Nuneaton Town 0 Luton Town 5
Saturday 22nd February 2014 (Skrill Premier)
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
It is a good job Nuneaton broke their club record for attendance on Saturday as there is no doubt about it, Luton will not give them a second bite of the cherry next season.
Simply putting it, the Hatters are champions in all but name.
Pacy, powerful, direct, free-flowing are all words you can use to describe the league leaders this season.
But at the weekend the only one that seemed fitting was relentless.
The Hatters were sharks who smelt blood, they were not happy until 3-0 became 4-0 and 4-0 became 5-0.
Take nothing away from the Boro, for 45 minutes at the weekend they matched the stand-alone side in Conference football.
But for a sloppy defensive mistake and a bit better finishing, the Boro may have even gone into the break ahead.
As it was, the visitors were the ones who took the lead and they never looked back.
In a tight opening, it was the home side who asked the early questions, Wes York was unlucky to see his effort from just inside the area well saved by Mark Tyler.
The Boro were showing why they are flying in the league this season as they worked hard from the front to the back, Andy Brown personifying the effort with non-stop running early doors.
Luton are not top for no reason though, and James Belshaw had to have quick hands to help Jake Howells effort over the bar after the wide man struck a fierce shot goal-wards from the edge of the box.
In swirling winds the sides continued to trade half chances, that was until Paul Benson took advantage of a defensive lapse to give the visitors the lead in the 33rd minute.
A long ball by Luke Guttridge was flicked on by Andre Gray and Benson beat both Gaz Dean and Belshaw to the knock-on, sliding the ball into an empty net after neither Boro player could deal with the situation.
The goal proved an easy one for Benson in the end, but it was from a far more difficult chance that the front man nearly doubled the Hatters lead six minutes later.
Guttridge flicked over Dean on the edge of the box and from the angle Benson tried a flamboyant half volley with the outside of his boot that only just missed the far post.
That was the last chance in the first half but the visitors started the second in the same form.
In a bid to stem the tide, Boro boss Kev Wilkin brought on leading scorer Louis Moult, the front man having reverted to the bench after a midweek knock in training.
Despite the show of attacking intent, it was the visitors who were the ones to strike again.
Guttridge was again the architect, this time crossing low and hard across the box to Benson.
The front man dived full length to beat Belshaw to the ball with Gray adding the finishing touch at the far post.
The Hatters were flying and in the 70th minute their domination brought goal number three.
Guttridge had been goal creator until this point, but he turned goal grabber, smashing home a low effort past Belshaw from the edge of the box, brilliantly teed up by the in-form Gray.
There was no stopping the Hatters, as try as they might the Boro defence was getting opened up time after time.
It was a case of when, not if, the visitors would score again, with the answer being in the 80th minute via Benson.
The forward was left unmarked at the far post and given plenty of time to head past Belshaw from a deep Howells cross.
John Still moved to rest some of his table-topping stars after goal number four, but the replacements were proving just as hard to stop.
John Shaw, on for Benson, was quickly into the action, crossing from the left and Howells had the easy task of heading home.
In the grand scheme of things a loss at home to Luton, however heavy a loss that may be, will not determine where Nuneaton Town go and finish in the league this season.
What will though, is how they bounce back from this.