Jones admits Pompey deserved their victory

Midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu in action against Portsmouth
Midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu in action against Portsmouth

Hatters boss Nathan Jones conceded that Portsmouth were deserving winners at Kenilworth Road last night.

Luton had enjoyed the perfect start when Danny Hylton thundered a header home after just seven minutes.

If I’m honest, I probably felt Portsmouth deserved to nick it in the end.

Nathan Jones

However, Pompey levelled moments later through Michael Smith, before going in front on the stroke of half time through Gareth Evans.

They then dominated the second period and had a clinching third late on through sub Kai Naismith, as Jones said: “I’m disappointed, disappointed with the result.

“I felt it was a good game, a positive game, both sides wanted to win the game.

“There was a lot of talking points from the game which could have affected the result, but if I’m honest, I probably felt Portsmouth deserved to nick it in the end.

“They’re quite inventive in terms of what they do and they’ve got good players, they’ve got very, very good players, got above the level players.

“They’ve been together, it’s the second year they’ve been together, they’ve added quality again in the summer, so these are a good side, there’s no bones about it.

“Not many come out and have a go at them and want to play against them, but we did tonight and it’s a disappointing result.”

The talking points that Jones was hinting at was a disallowed goal for Hylton with Luton leading 1-0, while the hosts also had two penalty appeals, with the visitors’ Enda Stevens lucky to remain on the pitch for a foul on Hylton when having already being booked.

Jones said: “It would be unfair of me and take away from Portsmouth’s performance if I was to talk about those things, but big things change games, change performances, change certain things.

“Now we’re talking about a second yellow card that should have been for Enda Stevens, but that’s by and by.

“There were two penalty appeals, a disallowed goal for us which was probably slightly offside, so that was a good decision in the end.

“Yes, they could have and might have changed the result, but we can’t say that because we’ve probably had decisions that other managers would complain about.”

However, Jones was far from happy with the performance of referee David Coote throughout the 90 minutes, saying: “I’m probably going to mention the referee as I didn’t feel he helped the game in any way.

“I felt his performance defied, or wasn’t fitting of the two teams out there.

“In terms of how he went about it, very picky, stopped the game, stopped any flow, and that was for both sides, not just for us.

“So he didn’t help that, but I’m proud of my players as we’d been on a great run, we gave everything.

“We just lacked a little bit of cutting edge and then in both boxes, needed to be a little bit cuter, win first headers and then it might have been a different result.”