Jones disappointed by decision to dismiss Collins

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left to rue the decision from referee John Brooks to send off striker James Collins during his side's 1-1 draw at Cambridge this afternoon.

Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 6:16 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 6:29 pm
Striker James Collins makes it 1-0 to Luton before being sent off for the Hatters late on

Having already been booked for a handball when trying to make it 2-0 on 73 minutes, Collins was cautioned again just four minutes later for dissent following a decision to award a corner that should have been a goal kick to Luton.

Down to 10 men, the Hatters were then pegged back by Jabo Ibehre’s late header as Jones said: “I am disappointed again, obviously.

“We had the three points, we were under absolutely no pressure whatsoever, I thought we were cruising in the game, without being brilliant, just effective, we couldn’t get the second goal and it all changed on a decision.

“For me, James was silly getting a yellow card and then when you’re on a yellow, don’t get involved with stuff like that.

“The referee I felt could have handled it better, I’ve spoken to him already. He was fine and he’s thanked me for my attitude and the referee last week thanked me for the attitude and the way I speak, but it doesn’t do me any good.

“It’s clearly a goal kick, they’ve given a corner, so he’s irate about that, but Collins has gone about it the wrong way and has gone with his arms open.

"Apparently the letter of the law is if you go with your arms open to a referee you get a booking.”

The Town boss felt that Brooks, a late replacement for Brett Huxtable, could have kept his card in his pocket though, adding: “I felt he could have handled it a little bit better.

“This is a big game and there are tempers, there is a lot of enthusiasm and desire goes into these games.

“He (Brooks) made a mistake, Collo made a mistake coming up to him, just handle it better, just control it, don’t just give him a second yellow and send him off, that ruins thing.

“That changed the game and we were backs to the wall and we had to defend out for a point, whereas we were absolutely controlling the game and cruising.

“After making a mistake himself after giving a corner when it was clearly a goal kick because if a Cambridge player heads it over the byline, by the definition of the law, that’s a goal kick to Luton Town.

"So if that had happened, which it should have happened then the other incident wouldn’t have happened.

"Then when Collins comes at him with his arms open, by the letter of the law it’s a booking, but surely he could have understood a little bit and said ‘hey, calm down, it’s a big game here, I know you’re irate and I’ve made a mistake, just calm down.'

"He could have instead of just flashing bang a yellow, so I felt he could have handled it better.

"If you go by the later of the law on everything, Gary Deegan was booked, then he must have given 18 fouls away, so by the letter of the law, it’s a repetitive thing.

"It would have been harsh as they weren’t anything, but you handle a game if you’re a referee and that decision, that’s all.

"I felt the referee had a good game in general, it’s just frustrating.”