Jones feels Town were treated 'harshly' by the officials during Deepdale defeat

Luton boss Graeme Jones felt his side were harshly treated by referee Gavin Ward during their 2-1 defeat at Preston North End this afternoon.

Saturday, 14th December 2019, 6:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 4:22 pm
Hatters boss Graeme Jones

The official awarded two penalties in the first half, one when Matty Pearson was adjudged to have held his man in the area inside the opening five minutes, Paul Gallagher converting after James Shea had saved his initial effort.

Ward then gave Town a spotkick on 42 minutes after Callum McManaman was tripped by Paul Huntington, James Collins making no mistake.

However, moments later, Luton had another shout when Sonny Bradley was hauled down in an incident that was a virtual carbon copy of Preston’s successful claim, as when asked about not having a second go their way, Jones said: “Did you see Sonny Bradley’s wide free kick late on in the first half?

“For me they’re identical situations and I think everybody can pass their own opinion on how similar they are, let’s put it light that.

“If we go to every Football League ground in the country, they’ll have seen that contact in the box today, and I’ve said before, little Luton Town, at Deepdale, a penalty against us, we have to stand up for ourselves.

“It’s not acceptable, just like Sonny’s is not acceptable.

"It’s the same incident, so now I’m talking about a 2-1 defeat and I think we’ve been harshly treated, which is another variable against us, that’s why we all have to stick together.”

On whether the penalty wasn’t awarded due to it happening so close to Luton’s successful spotkick, Jones added: “It should be a decision made on the incident shouldn’t it?

"Not just ‘I’ve given a penalty, I can’t give a second one,’ as he didn’t think that after three minutes.

“I just feel a bit harshly done to, it’s tough enough here, to give teams a goal start.

“I know there’s nothing in it, push and shove maybe, it went on in the other box, I can see him giving a free kick against Sonny Bradley late on from a corner and I’m thinking, 'it was more of a penalty than a free kick.'

“But I’m just going to be like everyone else if I l keep squirming on about referees, and I’m not.

“You have to be above the referee, your performance needs to be above the referee.

"If Harry scores our performance was above the referee, so we need to bottle that and take that with us, next time we’re on the road.”