Nas Bashir's Hayes & Yeading side may not have had the experience of their illustrious hosts but nobody can fault their endeavor as Luton were matched in their own back yard for much of the game before claiming the three points.
An even start to the game saw United's Steve Arnold sweep up comfortably from Alex Lawless who had run onto Andre Gray's neat back-heel while at the other end Aiden O'Brien and Luke Williams combined to provide an opening for Sam Argent to pick out Daniel Wishart, his 18 yard drive being pushed over the top by Hatters keeper Mark Tyler. Jamie Hand's resultant corner was met on the volley by Tom Cadmore but his effort was charged down and cleared.
United were to fall behind on 13 minutes as Stuart Fleetwood advanced onto Jake Howells' pass, turned past both United central defenders before clinically picking his spot beyond Arnold's outstretched hand.
Arnold saved a Gray header and then in the 21st minute the scores were again level. Hand's free-kick from the left side was flicked on by Mark Bentley towards the far post where Wishart nipped in the force the ball past Tyler from close range (pictured left).
Minutes later a Cadmore sliced clearance allowed Gray to run into the area on the left, his low centre to Fleetwood being superbly cut out by a sliding Argent who crashed straight into the upright as the put the ball out for a corner.
Next it was United's time to break away, Wishart found Williams on the left and he in turn sent Dan Spence away on the overlap, the left-back's low driven centre flying across the Hatters six yard box untouched.
The home side started to push forwards again as the half went into it's final ten minutes. Arnold easily caught a looping Gray header while Lawless fired wide from 20 yards having been set up by a smart knock down by Robbie Willmott.
Just a minute remained to the break when the United net rippled again. Gray again found space on the right, his initial cross was cut out by Pelé but when the ball went back to the same player, he picked out strike partner Fleetwood who acrobatically volleyed the ball into the United net off the underside of the bar.
The home side started the second half as they had finished the
first, adding a third after just eight minutes. Willmott, Fleetwood and Howells exchanged passes on the left flank, the latter firing the ball to the far post where Keith Keane arrived to volley home from close range.
United did not let their heads drop despite going further behind. Wishart drove in a low centre from the left that Howells was happy to put out for a corner as O'Brien arrived. Hand's corner kick was met by Bentley who tried to guide his effort back into the far corner but despite beating Tyler, Lawless was well positioned on the post to head the ball off the line.
Seconds later United were right back in the game, again courtesy of a Hand dead-ball. This time is was a free-kick on the right side, O'Brien rose highest to glance the ball towards the far corner where Hatters defender Janos Kovacs could only smash the ball into the roof of his own net.
Just after the hour mark United were almost level with a massive slice of luck. Wishart challenged for the ball on the edge of the Luton area, the ball spinning upwards and goalwards as Tyler had to go full stretch and the ball bounced off the top of the crossbar and over for a corner. The corner however was quickly cleared and Fleetwood raced away towards the United goal, his centre finding Gray who with time to control the ball volleyed wide.
At the midway point in the half it was Arnold who kept United in touch, tipping over Gray's angled shot for a corner. Then from the corner kick, Arnold tipped the ball towards the far post where Kovacs arrived but headed wide at full stretch.
Five minutes later, another break away from a United attack saw the Hatters hit number four. Gray fed Fleetwood on the left, he advanced into the box before cutting the ball back to Gray who this time made no mistake.
The closest anybody came in the final ten minutes of the game saw Fleetwood curl a shot from just inside the area towards the far post, United being saved by the base of said post as the ball ricocheted to safety.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Daniel Wishart.