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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT & GALLERY: LUTON TOWN 3-1 NEWPORT COUNTY

An Alan Sheehan free-kick and a Danny Hylton brace secure the points for the Town

30 September 2017

The Hatters made it four wins from their last five Sky Bet League Two fixtures as they put Newport County AFC to the sword at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.

Alan Sheehan's free-kick evaded everyone and found the back of the net 12 minutes in, before Danny Hylton netted a brace before half-time with a well-executed back heel from close range and a Panenka chip penalty after Glen Rea had been brought down in the Newport 18-yard box.

The visitors got their consolation goal 10 minutes after the restart, but even with a strong spell in the second 45 minutes, they were unable to drag the game back into contention.

Jack Stacey's surging runs down the right have been a prominent part of the Hatters' attacking threat so far this season and it was no different today as his teasing cross four minutes in was met by Danny Hylton, but the striker's effort flew well over Joe Day's goal.

The former Oxford United man very nearly turned provider in the seventh minute as his left wing cross forced Day off his line to punch clear – had the keeper not got there James Collins would have had the simple job of heading into an empty net.

Town took the lead just five minutes later as the visitors' captain Joss Labadie brought down Glen Rea 35 yards from the Exiles' goal. Alan Sheehan took the resulting free-kick and his decent delivery drifted over the heads of everyone and into the bottom left corner.

It could have been 2-0 on the 16-minute mark when Hylton won possession in midfield – he sent a perfectly weighted ball down the right for Cornick with Collins making an excellent run into the middle of the box, but the ex-Bournemouth man's cross was collected comfortably by Day.

The Hatters were pouring forward and only a minute later Olly Lee's great pass to Cornick saw the 22-year-old fire an effort across the face of goal looking for the bottom left corner, but Day palmed it away.

Nathan Jones' side finally doubled their lead in the 22nd minute, when James Collins' low cross from the right was expertly tucked away by Hylton from close range, as he let the ball run through his legs and back heeled it with his right boot into the bottom left corner.

The visitors should have halved the deficit three minutes later, when Robbie Willmott's cross from a free-kick on the left – after Scott Cuthbert was adjudged to have fouled Frank Nouble – missed everyone, with Joss Labadie guilty of missing a tap in at the back stick with the goal gaping.

Town's relentless effort began to cool as the match started to settle, but they found themselves with the opportunity to add to their lead when Glen Rea was brought down as he tried to meet Alan Sheehan's cross from a corner. Hylton was given the chance to double his tally – and his Panenka chip just off centre to the left found the back of the net after Day had already committed to diving the other way.

That reignited the Hatters as they went in search of a fourth, with Jack Stacey hitting the base of the post two minutes before the break, before Hylton nearly completed his hat-trick with an audacious long-range effort, curling the ball just over the Newport crossbar from 35 yards two minutes into added time.

Jones' side kept up their efforts as soon as the whistle was blown for the restart, as Collins teed up Cornick but shanked it wide to the left.

Labadie got his side back in the game with 55 minutes on the clock as the Town failed to clear a cross into the box – the midfielder hammering it through Marek Stech's legs from close range to make it 3-1.

Newport pressed for a second, but in their efforts to do so left themselves short at the back which the Town should have punished them for on the hour mark, as Cornick did well to turn in midfield with David Pipe breathing down his neck. He powered on with Hylton and Collins providing options on the right, but he elected to tee up Gambin, who cut in onto his right, but his strike was blocked.

Mike Flynn's side took a grip of the game for a 15-minute spell and the Hatters rarely left their own third as the Exiles pummelled the Town box with crosses and long balls, but Stech and his defence stood strong.

With 20 minutes to go, Cornick should have added a goal to his strong performance, as Collins played him down the left. He cut in, but blazed his effort over with the ex-Crawley Town man screaming for the ball on the edge of the area.

He was then unfortunate not see his 83rd minute effort find the bottom left corner, as Lee's excellent pass picked out Jordan Cook, who played it back for Cornick, but he fell as he went to hit it and the ball rolled narrowly wide.

The result sees the Hatters remain in fifth on 21 points, having now picked up five wins from six in League Two at Kenilworth Road so far this season.

LINE-UPS:

TOWN: STECH, STACEY, CUTHBERT ©, SHEEHAN, POTTS, REA, LEE, GAMBIN (COOK 71), CORNICK (JUSTIN 85), HYLTON, COLLINS

SUBS: MULLINS, JARVIS, SHEA (GK), LEE, FAMEWO

YELLOWS: COLLINS, POTTS

NEWPORT: DAY, PIPE, LABADIE © (MCCOULSKY 78), WHITE, WILLMOTT (REYNOLDS 72), AMOND (QUIGLEY 76), NOUBLE, TOZER, O'BRIEN, RIGG, DEMETRIOU

SUBS: BITTNER, BUTLER, DOLAN, BENNETT

YELLOWS: WHITE, O'BRIEN

ATTENDANCE: 7,681
AWAY 296


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