Cranie doesn't want to wait another five years for his next goal

Martin Cranie is mobbed after scoring for Luton on Friday night
Martin Cranie is mobbed after scoring for Luton on Friday night

Luton defender Martin Cranie is hoping to finally crack the art of goalscoring this season after netting his first strike in just under five years during the 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough on Friday night.

The full back put Town 2-1 in front after 25 minutes, after last finding the net when scoring in a 2-1 win for Barnsley at Crewe Alexandra on August 16,2014.

In fact, it was just the third goal of 15-year career, with his opening goal coming when a Coventry City player during a 3-2 victory over Sheffield United on September 15, 2009.

Cranie, who has played over 400 games in that time, said: “I haven’t scored for a few years now, that was nice just to grab a goal early, maybe settle in even more.

“To get off the mark on my debut, I was delighted, and the way the team played throughout the 90 minutes, I thought the team equipped themselves really well.

“I can tell you exactly where it was (my last goal), it was Crewe away, a header again, I can still remember it.

“Obviously I don’t score that many, so I can remember them well!

“In some teams I’ve played in a position where I’ll be the one who stays back in the team, saying that, I still should have had more goals, so hopefully this season I can stick a few more away.

“I’ve probably missed some sitters over the years that I should have scored, but it’s nice to get off the mark early here and hopefully I can get a few more.”

Speaking about the goal itself, which saw Cranie rise highest to head home a corner from Andrew Shinnie, the defender continued: “It was brilliant delivery, right in the area where we’ve been practicing all week, where to put the ball.

“Luckily enough I got a jump on their player and in the end it was quite an easy finish.”

Cranie wasn’t the only player getting his first goal in a Luton shirt that night, as captain Sonny Bradley hammered home a wonder volley from 20 yards shortly beforehand.

The full back continued: “I didn’t even realise he didn’t score last season, but to open his account like that, I’m delighted.

“It was some strike wasn’t it, especially to get the first goal of the season for us in some style like that, it was brilliant.”

Cranie was also involved at the end of the field once more in the second half, giving away a penalty for a foul on Hayden Coulson with Town trailing 3-2 which Britt Assombalonga blasted over the bar.

It looked on first viewing like the offence happened outside the area, which is something the defender felt was the case.

He said: “I still think it was, at the time I thought it was, and when I’ve seen it back, I thought it was definitely outside, but the ref had a call to make.

“I don’t think he was probably in the best position to make that call at the time.

“He’s missed the penalty which I thought was a bit of justice as I didn’t think it was a penalty at the time.

“So that might have spurred us on a bit more, if they had scored that, it would have put us 4-2 down and might have put the game out of site, but we cracked on and we got a goal.”

That late equaliser came through James Collins, who might have even won it at the death, but for the reactions of visiting keeper Darren Randolph.

Cranie added: “He’s been showing in training how good a finisher he is.

“It was the right man at the right time and the keeper pulled off a brilliant save after that.

“So we’ve gone from maybe being 4-2 down to possibly winning the game 4-3.

“The Championship is a bit like that, a game can be end-to-end, thrilling stuff, but I’m glad we came out with a point in the end.”