Jones not blaming official for Town's defeat

Scott Cuthbert is sent off against former side Swindon
Scott Cuthbert is sent off against former side Swindon

Hatters boss Nathan Jones refused to blame referee Graham Salisbury after his side were heavily beaten 3-0 at Kenilworth Road yesterday afternoon.

The match official was roundly booed by home fans for his performance during the game, sending off Luton skipper Scott Cuthbert for pulling back Robins striker Keshi Anderson in the area and awarding Swindon a penalty, before failing to give Town two spotkicks of their own.

However, when asked about his performance and whether he felt Cuthbert was rightly dismissed, Jones said: “I don't want to get in trouble. I can sit here and dissect performances from officials and it might not be a positive outcome, but I'm more concerned with my team really.

“I've looked at the video and it's not really conclusive, but there wasn't too much complaining from Scott.

“I can't say it's a bad decision, I can't say it's the right decision, as it happens quite quickly, but there wasn't too much complaining.

"Once he has given that, it's a difficult decision and that changes the game a bit.

"I'm disappointed in terms of we started brightly, Swindon set out to sit back and hit us on the counter attack which they did at times in the first half.

"We had a few opportunities and we are, I wouldn’t say totally in control of the game, but we were moving the ball well enough.

"Then out of pretty much nothing really, they've got the penalty and the sending off and then the game changes. It's a difficult uphill task, but fair play to Swindon, they've come here, they've got the result and they've deserved it."

Jones did think his side were unlucky not to earn a penalty of their own when a cross appeared to handballed by a visiting defender inside the area moments before the Robins made it 2-0 in the second period.

He continued: “The boy moves his arm towards the ball, but I don’t think we were going to get a pen, not today.

"He does move his hand, it’s come in, it could be deemed a pen, but if I stand here and literally say we could have had this, we could have had that, a lot of things could have happened today.

"There were a lot of disappointing performances out there and I'm not just talking about certain people, but this happens.”

Jones had made a quickfire substitution when Cuthbert was dismissed, bringing on Glen Rea for Andrew Shinnie, while he also brought Harry Cornick on during half time too, Olly Lee making way, but a double strike within 11 minutes from Swindon put the result beyond doubt.

The boss added: “We got into half time, wanted to get there and felt we had a little bit of a positive substitution to try something different because they blocked up central areas.

"We wanted to go with a little bit more width and give ourselves an opportunity of winning the game, but it didn’t prove like that.

"We knew the second goal was going to be vital, if we got it the place would be bouncing and we’d be on the front foot, but the manner of the goal and how it came about, and the time, just killed the game.

Credit to them, they saw the game out, we huffed and puffed second half without really being a real threat as in the past we’ve made positive substitutions when we’ve been down to 10 men and won both games, we did it at Newport here and did it at Crewe away.

"In hindsight,probably we wouldn't have done it, but it's not made us more open as what we've down is play with three up front that drop back into a four, so we’re being a bit more secure if anything, leaving just one up top.

"But it wasn't to be. We had a gamble and it didn't pay off. Ihe end I was more concerned about not conceding more and it looking a little bit more embarrassing."