Luton Town 3 Colchester United 0, match report: The U’s are crushed by the Hatters

U's keeper Sam Walker, pictured on the opening day of this season at Accrington Stanley. Walker is t

U's keeper Sam Walker, pictured on the opening day of this season at Accrington Stanley. Walker is targeting a first clean-sheet of the campaign. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix

Luton Town 3 Colchester United 0

Below-par Colchester United were well beaten at Luton Town this afternoon, and so have only collected one point from their first three league matches of the new season.

Olly Lee broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage, and James Collins added a second in the 52nd minute, before Dan Potts stroked home a third with eight minutes remaining.

Only some wonderful saves by Sam Walker kept the score-line down to just two goals.

For the opening goal, the U’s failed to clear their lines from a corner, and were made to pay when Alan McCormack headed the ball back into the danger zone.


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Livewire Olly Lee was able to stab past an exposed Sam Walker from inside the six-yard box,.

The Hatters doubled their lead, seven minutes into the second half. Andrew Shinnie teed up Collins, who curled a rising shot into the top corner of the net from a narrow angle. It was his fourth goal of the season.

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Then left-back Potts got in on the scoring act, sweeping home a free-kick by Alan Sheehan.

All in all, it was a very disappointing afternoon for John McGreal’s men.

The U’s had one early half-chance, on five minutes, but Lewis Kinsella’s shot, from Drey Wright’s delivery, was blocked on the edge of the box.

Kinsella was one of three changes to the side that had draw 1-1 at home to Stevenage the previous weekend. Fellow wing-back Kane Vincent-Young and midfielder Doug Loft were the other two promoted to the starting line-up.

Injuries ruled out both Ryan Jackson and Kyel Reid, while Sean Murray was only on the bench. Craig Slater was not even in the 18-man squad, again due to a new injury.

Only an instinctive save by Walker prevented Luton from taking the lead on 11 minutes. Danny Hylton, back in the side after injury, headed goalwards from Jack Stacey’s cross, only for Walker to push the ball to safety from point blank range.

The U’s began to quieten the Kenilworth Road home faithful, and a strong run by Vincent-Young, who left a couple of opponents trailing in his wake, ended with the youngster dragging his shot a foot wide of the far post, on 20 minutes.

Walker made his second fine save of the first half in the 35th minute. Olly Lee turned superbly to have a clear sight of goal, but his low drive was diverted across goal and wide by the agile U’s keeper.

Three minutes later and the Hatters had appeals for a penalty turned down. Dan Potts went down under a challenge from Mikael Mandron, but instead of awarding a spot kick, referee Seb Stockbridge booked the left-back for diving.

Walker made his third fine save of the half in the 45th minute, although this was an easier one as Andrew Shinnie’s low drive was aimed straight at him.

However, Walker had little chance as Olly Lee swept the Hatters into the lead from close-in, during first-half stoppage time.

That was a hammer blow for the U’s, just before the break, and only another wonderful save from Walker kept the Hatters at bay early in the second half. He threw himself to his right to tip away a stunning long-range shot by McCormack.

But Walker again had no chance with Luton’s second goal, which arrived in the 52nd minute, Collins hitting the target from a narrow angle with a rising shot.

Two minutes later and the visitors were close to halving the deficit, only for keeper Marek Stech to pull off a blinding save to keep out Sammie Szmodics’ close-range header. Szmodics should really have scored.

Only the woodwork denied Luton a third goal, in the 76th minute. Hylton’s header looped over Walker, but thudded back off the underside of the bar and rolled to safety.

But Walker was picking the ball out of his net in the 82nd minute, following Potts’ close-range finish from Sheehan’s free-kick.

Squads

LUTON: Stech, Stacey, McCormack, Rea, Potts, Shinnie (sub Cook, 87), Olly Lee, Mpanzu, Sheehan, Hylton (sub Elliott Lee, 87), Collins (sub Cornick, 87). Unused subs: Shea, Justin, Mullins, Gambin.

COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Kent, Kpewaka (sub Johnstone, 63), Vincent-Young, Lapslie (sub Murray, 54), Loft, Kinsella, Szmodics, Drey Wright, Mandron. Unused subs: Gilmartin, O’Sullivan, Issa, James, McKeown.

Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne)

Attendance: 7,865 (445 away fans)

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