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Report | Hitchin Town 0-3 Luton Town

1 July 2022

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The Hatters opened up their pre-season programme with a 3-0 victory at Southern League neighbours Hitchin Town in front of a bumper crowd of 2,213.

Manager Nathan Jones used 22 players, including three of the four new signings with Alfie Doughty, Matt Macey and Cauley Woodrow, who was on target within eight minutes of his return in a Luton shirt after 11 years away.

Dan Potts and Cameron Jerome had already given Town a 2-0 half-time before the whole team was changed at the break.

First Half XI: Isted, Fernandes, Osho, Potts, Thorpe, Lansbury, Clark, Mendes Gomes, Doughty, Jerome, Muskwe.

Elliot Thorpe and Henri Lansbury called Hitchin keeper Charlie Horlock into action with early shots on target, then Alfie Doughty crossed dangerously from the right, but Dan Potts couldn’t make contact at the far post.

The Hatters didn’t have it all their own way though, and Hitchin went close on 17 minutes when former Hatters youngster Rio Dasilva, famously sold to Chelsea as a 13-year-old, latched onto a ball over the top but couldn’t keep his shot down.

Midfielder Josh Popoola then forced Harry Isted into a smart save at his near post, seconds before Potts opened the scoring on 26 minutes, rifling home a 25-yard left footer that gave Horlock no chance after good work on the right from Cameron Jerome.

The second goal came in the 39th minute courtesy of Jerome, who tapped in from close range after Carlos Mendes Gomes – who had blazed over when well placed just moments earlier – steered Thorpe’s cut-back towards goal.

Second Half XI: Macey, Burke, Lockyer, Williams, Bree, Pereira, Pettit, Onyedinma, Woodrow, Adebayo, Cornick.

The complete change of team almost brought a third goal within 90 seconds of the restart, Fred Onyedinma racing onto Tom Lockyer’s long ball over the top but slashing his shot just wide of the post.

The third goal did arrive in the 53rd minute when Cauley Woodrow placed an 18-yard shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box after Elijah Adebayo had struck a post.

James Bree almost added a fourth with a delicate curling effort with 15 minutes to go, after a lovely exchange of passes between Onyedinma and Woodrow, then former Hatters scholar Ben Stevens shot just over for the Canaries.

Bree was brought down in the box by Toby Syme on 81 minutes, but Woodrow saw his penalty saved by another ex-Town youngster, Tiernan Parker, with the striker putting the rebound over the bar.

Adebayo lobbed over soon after, then Parker safely colleted a header and saved a shot from last season's top scorer with his feet, with the Hatters comfortable winners as they fly off to Slovenia for their training camp tomorrow with a first win under their belts.

 

Goals: Potts 26, Jerome 39, Woodrow 47


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