Grant on target again as Luton ease past Magpies

Jorge Grant on the ball against his former side this afternoon
Jorge Grant on the ball against his former side this afternoon

Pre-season friendly: Luton Town 2 Notts County 0

Jorge Grant scored against his former club as Luton finished their home pre-season campaign with a comfortable victory over Notts County this afternoon.

The 23-year-old, who was a huge part of the visitors' rise to the play-offs last term, showed yet again just what an eye for goal he possesses, breaking the deadlock early in the second period, to set Town on their way.

The fixture, which would have been a League Two encounter last term, showed the different directions both sides have headed in, the visiting Magpies barely having a shot in anger, while Luton always looked a class above.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones selected on paper what could well be the side lining up at Fratton Park next weekend, James Justin getting the nod over Jack Stacey at right back, Alan Sheehan alongside Matty Pearson in defence and Harry Cornick partnering James Collins upfront, with Danny Hylton suspended on opening day.

The hosts played some lovely stuff at times in the first period, Sheehan finding Justin with pinpoint accuracy on more than one occasion, while Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu showed he had picked up where he has left off last season, displaying some lovely feints and driving runs.

At the point of the diamond, Elliot Lee was clever on the ball and on the left, Dan Potts already demonstrated signs of a good understanding developing with that man Grant.

The first real effort on 25 minutes saw Alan McCormack thunder over the top from distance, while another excellent move on the right saw Justin deliver low for Cornick, who in the centre of goal, opted to dummy the cross instead of take a shot on.

Luton went close again after winning the won the ball back high up, a feature of their play underJones last campaign, as Grant backheeled it for Cornick to have a go this time, scuffing tamely at the Ross Fitzsimons, Justin off target on the stroke of half time too.

Hatters were ahead after swiftly the break, as against his old club, Grant swivelled and from the edge of the box, fired low, beating former team-mate Fitzsimons, who did well to get hand to it, the ball cannoning off the post and over the line.

Sheehan blazed over after Town worked a clever corner routine, before County had a modicum of pressure, Dan Jones sending over a tantalising cross that Kane Hemmings glanced wide.

Luton then stepped it up once more, Grant winning a corner on 63 minutes after trying to walk his effort into the net, but from the set-piece, it was 2-0.

Matty Pearson met Sheehan's deadball, Fitzsimons repelling his effort, only for Lee to bundle over the line from close range.

Nathan Thomas shot off target as County looked for a way back, while Sheehan's free kick was palmed away by Fitzsimons, as they couldn't put even more of a gloss on the scoreline.

Hatters: Marek Stech, James Justin, Dan Potts, Alan Sheehan, Matty Pearson, Alan McCormack, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jorge Grant (Andrew Shinnie 86), Elliot Lee, James Collins (Danny Hylton 86), Harry Cornick (Jake Jervis 86).

Mapies: Ross Fitzsimons, Matt Tootle, Dan Jones, Richard Duffy (C), Shaun Brisley, Enzio Boldewijn, Nathan Thomas, Elliot Hewitt, David Vaughan, Lewis Alessandra, Kane Hemmings (Will Patching 78).

Referee: Dean Whitestone.

Attendance: 2,301 (83 County).