Collins thrilled to bag a first League One treble since 2013

James Collins celebrates his hat-trick against Plymouth
James Collins celebrates his hat-trick against Plymouth

Striker James Collins was overjoyed to net his first League One hat-trick in over five years for the Hatters at the weekend.

The 27-year-old notched Luton’s first, fourth and fifth goals during a 5-1 thrashing of Plymouth Argyle, his second trio for Town after bagging one on debut back in August 2017.

Any goal I’m delighted to score, but to get three in one game doesn’t come around very often, so I’ll make the most if it.

James Collins

Collins had previously managed to score a treble at this level when at Swindon in January 2013, during a 5-0 win over Portsmouth, going on to net four in 22 minutes that day, as speaking about the fourth of his career, he said: “I remember that one well, it was New Year’s Day for Swindon, a long time ago that to be fair, but I’m delighted.

“Any goal I’m delighted to score, but to get three in one game doesn’t come around very often, so I’ll make the most if it.

“It was one of those games from start to finish, just pretty much everything went our way.

“We passed the ball well, we closed them down well, we created chances, I think it was just one of those days where everything went for us, but we deserved that as we produced that performance.”

Collins’ first came when he peeled away from his markers to find the bottom corner on his left foot from James Justin’s cross.

He continued: “He (Justin) was unbelievable, he showed great quality.

“He’s such an athlete and I knew he’d seen me for the cut back and he put it on plate for me.”

Justin was then heavily involved with Collins’ second, as the full back was fouled in the area and after referee Darren England originally played the advantage for a chance the striker had blocked, he pulled it back for the spotkick.

Collins said: “I didn’t really see the penalty as I was too busy trying to put the cut back in the net.

“When I’ve missed it, I’ve seen the ref point to the spot and JJ on the floor in a heap, so he said he’s going to claim that assist as well.

“Hylts (Danny Hylton) takes them when he plays, because he’s brilliant at them as well and when he doesn’t play, I tend to get the responsibility.

“I practiced them yesterday, decided where I was going, and I went the same way, picked my spot and was delighted to see it go in.

“I said to him (referee) at half time, a great call, but then he didn’t give a stonewaller in the second half.

“Things even themselves out though, so I can’t complain too much.”

Collins then had to wait until 13 minutes from the end for the hat-trick, as found by Elliot Lee’s wonderful dink over the top, he produced a sumptuous outside of the boot finish past Matt Macey.

He added: “I sort of knew I’d be onside and I knew if I hold my run long enough, Elliot would pick me out.

“I’ve seen him give me the eye contact, he’s put it on a plate for me, and I just thought ‘get it under, hit it early’.

“It’s just one of those days where it all went in.”