A SHOCKING second-half performance ensured there was no Boxing Day cheer for Swindon Town as they were thrashed at home by League Two leaders Luton Town.

David Flitcroft’s side had brought a five-match losing run to an end with an impressive 3-0 win at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday but were humiliated on home turf against the Hatters.

Swindon initially seemed to have brought their good form from Gresty Road back with them to the Energy Check County Ground as they were an even match for table-topping Luton over a goalless first 45 minutes.

However, they fell apart almost as soon the second half began as former striker James Collins broke the deadlock with a stunning strike just three minutes after the restart.

From there, the floodgates opened as Danny Hylton, an own goal from Matt Taylor and substitutes Harry Cornick and Elliott Lee inflicted more misery on Swindon as their poor form on home soil continued.

Swindon boss Flitcroft named an unchanged starting XI from the side that had won so convincingly at Crewe and the only alteration in the entire matchday 18 was the inclusion of young striker Scott Twine in place of Donal McDermott.

Swindon were the first side to carve out a sight of goal when Paul Mullin collected the ball on the corner of the box after four minutes but his strike was straight at Hatters keeper Marek Stech.

Luton promptly countered and were appealing for a penalty just a matter of seconds later when Hylton went down in the box under pressure from Matt Taylor but referee Gavin Ward had no interest in the claims.

Chances were coming at either end, and home captain Olly Lancashire cut out a dangerous low cross from Olly Lee before James Dunne tried his luck from 30 yards at the other end but the back-pedalling Stech managed to tip the effort over the bar.

Dan Potts then had a gilt-edged sight of goal inside the Swindon six-yard box when he met a teasing free-kick from Alan Sheehan but the full-back could not keep his effort down.

Luton’s next chance was much more audacious but was actually closer to breaking the deadlock as Collins spotted Lawrence Vigouroux off his line and shot from 40 yards but the home keeper managed to scramble back and turn it over the crossbar.

The best chance of the first half came the way of Swindon after 25 minutes when they broke at pace following a Luton corner. Kaiyne Woolery chased Mullin’s clearance and easily shrugged off Lee on halfway before charging towards goal but his cutback to Keshi Anderson was much too strong and sailed out for a throw.

After a frantic opening, the game began to peter out and the only real chance from then until the half-time whistle came when Luton’s Luke Berry tried his luck from the edge of the box but it flew over the top and the teams headed back to the changing rooms with the score all-square.

Luton were quick out of the blocks after the restart and broke the deadlock just three minutes into the second half though a wonderful strike from Collins. The former Swindon striker made room for himself to shoot from the edge of the box and curled a sublime strike past Vigouroux into the top corner.

The visiting fans’ eyes were lighting up in the hope of a second goal just five minutes later when James Justin chased a good through ball, leaving Dunne with no choice but to bundle him over on the edge of the box for a booking.

However, Luton did not have to wait long to double their lead and did so after 55 minutes when Potts whipped a cracking ball across the six-yard box and Hylton flung himself to meet it and head past Vigouroux.

Slack play at the back allowed Luton to get another on 66 minutes as Glen Rea robbed Amine Linganzi of possession in the Swindon half before feeding Collins in the box and his low ball across the face of goal was turned into his own net by the lunging Taylor.

There was more misery for the home side as Luton made it 4-0 on 73 minutes when substitute Cornick lined up an effort from 20 yards and promptly sent the flying into the net.

The visitors were not done there, though, and Swindon fell further from grace with five minutes to play as Lee squeezed a shot through a crowd of bodies and into the bottom corner to complete a miserable afternoon for the home side.

SWINDON TOWN: Vigouroux; Purkiss, Lancashire, Preston, Taylor; Mullin (Gordon 66), Dunne, Linganzi; Anderson (Iandolo 74), Woolery, Norris. Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Robertson, Goddard, Knoyle, Twine.

LUTON TOWN: Stech; Justin, Mullins, Sheehan (capt), Potts; Rea, Berry, O Lee (Mpanzu 84), Shinnie (Cornick 67); Collins, Hylton (E Lee 76). Subs not used: Gambin, D’Ath, Shea, Famewo.

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 8,526