Still hailed as he calls on the subs

Andre Gray and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu
Andre Gray and Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu

A masterstroke from Town boss John Still saw Hatters hit back to defeat Dartford on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

After Luton were trailing to Mikel Suarez’ first half goal, the boss introduced Mark Cullen, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Luke Rooney early in the second period.

With Rooney causing havoc amongst the home defence, Ruddock Mpanzu hammered home a superb effort to draw Town level, before Andre Gray won it with a bullet header late on.

Ruddock Mpanzu said: “I’ve got to do my job when I come on, we were good impact substitutions, so John Still did his job and can be happy with it.

“If you’re on the bench, sometimes you’re not really involved in the game, but you’ve got to keep your focus.

“When you’re called upon you’ve got to come on and change the game and I thought all three of us did that.

“I’m disappointed not to start the game, but it’s the manager’s decision.”

It’s not the first time that Still has seen his decisions pay dividends this season as first team coach Hakan Hayrettin continued: “He usually gets it right. He brought on players that changed the game in my opinion.

“Pelly scored a great goal, Rooney came on and looked sharp, he was outstanding, but so was everyone.

“Benno’s (Paul Benson) had a bit of a strain in his neck and Cully’s come on so we know what we’re going to get out of him.

“That’s what subs are meant to do, but the art of it is getting it right and nine times out of 10 our manager gets it right.”

Striker Andre Gray was also impressed with impact of the changes, although unsurprised, as he said: “We just needed a bit of life, Luke and Pelly can drive us forward.

“Pelly scored that goal, Luke’s so comfortable on the ball, he can create that little bit of magic.

“Cully, you don’t know when he’s going to score but you always know he’s going to get a chance, so we’ve got great subs.”

Once Ruddock Mpanzu netted his equaliser too, the midfielder always thought Town would be victors, adding: “I knew we were going to get a winner, so I didn’t really want to celebrate, but tell them to get the ball back.

“I told Andre there would be one chance for you and luckily we got the win.”

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