First Luton goal an ‘incredible’ feeling for Justin

James Justin scores his first Luton goal at Accrington
James Justin scores his first Luton goal at Accrington

Hatters defender James Justin was left to reflect on an ‘incredible’ feeling after scoring his first goal for the club during the 4-1 win at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

The 19-year-old, who has come through the ranks at Kenilworth Road, was making his 37th appearance in a Luton shirt, when Ollie Palmer sent him speeding away on the right hand side with 28 minutes gone.

James Justin is mobbed after scoring

James Justin is mobbed after scoring

There was still plenty to do for the teenager, but he kept his composure to fire beyond home keeper Marek Rodak and into the bottom corner.

Speaking afterwards, Justin said: “When you come up to stay overnight, a long trip as well, all the fans come down, to get my first goal is just incredible.

“There was almost too much time to think about it to be fair, just get your mind straight and focus about the connection and it went in.”

It was a goal that impressed his team-mates too, with Jack Marriott, who was watching from the sidelines at the time, saying: “I was saying to the lads on the bench, his first touch was perfect, it set him up perfectly for the strike across goal and it was a great finish.

To add a goal to his game was great for him and I’m really pleased for him.

Jack Marriott

“I’m absolutely delighted for him.

“He’s been superb from the start of the season, all through pre-season he’s been excellent.

“Then we saw his debut at Villa and he was superb and he’s really kicked on and become a more complete player.

“To add a goal to his game was great for him and I’m really pleased for him.”

Justin could and should have notched his second too as when freed by Palmer once more, he was through on goal again, but from closer in, blazed miles over.

The defender continued: “The one after was easier, but it took a bobble. I tried to do the same thing and skied it.

“We’ve basically cemented fourth spot now though, so hopefully we can push on into the play-offs and obviously win it.”

With Luton remaining with their 3-5-2 formation, it enabled Justin to get forward regularly on the right flank throughout, as boss Nathan Jones said: “It was a good move with the change of shape that allows him to be that more attacking.

“He had another identical chance, so those are things we look to do, and apart from a bobble he could have got his second goal.

“It was a great strike for him and gave us a nice little lift to take the lead.

“I said ‘get the first goal,’ like we do, we have a motto here. ‘Get the first goal, keep a clean sheet, win the game.’ Any two will do. What we did was got the first goal, didn’t keep a clean sheet, but won the game and second half it could have been a lot more emphatic.”

Justin felt the change in style from the diamond allows him to become more of a threat for the Town, adding: “You see from the goal, I was just making the space both times and I think they switched off to me.

“They didn’t know whether to track me or not, and it just gives you that freedom going forward, knowing there’s that security going back.

“Then second half we changed to a four and that was doing just as well, even better, going forward to be fair.”