Money questions Hatters’ motives for refusing extra-time

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Ex-Hatters boss Richard Money was critical of Luton’s decision to refuse extra-time after the sides drew 2-2 in Saturday’s FA Trophy third round tie at the Abbey Stadium, writes Mark Wood.

Money revealed after the final whistle he had wanted to play extra-time in the event of a draw and questioned Town’s motives for turning it down.

Speaking after the game, he said: “I think the biggest concern for us all is that having seen their pitch on New Year’s Day, will it be fit for play on Tuesday?

“We wanted extra-time, you’ll have to ask them why they turned it down and I guess the biggest concern is if we get a bit of rain, we don’t play Tuesday and then you go from week to week again, losing matches, which is something that we can ill afford.”

The weekend’s draw means both teams will have to do it all over again at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday, meaning that the U’s scheduled game at Braintree will have to be rearranged once again.

Long-term Skrill Premier leaders Cambridge are now five points behind leaders Luton in the league, but have three games in hand and Money admitted he is concerned about the fixtures piling up.

“Nobody plays a game and tries to lose,” he continued. “We have to abide by the rules of the competition and we’ve done that to enth degree.

“My comments are well documented. The FA Youth Cup for example is played by a certain date and I don’t understand why this tournament couldn’t be the same, we could have played on Tuesday and played Alfreton in the league today, and they would have had a league game which would have been much better for everybody. I just can’t see the sense in it, I really don’t.

“And now we have a serious issue to think about. But, like I said, we just have to get on with it, and play football because we love it and take that approach and see what happens.”

Under the rules of the FA Trophy extra-time can be played in the initial tie if both sides agree, an eventuality to which Luton’s opponents Wrexham had agreed in the previous round.

Town boss John Still revealed he had never been asked about the request, but confirmed he wouldn’t have been in favour of the idea as many of Luton’s large squad of players are in need of game time.

The Kenilworth Road playing surface has also had plenty of time to recover from the heavy rain that turned it into something of a quagmire as they ground out a 2-1 victory over Barnet on New Year’s Day.

He added: “I didn’t say no and no-one asked me, the club made the decision, but I would have said no.

“I think at the time, it probably suited Wrexham and suited us, it probably didn’t suit us now.

“Game time for some of our players at the moment is a plus, so I’m happy to do that.”