Hylton determined to keep his Championship dream alive with Luton

Striker Danny Hylton on his maiden Championship appearance
Striker Danny Hylton on his maiden Championship appearance

Experienced striker had always wanted to play in the second tier of English football

Hatters striker Danny Hylton is determined to keep alive his dream of being a Championship footballer this season.

The 30-year-old made his first ever appearance in the second tier of English football during Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

In coming off the bench it meant that Hylton, who made his professional debut for Aldershot back in 2006, has now played in the Conference, plus League One and League Two.

However, it's the Championship he had always set his sights on featuring in one day, saying: "I just love football. It’s going to sound so weird, but I love football, I love the Premier League, I love watching Match of the Day, but I loved watching the Championship.

“There’s some big, big teams in the Championship and it is a fantastic league, some great players, some great teams.

“When I was a kid, I never thought I’d play there, I never thought I’d get to that level, but then being in the game, it’s a league I always thought, I’m going to get there.

“I've always believed I can and when I've been out injured, it's been horrible as I've had to sit and watch and wait.

"You just think 'I can't wait to get back out there', and it’s finally come, it was great, a moment I've been waiting for for ages

“Now I can say I've played there, but I'm not going to stop there.

"I'm hungry, I want to get into the starting 11, I want to keep going, keep playing and keep this team in this division.

"It was nice personally to do that, but like I keep saying, the main thing is we start picking points because we want to stay in this league and we believe we can.”

Hylton, who had been out since March 2019 after having two knee operations got his moment midway through the second half, replacing Harry Cornick.

He thanked the Town fans for helping it happen too, saying: “It was fantastic, I heard the song a few times in the first half and when my name got mentioned there were some nice cheers.

"Then get to about the 60 minutes mark, it was nice, you could hear them singing my song and it probably got me on a little bit earlier than I was going to come on.

"It was lovely to hear and I love playing at Kenilworth Road, I've missed it so much, especially under the lights, it’s fantastic.

"My wife was here and my little boy was here, they said it was nice as well.

"It was an amazing feeling and I’m just glad that first game back we managed to get the win.”

Speaking about his striker's first outing in 11 months, boss Graeme Jones said: "Harry was exceptional before that, so we have to remember his 65, 70 minutes, but Danny played his part, that’s all you want.

"I spoke about contribution on the first game of the season.

"All I’m interested is people contributing to this football club, and I will never, ever put you outside of the circle, never, you’ll do it, the minute you stop contributing.

"Danny came on and contributed, he’s played 20, 25 minutes in 10 months, but when he was ready, he came on and gave us a level, that’s all we want from anybody.

"If we get that from all the small areas, then we’ll be all right."

Town got the three points they deserved on the night thanks to an excellent first half display, in which they created numerous chances, only taking one, James Collins atoning for his early penalty miss by slotting home Cornick's pass from close range.

They were put under pressure at times during the second period, but held on to keep a first clean sheet since October.

Hylton added: "It's a big boost, the gaffer says there have been some good performances, we’ve just not been getting probably what we deserve sometimes and been getting punished.

"It was nice to put in a good performance and we got the reward that we deserved.

“It was great character, the situation we’re in, Collo misses a penalty, it happens sometimes, and then Izzy (Brown) missed a great chance, but the lads were brilliant first half.

"We could have been two or three nil up, as I thought we were completely dominating the game.

"It was great that the goal did come, we needed it and we need to start getting in front in games and keeping a lead.

"Second half I thought they (the Owls) were a little bit better, but I still thought we were quite comfortable and the lads were fantastic, a few lads especially.

"They dug in, it was a big shift for the lads, a top drawer performance I thought.”