Coleman bizarrely claims Hatters had two goalkeepers during 2-0 victory

Hatters midfielder Olly Lee plays the ball out wide on Saturday
Hatters midfielder Olly Lee plays the ball out wide on Saturday

Accrington boss John Coleman bizarrely claimed it felt like his side were playing against two goalkeepers during their 2-0 defeat to Luton on Saturday.

The Stanley chief felt the hosts were denied a clear cut penalty and a number of other free kicks from Town players using, what he felt, was their hands to block shots from the home team testing visiting stopper Marek Stech.

I think there must be a rule that I’m not aware of that Accrington can’t receive penalties, because we haven’t had one this season.

John Coleman

Coleman also suggested the hosts supposed misfortune was down to them being one of the minnows at League Two level, and stated Luton have won four or five spotkicks already this term, despite it being just three, with Hatters also having four awarded against them too.

He said: “Unfortunately we lost the game in one half an hour spell in the first half.

“We started the game really well, pinned them back, should have had a penalty, but I think there must be a rule that I’m not aware of that Accrington can’t receive penalties, because we haven’t had one this season.

“I’ve seen Mansfield have about six or seven, I’ve seen Luton have four or five, we’ve had three given against us and not one for us and we must have had 15 clear shouts for them this season.

“So that’s frustrating and when people are allowed to handle the ball, not once, not twice, three times, one in the box, two on the edge of the box, stopping blatant shots on goal. It sounds like you’re playing against two keepers.”

Coleman didn’t stop there either, going on to claim that Luton’s first goal might have disallowed for a foul on Jordan Clark in the build-up, when Dan Potts clearly won the ball.

He continued: “After that bright start, they physically got on top of us, they dominated the possession, they dominated the territory, and that ultimately cost us the game.

“The first goal is a poor goal from our point of view, it could be a foul on Jordan but he’s got to make sure the man doesn’t get a free run to get the cross in and unfortunately he did.”

The veteran Stanley boss also accused Alan Sheehan of diving to win the penalty after a challenge from Janoi Donacien, from which Danny Hylton fired home from the spot.

He then had the temerity to claim it was a tactic his players would never resort to, obviously forgetting substitute Mekhi McLeod’s penalty box theatrics, throwing himself to the floor to try and win a spotkick, fellow replacement Mallik Wilks doing similar shortly afterwards.

Coleman said: “Janois is absolutely devastated because he’s stopped, he stepped out of the way of the lad.

“If he’s ran into him, he’s ran into him, you can say the lad’s being clever or the lad’s cheating, unfortunately the referee’s fallen for it.

“I think one of the things is to win penalties and there’s a difference between getting a penalty and winning a penalty.

“To win a penalty you’ve maybe got to be prepared to get yourself hurt, so you’ve got to cut across the main and be prepared for him to trample down your back and over your head.

“I did it without blinking when I was playing, maybe I was daft, I won loads of penalties.

“Our players don’t do that, our players don’t dive, and consequently because they don’t dive, sometimes they don’t get the rewards that others teams get.

“I’d sooner win the games without penalties by scoring goals, possibly next week we won’t be playing against two keepers.

“It’s easy to hide behind referees and say it’s their fault we’ve lost, it wasn’t, it was that they physically overpowered us for half an hour is the reason we lost the game.

“But a clear indication is the first time they complained about anything was after 73 minutes, but we could have felt hard done by about nine times before that, so sometimes they go for you, sometimes they go against you.”

Although Stanley were more of a threat in the second period, Hatters became the first team to prevent them from scoring at home this season and also keep a clean sheet at the Wham Stadium since December 17, 2016, some 22 games ago.

He added: “Second half we’ve had a couple more penalty shouts and we finally started to ask questions of them.

“There’s a school of thought that they tried to see the game out, they didn’t, we forced them back, unfortunately we just didn’t score in that period, we had a longer spell than they had but we didn’t score in that period.

“They did overpower us for 25-30 minutes of the first half, but our keeper’s only made one save, but that disappointing was that we lost the game and haven’t scored a goal, which is unusual for us this season.

“And we’ve got to mindful of being able to negate teams who come to play like Luton did today.”