Luton Town 3 Hartlepool United 0: Match report, fourth defeat in row on road

Danny Hylton puts Luton ahead
Danny Hylton puts Luton ahead
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Hartlepool United's woeful away form continued with a fourth straight defeat on the road at Luton Town.

The match was effectively over inside the first 13 minutes following goals from Danny Hylton and Luke Gambin.

Pools never recovered from that disastrous side and though they had the better of the second half play, Hatters sub Ollie Palmer was gifted a third goal 10 minutes from time.

Boss Dave Jones had made four changes from the team beaten 4-0 at Mansfield at the weekend.

Michael Woods, Rhys Oates and Kenton Richardson were all handed starts with on-loan Joe Fryer coming in between the sticks.

And one of his first tasks was to pick the ball out of the back of his net.

Gambin played the ball over the top into the away box, where Hylton's touch took him away from his marker and he slid the ball past the Middlesbrough prospect from inside six-yard box.

It soon got worse for Pools. Another simple ball forward over the top was not dealt with, allowing Gambin to take possession. The midfielder strode forward and shot home from the edge of the box with

his left foot.

Matthew Bates, who had been injured at the time of the first goal, hobbled off at this point with Lewis Alessandra coming on in midfield, with Walker switching to centre-back.

Pools had been given a bit of a runaround, but they did see the ball just before the half-hour when Thomas won and then delivered into the middle, where Harrison headed just wide.

However, Luton were soon back in control, Alessandra being forced to make a good block from a 34th-minute corner.

Pools began the second half with some good possession play but, inevitably, the move faltered with a poor final ball.

Luton were forced to clear a Thomas effort from a corner, but it proved a rare threat.

It should have been 3-0 in the 54th minute when Hylton showed great footwork to beat Walker and Harrison, but after doing all the hard work, he spoiled it by firing over with a full target to aim at.

Jones sent on Padraig Amond on the hour and his introduction signalled a short but sustained spell of Pools pressure, forcing the Hatters to concede three corners in quick succession.

And Pools had a good opportunity when Oates did well to win the ball to find Woods who fired just over from the edge of the area.

The home fans in the 6,965 crowd were feeling anxious and with justification, with Thomas and Alessandra combining neatly in a bid to play in Amond, Stephen O'Donnell forced into making a vital

interception.

For all the promise from the blues and the anxiety in the home section of the crowd, Town had the points handed to them 10 minutes from time.

Harrison lost possession near his own corner flag to Palmer who broke into the box, where Richardson's attempted clearanced hit Walker and landed at the feet of the sunb who could not miss from a yard.

FULL-TIME:

LUTON TOWN 3 HARTLEPOOL UNITED O

Luton (4-4-2): Macey, O'Donnell, Mullins, Sheehan, Senior, Rea, Ruddock, Gambin, D'Ath (Smith 66), Vassell (Marriott 73), Hylton (Palmer 73)

Subs not used: Moore, Cuthbert, Gray, Justin

Goals: Hylton 5, Gambin 13, Palmer 81

Booked: Rea 60

Pools (4-5-1): Fryer, Richardson, Bates (Alessandra 14), Harrison, Kavanagh, Featherstone, Woods, Walker, Thomas, Oates,.Nelson (Amond 61)

Subs not used: Bartlett, Martin, Hawkins, Hawkes, Rooney

Booked: Thomas 42, Richardson 45, Woods 84

Referee: John Brooks (Leics)

Att: 6,965 (away 90)