Jones: We should have been out of sight by half time

Hatters boss Nathan Jones felt his side should have had the points in the bag long before late goals from Olly Lee and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu secured their final home win of the season, defeating Forest Green Rovers 3-1 yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, 29th April 2018, 9:04 am
Updated Sunday, 29th April 2018, 9:16 am
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Town utterly dominated the first period, but only had Danny Hylton’s 50th goal for the club to show for their efforts, denied on a number of occasions by the brilliant reflexes of visiting keeper Cameron Belford.

Rovers then came out and pulled level through Christian Doidge, as they did their best to spoil the party atmosphere with chances of their own in the second half, before Lee swept home Harry Cornick’s cross with five minutes left and then Mpanzu netted via a deflection.

Jones said: “I’ve got to be honest with you, first half was at times as good as we’ve played and we should have been out of sight, absolutely out of sight.

Nathan Jones and his backroom celebrate going up

"It should have been two, three, four, but these are a dangerous side and they play with real freedom, and they did that second half and caused us problems.

"They got the goal from poor defending, and it looked like it was going to peter out, then we made a real positive change, brought (Harry) Cornick on, changed the shape a little bit, and then finished, really, really strongly, and we have that.

"If sides don’t take their chances against us, and Forest Green had one or two, then we know we can punish teams, but it’s just a wonderful occasion.

"We can dissect the game, first half we were wonderful, game should have been done, but it wasn’t, then we came under a little bit of pressure and that happens.

Nathan Jones and his backroom celebrate going up

"But we’ve won the game, I’m delighted, it’s another win and it gives the fans something to really get behind once again.”

There was no wavering of the home support throughout the game even when Doidge equalised and the celebrations afterwards saw fans congregating on the pitch, as the players partied in the directors box.

Jones was also thrilled for the squad to be able to complete a lap of honour with the families too, adding: “It’s a wonderful occasion to be able to do that with your family, your children or whoever you celebrate with, because people don’t realise how much sacrifice families make.

"My fiance, what she has to put up with, she has to sacrifice massive parts of her life so that I can follow my dream and she’s a constant support, she’s a rock.

"My parents are here today and it’s great for everyone they can do that and walk around, as hopefully these aren’t few and far between as we want to go again.

"But you’ve got to cherish these moments as you work 50 weeks, or 47 weeks or whatever for these moments and you’ve got to enjoy them and it’s good to enjoy them with your team-mates, but also good to enjoy them with the people you love.

“I’m very proud and delighted, the fans deserve it, the club deserves it, we do things the right way. Ever since I’ve come here, there were things in place before I came here, but we’ve done things the right way.

“We’ve gone about it, and we’re building a football club and this is just the first phase of what we’d like to achieve. I think we thoroughly deserve it and I’m very, very proud to be manager of this football club.”