Hatters boss delighted as Luton race out of the blocks

All smiles: Luke Gambin celebrates his first Luton goal
All smiles: Luke Gambin celebrates his first Luton goal

Hatters boss Nathan Jones expressed his delight after finally watching his side explode out of the blocks against Hartlepool last night.

Luton have struggled to break teams down at Kenilworth Road this term, but there were no such worries of a repeat performance once Danny Hylton took Luke Gambin’s delightful pass in his stride to break the deadlock on just five minutes.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds the home support

Hatters boss Nathan Jones applauds the home support

Gambin himself then added the second just seven minutes later, firing into the bottom corner to give Pools a mountain to climb, as Luton led by two goals at the break for the first time in the league this season.

Jones said: “I thought we won it in the first 20-25 minutes. The start we had was fantastic, we really played on the front foot and that’s what got us the win.

“We played in their half, we got it into our front ones who can cause problems given that kind of space.

“It was a great ball (from Gambin) and stuff we work on, the movement of the front three, and then a great finish from Danny.

We played in their half, we got it into our front ones who can cause problems given that kind of space.

Nathan Jones

“Second one, we went into the front men a little bit more direct, Luke was backing up play, and a great finish.

“I’m delighted, 3-0 didn’t flatter us and any win at home is really important now.

“This is the game normally that we didn’t take advantage of, but we’ve put that to bed. It’s another mini milestone for us, so we’re happy tonight.”

Once Gambin had notched Town’s second, most fans were expecting Hatters to go on and really put their opponents to the sword, but it never materialised.

The home support had to wait well over an hour to celebrate another goal, substitute Ollie Palmer on target, as Jones admitted his side rather went through the motions at times.

He continued: “We took our foot off the pedal a little and we veered slightly from the gameplan.

“Second half was a little bit of a non event until we bought Ollie Palmer on, and then we finished very, very strongly.

“I wanted us to keep going (after the second goal) as they were on the ropes a little bit. We needed a little bit more of a killer instinct about us a bit more of a ruthless streak and I would have liked it to be over by half time.

“But I can’t be that arrogant, or that presumptuous really, as they’re not a bad side.

“I’m glad we got the job done as second half we didn’t really get hold of the game, didn’t really play very well, but apart from a few set-plays, we never looked like conceding.

“A third goal would have killed the game, it’s very optimistic to come back from 3-0 and that’s what we didn’t do, as we started to overplay a little bit.

“But we’ve won the game 3-0, we would have loved it to be over a bit sooner, but you don’t win football games easily, especially not in this league.”

Goalscorer Gambin revealed a big part of Town’s preparation had been to put the struggling visitors under pressure from the kick-off too, although admitted once 2-0 ahead, Luton did lose their way slightly.

He said: “We’ve put a lot of focus on starting right and we went at it, got the two early goals and after that, they sat off and the game lost tempo.

“They were a bit disheartened but we kind of let them get back into it because we were comfortable. They never looked like a massive threat, maybe from a set-piece, but they were never going to break us down.

“We just took our foot off the gas as we knew we had the two goals, but the whole squad, everyone did a job, we’re a real tight group and we can take the momentum on to Saturday’s game.”

Meanwhile, centurion Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu added: “We got two quick goals and we’ve been trying to get quick goals all season, so it’s good to get two in 15 minutes. It wasn’t a great game but sometimes you’ve got to win ugly and the end result was three points.

“Two-nil is a bit of an awkward scoreline. If they nick one it’s 2-1 but if we get another one then it’s game over and we’re coasting.

“Obviously, we held on, got a clean sheet and that’s what we wanted.”