Bell thrilled to get off the mark for Luton with his first goal since March 2019

Defender aims to add more to his tally this term

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 12:14 pm
Amari'i Bell celebrates his winner for Luton at Barnsley
Amari'i Bell celebrates his winner for Luton at Barnsley

Hatters defender Amari’i Bell was elated to get his first goal in well over two years as the Hatters recorded a 1-0 win at Barnsley on Tuesday night.

With just four minutes on the clock, striker Elijah Adebayo broke on the right from Henri Lansbury’s long free kick, his cross touched on by Cameron Jermome for the full back to find the net from just outside the box on his supposedly weaker right foot.

Although accounts of the goal may vary, the Tykes official Twitter page describing it as a ‘tap in’, for Bell it was a first goal in the league since he scored for Blackburn Rovers at Aston Villa on March 30, 2019, some 54 appearances ago.

On his goal, Bell said: “It’s been a long time, I’ve come close, I remember last season I scored one, they said it was offside, but it wasn’t.

“It’s good to get one today and get on the scoresheet and get my targets going.”

When asked what was running through his mind when Adebayo’s cross reached him, Bell continued: “I just thought I’m going to hit it.

"I believe in myself to get it on target and put it in the position where I wanted to, it came off, so I’m happy with that.

“I had a similar chance against Peterborough too so it just shows that the hard work is coming off and that's something that I’ve set a few targets at the beginning of the season, to get some goals and assists.

"To get one early in the season is great, gives me a bit more momentum.

“It was another right footed chance and it’s good that I’ve got it on target and once you do that, you give yourself a chance.”

Manager Nathan Jones was also happy to see the summer signing from Blackburn Rovers defender weigh in with a goal, especially when utilised in a wingback role at Oakwell.

Bell also became the seventh different player to score for Luton already this term in just four games, a feat that took Town 14 matches to manage last season, when George Moncur netted at Huddersfield Town.

The boss said: “He could have scored the other day, at Peterborough he had a similar chance if you remember, a cut back and it got blocked and went out for a corner.

"I'm delighted for him, we play wingbacks, we want them to play high.

"Breesy (James Bree) had a different job on his hands containing Callum Styles who played inverted as a midfield player.

"Barnsley cause you problems, they have a real good way about them and credit to their manager as whoever they have as a manager it’s the same team.

"It’s a difficult place to come but thankfully a good one for us.”

After falling behind early on at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday in a 3-2 defeat, this time it was the Hatters who broke the deadlock inside five minutes to give themselves something to preserve for the rest of the match.

Bell knew it was vital, adding: “The start is important in any game.

"If you get off to a bad start it can put you on the back foot, so we know that we needed to and we did that definitely.

“You’re going to get some of those games where you’re under the cosh for large spells and I thought we did well, defended great, clean sheet and the victory so we can’t complain.”