Town put five past Yeovil to reach the semi-finals
LUTON TOWN 5
COOK 11, VASSELL 60, 90+3, SHEEHAN 50, HYLTON 66
YEOVIL TOWN 2
ZOKO 58, SOWUNMI 65
A superb performance from Isaac Vassell helped put the Hatters within a win of a trip to Wembley as Nathan Jones’ side put five past the visiting Yeovil Town at Kenilworth Road tonight.
Jordan Cook opened the scoring with a drilled effort within the opening 15 minutes, before Alan Sheehan’s third goal from a free-kick this season doubled the hosts’ lead just after break.
Francois Zoko halved the deficit with a finish from close range, which the Hatters responded to through Vassell who powered in the Hatters’ third on the night.
Substitute Omar Sowunmi headed home from a Ryan Dickson cross, before Hylton ended a goal scoring drought of nearly two months with a tap in, and finally Vassell rounded off the scoring with a deft clip of the ball at the near post.
The hosts started brightly, with Jonathan Smith having an effort well saved by Johnny Maddison after Hylton had played the striker in, but the Yeovil keeper got down well to block the effort after three minutes of play.
That was followed up seven minutes later by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s curling effort from 18 yards which was tipped away from the bottom right corner, as Town pushed to open the scoring.
Seemingly inevitably they managed to with 16 minutes gone, when Isaac Vassell’s drifted cross after a driving run down the right was intercepted, the ball fell to Cook nicely on the edge of the Glovers’ box, and the former Walsall forward made no mistake, smashing it into the bottom left corner of Maddison’s net.
That was Cook’s third of the season and his second in 2017, which came at a good time for the Hatters, who had been the better side in the opening exchanges and deserved something for their early dominance.
Matt Dolan came close to drawing the visitors level on the half hour mark, as his driven effort from 30 yards looked as if it might beat Matt Macey – who was making his debut in the Hatters net – but the 22-year-old on loan from Premier League side Arsenal did really well to tip the ball over for a corner.
Macey had to be on his toes almost immediately after, as he got finger tips on a Shayon Harrison drive from 30 yards, maintaining his side’s slender lead.
With six minutes left of the half, Jonathan Smith very nearly made it two for the hosts as his rocket of an effort from 20 yards cannoned off the upright and was cleared away by the visitors.
Five minutes after the restart, the Hatters got the goal they had desperately required to cement their lead in what turned out to be a frenzied second half, as Sheehan bent home a wonderful free-kick from 25 yards after Vassell had been brought down.
As the clock approached the hour mark, Yeovil got a goal back through Francois Zoko, as a long ball down field into the Hatters box wasn’t cleared, and the Glovers forward was able to poke home from close range.
Town replied just two minutes later, as Vassell burnt down the left on the counter after a quick throw by Jack Senior, cut in and closed in on goal, before dispatching the ball beyond Maddison and into the goal to make it 3-1.
With 25 minutes left of normal time to play, Darren Way’s team got a goal back as Sowunmi headed in from close range from Dickson’s left wing cross.
Town went straight down the other end from the restart and scored, as Vassell put the ball on a plate with a good ball from the right for Hylton, who tapped in for his 15th goal of the season and the Hatters’ fourth on the night.
The match settled down as Yeovil tried to bridge the gap by firing long balls in the direction of target man Sowunmi, but Sheehan, Johnny Mullins and Scott Cuthbert managed to get their head on a majority of the hopeful pumps forward.
With the result pretty much secured for Nathan Jones’ side, Vassell added a fifth as his smart flick on from Alan Sheehan’s left wing cross beat Maddison.
That goal was more than enough for the striker to earn the sponsors’ Man of the Match, as the 23-year-old and Hylton formed a strong partnership on the night.
The victory puts Jones’ team into the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy, where they now face Hylton and Mullins’ old side, Oxford United.
HATTERS: Macey, O’Donnell, Mullins, Senior, Rea, Mpanzu, Smith, Cook (Cuthbert 63), Vassell (Marriott 90), Hylton (Justin 90). Subs not used: King, Gray, Lee, Gambin.
Bookings: Rea 57, Senior 67
Yeovil Town: Maddison, Mugabi, Butcher, Smith Dickson (James 78), Whitfield (Goodship 81), Dawson, Dolan, Harrison, Eaves (Sowunmi 53), Zoko. Subs not used: Krysiak.
Bookings: Dawson 30, Sowunmi 86