By Jack McGraghan
Gateshead’s Emirates FA Cup journey came to an end in the Second Round as Luton Town ran out 5-0 winners at the International Stadium.
The Hatters took the lead four minutes before half time as Olly Lee capitalised on a defensive mix up to smash into the empty net, before Dan Potts doubled their lead just after the hour mark.
Elliot Lee netted a third four minutes later before Danny Hylton and Luke Berry’s injury time strikes rounded off the scoring to send the League Two side through to the Third Round.
Luton almost found themselves in front after 13 minutes via Dan Potts’ back post header, but Hanford was on hand to block the effort at his near post.
The Hatters saw another chance go begging two minutes later as Berry volleyed Olly Lee’s cross over the bar from close range.
Danny Johnson then saw his close-range effort smothered by Luton keeper Marek Štěch after getting on the end of Luke Hannant’s through ball.
Johnson, as ever, looked to shoot on sight and he volleyed narrowly over from 20 yards after latching on to Fraser Kerr’s long ball forward.
Gateshead continued to create chances in the latter stages of the half with Jordan Burrow’s back post header held by Štěch after Hannant’s cross picked out the striker.
The League Two side opened the scoring four minutes before half time when Alan Sheehan’s long ball was claimed by Hanford, before the Heed keeper collided with Scott Barrow and could only clear as far as Olly Lee who smashed in from 15 yards.
There was a 17-minute delay following the goal as Barrow received on-field treatment with Jamal Fyfield replacing him as the Welshman left the stadium via ambulance.
Substitute Jordan Preston tested Štěch from 20 yards with the Heed pushing in search of an equaliser, but the Luton keeper was equal to it and held at the second attempt.
Hannant was next to try and beat Štěch as he got on the end of Peniket’s ball before poking straight at the keeper.
Luton doubled their lead on 63 minutes as Potts rose at the back post to head home Shinnie’s floated cross and give Gateshead a mountain to climb.
The Hatters bagged a third four minutes later as Olly Lee’s shot fortuitously deflected through to his brother Elliot, who made no mistake in curling home from 10 yards.
The Heed remained lively despite the scoreline with Preston shooting at goal from the edge of the area but Štěch held well.
Gateshead came agonisingly close to finding the net but were left cursing their luck as Johnson struck the crossbar moments before Paddy McLaughlin rattled the post.
Luton countered instantly and almost scored a fourth, but Hanford was quick off his line to block Berry’s one-on-one before a scramble in the area resulted in a free-kick for the hosts.
Hylton netted a fourth for the visitors in injury time as he prodded home substitute Jordan Cook’s cross-turned-shot with multiple Gateshead defenders unable to keep the ball out at the far post.
Berry made it five minutes later as he found the top-left corner of Hanford’s net with a 20-yard strike, in a scoreline that was ultimately harsh on the Heed.
Gateshead (4-3-3): Hanford; Tinkler, Kerr, Byrne (c), Barrow (Fyfield, 45+11’); Maxwell (Preston, 54’), McLaughlin, Hannant; O’Donnell (Peniket, 54’), Burrow, Johnson.
Subs not used: Montgomery (GK), Vassell, York, Williams.
Bookings: Fyfield (53’)
Luton Town (4-4-2): Stech; Stacey, Mullins, Sheehan, Potts; Rea (Mpanzu, 74’), Berry, O. Lee (Gambin, 68’), Shinnie; E. Lee (Cook 68’), Hylton.
Subs not used: Shea (GK), Justin, Senior, D’Ath.
Goals: O. Lee (41’), Potts (63’), E. Lee (67’), Hylton (90+1’), Berry (90+3’)
Bookings: Rea (60’), Hylton (78’)
Referee: Ben Toner
Attendance: 1339 (381 Luton)