Hylton bags a treble as Hatters hit six at Saints

Danny Hylton glances home his second of the afternoon
Danny Hylton glances home his second of the afternoon

Pre-season friendly: St Albans 3 Luton Town 6

Striker Danny Hylton notched a hat-trick as the Hatters ran out 6-3 winners in a thoroughly entertaining clash at National South side St Albans this afternoon.

Town, who started with the same side that finished the 5-1 win over Chesham on Wednesday evening where they scored four in the final 20 minutes, began where they left off, taking the lead after just five minutes thanks to a wonderfully cheeky effort from Hylton.

Home keeper Dean Snedker went to throw out underarm, only to get it all wrong and send it up in the air, as the striker met it on the volley from 25 yards, dinking over the red-faced stopper and into the back of the net.

Luton kept at it, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu cleverly swivelling, only to put his effort too close to Snedker, as did Hylton after excellent play from Harry Cornick on the right.

Andrew Shinnie should have doubled the lead, sending a tame attempt at the over-worked Snedker, but it was 2-0 on 16 minutes when James Justin lofted a ball over the defence for Jorge Grant, who cleverly chipped Snedker to continue his prolific pre-season spell.

Hylton nodded wide from a corner, as Saints barely threatened, Solomon Sambou rashly blazing over from outside the box.

Town's leading scorer from the last two seasons missed another decent chance, finding Snedker's midriff, as Saints pulled one back on 28 minutes when the visitors defence was caught out and Ralston Gabriel slotted past Marek Stech.

Dan Potts almost carried on his goalscoring exploits from last season, meeting Grant's cormer but narrowly missing the target.

However, Town did have the third their dominance deserved just before half time, as Sheehan's inswinging free kick was glanced into the net by Hylton for his second of the afternoon.

The striker then had his treble on the stroke of half time, following up after Cornick's tremendous curler hit the underside of the bar.

In the second period, Hatters changed their entire outfield 10 on the hour mark, bringing on the same team who began at Chesham on Wednesday, with Stech the only one staying put.

The newlook visitors quickly followed their team-mates' lead as Arthur Read collected a loose ball in the area and showed great feet before cracking a lovely effort past Snedker.

Jake Jervis thought he had a sixth when directing his header back into the net, but the goal was disallowed for a push.

A miscommunication at the back between Lloyd Jones and Stech saw Saints make it 5-2, as the defender tried to shepherd a long ball through to Stech, but David Moyo nipped in to divert home.

Read cut in from the right and sent over a cross-shot that beat Snedker but not the bar, cannoning away to safety.

Luton did score once more when James Collins turned home from close range after Sonny Bradley met Luke Gambin's corner.

Collins sliced wide after racing through, as did Elliot Lee, while Saints grabbed another consolation late on, with the offside flag staying down, Moyo raced clear to round Stech and find the empty net.

Saints: Dean Snedker, Ben Herd, Tom Bender, Tarik Moore-Azille, Dave Didehiou, Solomon Sambou, Khale Da Costa, Percy Kiangebeni, Sam Merson, Ralston Gabriel, Zane Banton.

Subs: David Moyo, Luke Tingey, Roman Michael-Percil, Harold Joseph.

Hatters: Marek Stech, James Justin, Dan Potts, Alan Sheehan, Matty Pearson, Glen Rea, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jorge Grant, Andrew Shinnie, Danny Hylton, Harry Cornick.

Hatters after 60mins: James Shea, Jack Stacey, Jack Senior, Sonny Bradley, Lloyd Jones, Alan McCormack (C), Arthur Read, Luke Gambin, Elliot Lee, James Collins, Jake Jervis.