McNulty felt Stevenson was fortunate to avoid a broken leg

Referee Graham Salisbury sent off Cambridge's Tom Naylor

Referee Graham Salisbury sent off Cambridge's Tom Naylor

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Hatters captain Steve McNulty felt midfielder Jim Stevenson was lucky to avoid a broken leg during the 1-0 win over Cambridge United yesterday.

Town’s midfielder was the subject of an awful challenge by home debutant Tom Naylor, who was rightly red carded just before the hour mark.

McNulty, who was back in the side after his partner gave birth in midweek, said: “I thought it was a terrible tackle. I said to Jim all the time, he was 70/30 against the man and he still goes in.

“He’s brave, if it was myself I’d use my experience and come out of it but the lads got no fear.

“I think if he didn’t ride the tackle he could have broke his leg, he was off the floor with two feet in my eyes.

“I don’t like seeing lads getting sent off but it looked a rash tackle from where I was.”

Match-winner Mark Cullen agreed with his skipper, continuing: “Definitely, from where I was, it looked like he jumped in. It was a pretty dangerous tackle, so the ref’s got that one right as well I think.”

Town boss John Still thought that referee Graham Salisbury had little option too, as he said: “I thought the young man who got sent off was a bit rash.

“Did he mean to go in like that and hurt someone? Of course he didn’t, people don’t do that, but he’s just mis-timed it.

“The referee has to make the decision, but I wasn’t surprised that happened.

“In these sort of games with that sort of atmosphere I think that’s how it is, not saying it’s right, but that’s how it was.”

Even Cambridge boss Richard Money was of the same opinion, as he added: “I think it’s always wise to look after the event, but on first sighting, it didn’t look a particularly good challenge.”

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