Luton keeper Matt Macey admitted conceding a late winner to Oxford United in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final on Wednesday evening definitely took the gloss off his own performance on the night
The on-loan Arsenal stopper had made a host of fine saves throughout the game to keep his side in the tie, in his best display for far for the club, but was beaten for the third and final time by Marvin Johnson’s stunning strike.
Speaking afterwards, Macey said: “My personal performance doesn’t really feel great after the result.
“I stand out because I made a few saves, but the shift of the boys, the way we got back into it, especially when we were 2-0 down, to keep going and get back into it was unbelievable.
“Then to switch off at set-pieces is gutting for us all and it’s tough to take.
“Yes, I made saves, but for me, I’m not going to get carried away as there’s still areas I can be better at.
I believe I can be better for the team and that’s the way that everyone who’s a footballer thinks.Matt Maceay
“The saves stand out, which is nice and get noticed, but there’s always areas of my game I can get better at.
“I believe I can be better for the team and that’s the way that everyone who’s a footballer thinks.”
On his keeper’s display, boss Nathan Jones said: “He was outstanding and it’s ironic as we spoke to him this week and he said, he’d played against Doncaster and Plymouth who are the top two in this league and he couldn’t remember when he’s had as little to do in two games, even in Arsenal’s development team.
“So it’s a credit to how we’ve been defending, but he he was called upon because they are a good side, and they’ve been together a while, so he was needed .
“But that’s why we’ve bought him here and I was pleased for him.”
Like his manager though, Macey pointed to his side not doing their defensive duties from a corner with seven minutes to go, moments after levelling through Danny Hylton’s 20th of the season.
He continued: “I feel we had all the momentum at 2-2.
“The boys up top were on fire again as they always are and standing there at 2-2, I was just thinking, if anyone’s going to win it it’s going to be us.
“We looked good, but that’s what happens against good teams like Oxford, if you switch off they punish you, so that’s just frustrating to take.
“We’ve got such high standards too. I’ve not been here long but I know we’ve got such high standards here and we’re all disappointed with the goal.”
Although Luton looked like they had done enough to at least force a penalty shootout, facing the United side from 12 yards wasn’t something Macey hadn’t even been considering.
He said: “No, the tempo of the game was so end-to-end, so high, the atmosphere was so enormous that you can’t think beyond what’s going on in that moment.
“If you start looking ahead to penalties, you switch off yourself.
“The way the game was, it was literally what’s happening next for 90 minutes, it was intense.”
The result meant Luton missed out on another day out at Wembley against League One Coventry City in the final, something that Macey had been desperate to achieve.
He added: “That’s almost what you play football for especially a lot of the young lads like me, that dream of playing at Wembley. It’s gutting not to get there, especially when it was so close.
“There’ll come other times I’m sure in all of our careers. This season there could be another opportunity for it (in the play-offs), depending on how the last period of the season goes.
“It’s gutting at the moment, but we’ll come in, move on and get ready for Saturday.”