Football Round-Up: Hats off to lethal Luton

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The Independent Online
THE honeymoon is over. Married to Bryan Robson in the summer, Middlesbrough had some domestic trouble last week when Tranmere won at Ayresome Park. Yesterday, the romance was all but buried at Kenilworth Road where Luton Town ran amok, winning 5-1. It was the Hatters' first home success of the season in the Endsleigh First Division. To make matters worse for Boro, Paul Wilkinson started the rout when he headed Ceri Hughes's free-kick into his own net.

A flowing four-man move ended with Dwight Marshall side-footing the second and David Preece's drive hit the hapless Wilkinson on its way in for the third. Marshall scored another after the break from Paul Telfer's cross and John Hartson's fierce shot completed the Hatters' handful.

The leaders Wolves beat Grimsby 2-1 to make it six home wins out of six and go two points clear. But according to their manager, Graham Taylor, it was their worst performance under him. 'We had too many players nowhere near true form and we did not function as a team,' he said. 'Someone up there must think I am due a change. Last weekend at Swindon we lost 3-2 after a goal that seemed not to cross the line. Today we won without playing well. I know which I prefer.'

A dubious penalty, awarded for a push on Darren Ferguson and converted by Andy Thompson, his fifth of the season, set up Wolves' win.

John Aldridge scored a hat- trick at Prenton Park as Tranmere beat West Bromwich 3-1 to go third. Aldridge's second goal was the 400th of his career.

Two headed goals in a minute by Alan McLoughlin set up Portsmouth's 4-3 win over Swindon. Pompey were 4-1 up with five minutes to go but Jan Age Fjortoft struck twice and only the goalkeeper, Alan Knight, denied him a hat-trick.

In the Second Division, Ronnie Jepson scored twice to keep Huddersfield Town top after Cambridge had had the effrontery to take the lead at the handsome new Alfred McAlpine Stadium. The Terriers won 3-1, as did second- placed Oxford United at Swansea. Paul Moody, the division's leading scorer, took his season's total to 14 and John Byrne scored the other two.

A whole lotta shakin' at Gigg Lane these days. Bury beat Lincoln 2-0 there to go back to the top of the Third Division because Colchester forced a goalless draw at Carlisle. They were the first points the Cumbrians have dropped at Brunton Park this season.

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