Match Details: 05/08/2017
Luton Town 8-2 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Otis Khan (8), Francois Zoko (67)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Daniel Alfei, 3. Nathan Smith, 6. Keston Davies, 7. Otis Khan, 8. Connor Smith, 10. Jake Gray, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 16. James Bailey, 24. Olufela Olomola,
Subs: 9. Rhys Browne, 12. Jonny Maddison, 14. Sam Surridge, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 23. Tom James, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Omar Sowunmi for Keston Davies (46 mins), Alefe Santos for Connor Smith (64 mins), Sam Surridge for Olufela Olomola (71 mins)
Bookings: Connor Smith (Foul, 32), Olufela Olomola (Foul, 62), Daniel Alfei (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town went down to their heaviest ever Football League defeat on the opening day of the 2017-18 season this afternoon. Luton Town ran riot with an 8-2 victory despite Otis Khan giving the Glovers an 8th minute lead. That was as good as it got. Olly Lee's quick equaliser, was followed by a hat-trick for James Collins, a thunder-crack of a goal from Alan McCormack, and a brace for Isaac Vassell. Yeovil pulled back a late goal from Francois Zoko but substitute Elliot Lee scored with the last header of the game.
The Glovers went into the match naming the exact same eleven that had played three days previously against AFC Bournemouth in their final pre-season friendly, with the major surprise being that Connor Smith recovered from an ankle problem. Bevis Mugabi and Stephane Zubar were the two injured players to miss out, leaving only six substitutes on the bench.
The game opened up in extreme fashion with Luton almost going two goals up inside the opening five minutes. James Collins was the unlucky man as he first found Artur Krysiak parrying the ball away, and then being denied by Nathan Smith clearing off his own goal line after Krysiak had blocked an earlier attempt.
That therefore created a bit of a surprise when Yeovil took the lead, although it was a thing of beauty. With eight minutes on the clock, Francois Zoko was fouled on the edge of the box. The way the wall was lined up, it looked likely that Otis Khan would have to aim at goal on the left side, but instead he produced a brilliant curling strike that bent around the right side, giving Marek Stech zero chance of spotting it until it hit the back of the net.
Sadly that was as good as the day got. Four minutes later, and an Isaac Vassell cross from the left flank was smartly finished from inside the box by Olly Lee for an early 1-1 scoreline. Then with James Collins menacing the Yeovil defence, he finally got his first goal of the afternoon when a through ball from Birmingham loanee Andrew Shinnie caught Yeovil's defence flat-footed for their second goal.
Luton went further ahead from a corner. The ball into the box was cleared out by Francois Zoko, but into the path of Alan McCormack. He struck the ball perfectly through a crowd of players from 25 yards out, leathering it into the back of the net for 3-1.
The Hatters were destroying the Yeovil defence, with James Collins having a close range finish ruled out for a foul on Artur Krysiak. But the actions of match referee Gavin Ward didn't help Yeovil for much longer as a simple ball through the middle for Isaac Vassell allowed him the chance to slot home for 4-1. Two minutes later and Isaac Vassell did it again as he got in behind the defence, putting the ball into the far corner across the face of Krysiak. 5-1 down and just 38 minutes on the clock.
It seems incredible to note that there could have been more goals during the first half. Yeovil were awarded a penalty for a foul inside the box, but Yeovil's day was made worse by Marek Stech saving Otis Khan's kick by diving low to his left. At the other end, Olly Lee struck the left hand post from the edge of the box. Really 5-1 underplayed what could have been the scoreline by the time half time came.
The second half was a more sedate balanced affair, even if it gave four more goals. Yeovil replaced Keston Davies at half time, with Omar Sowunmi coming on, although the Swansea City loan man wasn't particularly at fault for the goals - this was a question of the whole defensive unit, including the midfield, not performing.
Yeovil started the half much better - Marek Stech produced a terrific one handed save from a Francois Zoko effort - but they still found themselves 6-1 down. James Collins thumped the ball home, and it wasn't long before he was celebrating his hat-trick, as he drove the ball from outside the box past a shell-shocked Artur Krysiak.
The Glovers did pull one goal back, as Ryan Dickson's left-wing cross was headed home by Francois Zoko from close range. But there was still time for Luton to get their eighth of the afternoon. Late into eight minutes of added time - caused by a nasty clash of heads between Omar Sowunmi and Marek Stech - Luton substitute Elliot Lee headed home from a corner for an 8-2 scoreline.
Whilst opening day matches can be freakish, the sheer chasm between the two sides at Kenilworth Road was frightening. If Luton had hit double digits, no-one could have complained. Yeovil's defending was dire - not just as a back four, but also in terms of the midfield three that were meant to protect them. Sometimes a thrashing belies the true balance of the game - on this occasion it didn't. That has to be a warning sign to the Yeovil management.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Luton Town 8 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Otis Khan (0-1, 8 mins), Olly Lee (1-1, 12 mins), James Collins (2-1, 19 mins), Alan McCormack (3-1, 24 mins), Isaac Vassell (4-1, 36 mins), Isaac Vassell (5-1, 38 mins), James Collins (6-1, 58 mins), James Collins (7-1, 66 mins), Francois Zoko (7-2, 67 mins), Elliot Lee (8-2, 90 mins)
1 Marek Stech
7 Jack Stacey 4 Alan McCormack 6 Scott Cuthbert 3 Dan Potts
17 Pelly Ruddock
11 Andrew Shinnie 44 Alan Sheehan
8 Olly Lee
20 Isaac Vassell 19 James Collins
5 John Mullins (75 mins for Andrew Shinnie) 10 Jordan Cook 16 Glen Rea (64 mins for Alan McCormack) 21 Jack Senior 22 Luke Gambin 36James Shea 38 Elliot Lee (69 mins for James Collins)
Yeovil Town: (4-3-3)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Daniel Alfei 5. Keston Davies 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
10. Jake Gray 4. James Bailey (Capt) 8. Connor Smith
9. Olufela Onomola 13. Francois Zoko 7. Otis Khan
12. Jonny Maddison 9. Rhys Browne 14. Sam Surridge (71 mins for Olufela Onomola) 17. Omar Sowunmi (46 mins for Keston Davies) 23. Tom James 30. Alefe Santos (64 mins for Connor Smith)
Luton Town Bookings: Alan McCormack (41 mins, foul), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (60 mins, foul), Glen Rea (90 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Connor Smith (32 mins, foul), Olufela Onomola (62 mins, foul), Daniel Alfei (90 mins, foul)
Luton Town Match Statistics: Possession: 62%; Shots: 20; Shots On Target: 13; Corners: 4; Fouls: 15.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 38%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 6; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Assistants: Nicholas Cooper (Suffolk) and Gregory Read (Surrey). Fourth Official: Kevin Howick (Berkshire).
Attendance: 8,101 (with 258 Yeovil Town supporters).