoroughly impressive afternoon for the Hatters was already complete.
TOWN: Trialist, O’Donnell, Mullins (Mead 63), Famewo, Senior, Smith, Bakinson, Gray (Read 63), Gambin (Cotter 84), Marriott (Banton 71), Trialist.