Hatters boss John Still was left baffled by midfielder Jonathan Smith’s lack of discipline as he conceded a needless penalty against Accrington Stanley in yesterday’s League Two opener.
With an hour gone, Smith dived in with a rash challenge on Josh Windass, to give the hosts a clear-cut spot kick, easily converted by Windass himself.
“Jonathan Smith is the most hardest working, most committed player you can get and I love him for it, but hes got to have discipline.”Jonathan Smith
A bemused Still said afterwards: “I can’t understand Smudge. The thing we talk about all the time, don’t go on your backside in the box, stand up, he’s no need.
“The fella’s wide, if he crosses it and someone scores that’s not his fault, that’s someone-else’s fault.
“One of my bugbears in particular during the first six to eight, maybe nine games of the season, as I always say it takes that long to sort it out, is you’ve got to dig in and make no mistakes and get as many points as you can.
“If a good move happens and someone scores a goal, you say okay, that’s fair play, but to contribute to that.
“Jonathan Smith is the most hardest working, most committed player you can get and I love him for it, but hes got to have discipline, games are won and lost on small margins.
“We all mistakes, but if you make errors that are avoidable, you’re not going to help yourself.
“We’ve got very good players, but we can’t give away goals and we did.”
With Town chasing the game in the closing stages, they finally earned a point when Smith was stationed in the right place to fortunately deflect Craig Mackail-Smith’s goalbound shot into the net during injury-time.
Still added: “He didn’t know anything about it, it was a great strike from Craig and we said in the week, the first game away from home, we need to be solid, strong, determined, give nothing away, because the rest will follow.
“I think we had a little panic up in our game as we didn’t really feel we’d go behind. We knew that if we kept getting the ball forward into people in and around the box we could cause them some problems.
“We took a little bit of a gamble, letting them have a bit of the midfield and leaving people up, fortunately it paid off.
“What do I think of the 90 minutes? We can play better than that, but away from home, first game of the season would I be happy to take a point?
“I don’t know if I’d be happy, but I wouldn’t be that disappointed.”