Berry scores the perfect hat-trick as Hatters hit seven!

League Two: Luton Town 7 Stevenage 1

Saturday, 14th October 2017, 7:22 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:45 pm
Luke Berry heads home the first goal this afternoon
Luke Berry heads home the first goal this afternoon

Luke Berry scored the perfect hat-trick as the Hatters produced an absolutely breathtaking display of relentless attacking football to completely and utterly destroy bogey side Stevenage this afternoon.

It's crazy to think that the Town had issues against their near neighbours over recent seasons, Luton going into this contest having not won any of their recent four meetings with Boro, with three defeats on the spin.

However, there was absolutely no chance of that happening this time around, as the Hatters just ran riot, putting down yet another marker in the promotion race, making it three wins in a row for the second time already this season.

Boss Nathan Jones made two changes to the side who won 2-0 at Accrington, with James Justin in for the suspended Dan Potts, while Johnny Mullins replaced Alan Sheehan, whose girlfriend had gone into labour.

The visitors, containing four ex-Hatters in Jonathan Smith, Luke Wilkinson, Ronnie and Fraser Franks, actually threatened first, Matt Godden lashing over from an acute angle, in what turned into a breathless opening.

First, Luton led with their first attack on three minutes. Jack Stacey escaping on the right and his cross was headed into the bottom corner by Berry for his first goal for the club, with question marks surely over keeper Joe Fryer who looked slow to react.

Boro then really should have levelled. Joe Martin swinging over a superb delivery from the left flank and Danny Newton rising highest to direct his close range header wide with Marek Stech beaten.

The visitors were left to rue such a miss just moments later, with a header forward by Scott Cuthbert woefully missed by the home defence, picked up by Hylton who had beaten the offside trap.

He still had work to do, but he did it with the air of confidence from a man who had scored four in his last four, cutting in on his left foot and rifling beyond a motionless Fryer.

Stevenage pressed for a response though, Tom Pett hammering over the top, but Luton were at their clinical best once more on 21 minutes.

Harry Cornick picked the ball up from a Justin clearing header just outside the area and set off, evading the crude challenge from Dale Gorman.

He managed to pick out the onrushing Lee, who was just about stopped, but Berry was in support to find the bottom corner with his left foot.

The visitors definitely weren't without their opportunities though, as Newton wasted another decent chance, while Hylton went for a second, stinging the palms of Fryer from 20 yards.

Hatters almost had a fourth on 35 minutes too, Justin dinking over a lovely cross from the left and Lee's downward header drawing a fantastic save from Fryer.

James Collins's snapshot flew off target, while Lee then should have made it 4-0, slaloming his way into the area but lifting his drive into the crowd.

However, Boro had a way back into the game on the stroke of half time as Ben Kennedy went past a weak challenge from Mullins and slid the ball under Stech to make it 3-1.

Tom Pett fired over the top at the start of the second period, but there was no signs of nerves from Luton, who set about getting the fourth that would surely put the game out of side.

They didn't have to wait long as well, Wilkinson crazily barging over Collins who was running away from goal for a penalty, Hatters' third in three games.

Hylton took the honours again, and showcased his full variety from the spot, this time sidefooting to Fryer's left for his fifth goal in four games and seventh of the campaign.

There was no stopping the Hatters now, as they were in full flow, with Berry picking off Smith's pass in midfield, finding Collins and then taking the return pass to bending a truly magnificent strike around Fryer and complete the perfect hat-trick.

Sub Kyle Wootton blasted wide as Stevenage tried for some damage limitation, with Smith sending a 30-yarder off target too, with Kennedy's curler not missing by much either.

However, Town were always on top, with the hosts bringing on Luke Gambin, Elliot Lee and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu as they went hunting more goals.

They were quicker to the ball, crafting some magnificent attacks which were lapped up by an appreciative home crowd who were hanging on Luton's move.

Just when Boro though the misery was over, Town showed the full range of their firepower, as Elliot Lee twinkled his toes and found Justin, who took a touch and fired beyond an increasingly hapless Fryer.

Still that wasn't it though, with the keeper saving from Collins, the striker also denied a goal by Henry's wonderful block on the line.

Luton weren't finished though. Not at all. This time Elliot Lee went for goal himself, and although the post saved Boro, no-one was picking up Gambin, who slid his shot into the net as Town finally declared on seven, with Boro slinking off to lick their wounds.

Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, James Justin, Scott Cuthbert (C), Johnny Mullins, Glen Rea (Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu 65), Olly Lee, Luke Berry, Harry Cornick (Luke Gambin 75), Danny Hylton (Elliot Lee 82), James Collins.

Subs not used: James Shea, Akin Famewo, Jordan Cook, Lawson D'Ath.

Boro: Joe Fryer, Jonathan Smith, Joe Martin, Fraser Franks, Luke Wilkinson, Ben Kennedy, Tom Pett, Dale Gorman (Mark McKee 63), Danny Newton (Kyle Wootton 63), Matt Godden (Alex Samuel 85), Ronnie Henry (C).

Subs not used: Chris Whelpdale, Chris Day, Terence Vancooten, Kevin Toner.

Booked: Smith 11, Gorman 22.

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 9,208 (595 Boro).

Hatters MOM: Luke Berry, the perfect treble.