Collins bags three as Hatters hammer EIGHT on the opening day
League Two: Luton Town 8 Yeovil Town 2
Wow. Simply wow.
As far as opening day markers go, Luton Town have put their flag well and truly in the sand with a jaw-dropping 8-2 victory over Yeovil Town this afternoon.
The result is believed to be the Hatters biggest victory in their first match of the season, while they are the first team net eight on the opening day since Wolves annihilated Manchester City way back in 1962, some 55 years ago.
Striker James Collins will no doubt take the headlines with his debut treble, as he has in this piece, but the performance was all about Town's wonderful all-round play, typified by the likes of Andrew Shinnie and Alan McCormack, while Isaac Vassell was, as boss Nathan Jones has often described him, a pure animal at times.
Luton's chief handed four other players their first starts alongside Collins, and the hosts simply shot out of the blocks.
They should have been ahead inside 30 seconds, when a long ball over the top by Alan Sheehan fell at the feet of Collins, but with just Artur Krysiak to beat, he could only shoot tamely at the keeper.
Krysiak was called into action moments later, diving at the feet of Mpanzu, with referee Gavin Ward adjudging it was done legally, and Collins' follow up cleared off the line.
Despite Luton's bright start, it was the visitors who took the lead with their first attempt on target, Otis Khan curling a wonderful free kick around the wall and beyond the grasp of Marek Stech.
In previous years, heads may have dropped, but under Jones, falling behind has never affected them too much, and Town tried to hit back instantly, Shinnie shooting at Krysiak.
Crucially, parity was restored within five minutes though, courtesy of a wonderful team goal.
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu took possession deep in his own half and sent a glorious ball forward for Vassell who outpaced Nathan Smith before picking out the run of Olly Lee, to nestle a controlled side-foot volley into the bottom corner.
Buoyed by the leveller, Collins glanced a header at Krysiak, although Khan proved the Glovers' main outlet, forcing Stech into a decent low stop.
However, Luton had turned it around in the 20th minute as Collins showed just why the Town were so intent on signing him.
Slipped through by Shinnie, he still had plenty of work to do, but did it superbly, racing away and under pressure from Smith, coolly dinked over the advancing Krysiak.
Things then got even with an absolute stonker for Town's third. A corner was cleared as far as McCormack 25 yards from goal, he let it bounce and then sent it back from where it came, thundering an absolutely sizzling volley past a motionless Krysiak.
The game then just went a little bit crazy after that - as Luton powered forward with a clinical accuracy not seen in these parts during recent times.
Isaac Vassell was the main beneficiary, as first he shrugged off not one but two defenders to burst clear down the middle on 36 minutes and beat Krysiak.
Just 60 seconds later, he was wheeling away in celebration once more, collecting Collins' cross on his left foot to bring it down and then shoot beyond the hapless keeper.
Luton could even avoid conceding from 12 yards too as McCormack was penalised in the area and Khan stepped up only to see Stech repel his effort.
Town might have had a sixth in the opening half, Lee's drive from outside the area cannoning off the post..
After the break, Hatters appeared to be suffering a bit of a lull, unsurprising from their opening exploits, and it needed a truly magnificent, bordering on world class save, from Stech to deny Glovers a second as he stuck out a right hand to not just stop Zoko's close range volley, but somehow claw it away from goal.
Hatters showed that despite dropping down the gears, they were still far too good for their opponents, as Lee won the ball back high up the pitch, with Shinnie slipping in Collins who unerringly dispatched his shot beyond Krysiak just prior to the hour mark.
The striker then marked his debut with his hat-trick as he took aim from 20 yards on 66 minutes and his low effort found the bottom corner beyond the despairing dive of now truly miserable Krysiak.
Town then switched off defensively for a moment and Yeovil finally had something to smile about, with Ryan Dickons's cross met at the back post by Zoko to finally beat Stech.
The Czech Republic keeper gave Town[s players and fans a real heart their mouth moment when he took a nasty whack to head while coming for a cross, needing well over five minutes of treatment.
With Alan Sheehan ready to take the gloves, the summer addition got up to finish the game, tipping over ex-Hatter Jake Gray's late effort and showing he had lost none of his bravery, racing off his line to punch clear once more.
The gloss, if it was needed, was then put on the scoreline, as Elliot Lee came off the bench, as Town fielded their first set of brothers in a competitive match since 1988, and got on the end of Olly's cross to head home his first goal since returning to the club too.
If this is the standard set by Luton now, then we could well be in for some real fun this season.
Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, Dan Potts, Scott Cuthbert ©, Alan Sheehan, Alan McCormack (Glen Rea 64), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Olly Lee, Andrew Shinnie (Johnny Mullins 75), James Collins (Elliot Lee 69), Isaac Vassell.
Subs not used: Jordan Cook, Jack Senior, James Shea, Luke Gambin.
Glovers: Artur Krysiak, Daniel Alfei, Nathan Smith, Keston Davies (Omar Sowunmi 46), Otis Khan, Connor Smith (Alefe Santos 64) Jake Gray, Ryan Dickson, Francois Zoko (Someone), James Bailey ©, Olufela Olomola (Sam Surridge 71).
Subs not used: Rhys Browne, Jonny Maddison, Tom James.
Booked: Connor Smith 31, McCormack 41, Mpanzu 60, Olomola 61, Rea 90, Alfei 90.
Referee: Gavin Ward.
Attendance: 8,101 (258 Yeovil).
Hatters MOM: James Collins. Wonderful debut.