Town go back to the top by beating Cumbrians

Dan Potts celebrates making it 2-0 to Luton
Dan Potts celebrates making it 2-0 to Luton

League Two: Luton Town 3 Carlisle United 0

Luton Town returned to the top of the table with a professional 3-0 victory over Carlisle United this evening.

Although the encounter may have at times lacked some of the pizzazz that was on show during Hatters' goal-laden win from the weekend, the end result was exactly the same, with Nathan Jones's side picking up another precious three points towards their goal of automatic promotion.

They moved to the summit too, on goal difference, Notts County held 1-1 at Yeovil Town, with the gap to fourth placed Exeter now five points too.

The Luton chief made two enforced chances with skipper Scott Cuthbert injured and Olly Lee suspended, meaning Johnny Mullins and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu returned.

There was a slight sense of after the Lord Mayor's show in the early stages, as the visitors, themselves on a seven game unbeaten run, showed first, Hallam Hope's header too close to Marek Stech, Shaun Miller's effort deflecting narrowly over and Hope not too far away from 20 yards.

However, Town took the lead on 19 minutes with their first real attack as Elliot Lee's ball was cleverly left by Mpanzu, rolling perfectly into the path of Shinnie, whose finish was exquisite, curling beyond Jack Bonham and into the corner.

It took the Hatters just a further 10 minutes to extend their advantage too, Sheehan's wonderful free kick met by Dan Potts with a full length diving header for his fifth of an increasingly prolific season.

Now into their stride, Luton looked for a third, Lee trying to replicate his shot from the weekend, firing well over the top.

In the second period, Hope curled off target, while Luton had to do plenty of defending their box at times, which they did, ensuring Stech had very little serious work.

Danny Grainger blasted a free kick into the wall, while he had a better attempt midway through, a long range effort, straight at Stech, before Jones brought on Harry Cornick which proved a masterstroke.

The attacker suddenly gave Carlisle's back-line something to think about, harrying the defenders and running the channels, with Luton now possessing an out ball .

It took just four minutes to pay off too, Cornick breaking the offside trap to run half the length of the pitch and use Danny Hylton as a decoy before slipping the ball into the corner.

Luton could even afford the luxury of missing a penalty as well, given when Hylton was sent tumbling in the area by Clint Hill, the striker's tame effort easily repelled by Bonham.

The only worrying sign for Town was Mullins having to hobble off in the closing stages, but Hatters kept their opponents at arms length and can reflect on a perfect week so far, scoring 10 goals, picking up six points and keeping two clean sheets too.

Roll on Crewe!

Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, Dan Potts, Johnny Mullins (Lawson D'Ath 82), Alan Sheehan (C), Glen Rea, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Berry, Andrew Shinnie (Akin Famewo 88), Elliot Lee (Harry Cornick 72), Danny Hylton.

Subs not used: James Shea, Luke Gambin, Lawson D'Ath, Jordan Cook.

Cumbrians: Jack Bonham, Tom Miller, Danny Grainger (C), Luke Joyce (Sam Cosgrove 85), Gary Liddle, Tom Parkes (Kelvin Etuhu 46), Mike Jones (Richie Bennett 74), Hallam Hope, Reggie Lambe, Shaun Miller, Clint Hill.

Subs not used: Jamie Devitt, James Brown, John O'Sullivan, Shamal George.

Booked: Sheehan 44, Hope 44, Joyce 50, Mpanzu 70, Grainger 90.

Referee: Chris Sarginson.

Attendance: 7,644 (215 Carlisle).

Star Hatter: Glen Rea - excellent display once more.