Rea and Collins on target as Hatters beat Canaries
Pre-season friendly: Hitchin Town 0 Luton Town 2
Luton Town continued their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win at Southern League Premier Division side Hitchin Town this evening.
The match, which had been hastily arranged due to the friendly with St Albans being cancelled earlier in the day, saw Town boss Nathan Jones pick brothers Olly Lee and Elliot Lee in the starting line-up, plus Johnny Mullins, Jordan Cook and Luke Gambin.
A low key first half saw visiting keeper James Shea tested by Ben Walster in the 18th minute, handling his bouncing free kick from 20 yards.
Luton began to put some neat moves together as Cook ghosted past two challenges and played in Elliot Lee, who under heavy pressure skied his effort.
Cook was the instigator of Town’s next opportunity, delightfully picking out Olly Lee as he he volleyed over the top, while the midfielder then tried his luck from even further out, pouncing on a loose ball and attempting chip Martin Bennett from fully 40 yards, with the keeper back-pedalling in time.
Shea’s handling was secure once more as Jack Green took a pot shot, with Olly Lee almost ending the half with a goal, racing away, only to run out of steam when faced with the keeper and the Canaries cleared.
Luton kept the same XI for the second period, as Shea saved an early free kick, before Olly Lee’s low drive wasn’t too far away.
Town then had the lead on 50 minutes when a corner found Olly Lee and he teed up Glen Rea to take a touch and fire through replacement keeper Michael Johnson’s legs.
Elliot Lee almost made the most of some more lovely Town interplay, just unable to divert a half volley on target, Luke Gambin also dragging inches wide from 20 yards.
The visitors rang the changes on the hour mark, with 10 alterations, as only Shea kept his place between the posts.
Although Town’s new players upped their urgency, Hitchin did well to limit them to a handful of chances, with the hosts actually coming closest, Shea needing to stop Trey Charles’s daisycutter.
James Collins tested Hitchin’s third keeper of the evening Sam Swanton, forcing him into an acrobatic stop from Kavan Cotter’s chip over the top with seven minutes to go.
However, the summer signing did notch his fourth goal in three games in the closing stages, collecting possession inside the area and clinically burying his shot into the bottom corner.
It was almost 3-0 moments as Andrew Shinnie took aim only to fire wide, as Luton now up their preparation at National League side Boreham Wood on Saturday.
Hitchin: Martin Bennett, Jay Dowie, Ben Walster, Josh Bickerstaff, Dan Webb, Lewis Rolfe, Lucas Kirkpatrick, Kieran McCaffrey, Connor Vincent, Liam Brooks, Jack Green.
Subs: Brett Donnelly, Michael Johnson, Trey Charles, Elliott Bailey, Charlie Smith, James Budden, Josh Coley, Elijah McDonald.
Hatters: James Shea, Frankie Musonda (Jack Stacey 58), Jack Senior (Dan Potts 58), Johnny Mullins (Akin Famewo 58), Glen Rea (Scott Cuthbert 58), Tyreeq Bakinson (Alan McCormack 58), Olly Lee (Kavan Cotter 58), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Lawson D’Ath), Luke Gambin (Andrew Shinnie 58), Elliot Lee (Isaac Vassell 58), Jordan Cook (James Collins 58).
Referee: W Cartmel