Forest boss felt 'the best team lost' as Reds' unbeaten run is ended by Luton
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper was left in no doubt that the ‘best team lost’ as his side were beaten 1-0 at Kenilworth Road on Good Friday.
The Hatters scored the only goal of the game through Kal Naismith’s 37th minute penalty, given when Jack Colback was adjudged to have handled James Bree’s flick inside the area.
Early in the second half, Djed Spence thought he had levelled when beating James Shea at his near post, only for the same linesman who had awarded the spot-kick, to raise his flag once more and chalk the goal off.
The Reds had gone close through Lewis Grabban’s shot which was brilliantly saved by Shea in the first period, while Philip Zinckernagel put a header too close to the Luton keeper and curled against the post, Brennan Johnson also denied by the Hatters stopper.
After seeing his side’s 10-game unbeaten run come to an end, a frustrated Cooper said: “The Djed Spence (disallowed) goal is a huge error by the linesman.
“The left-back (Onyedinma) has played Djed in, that's cost us.
"I don't think a (refereeing) mistake like that should happen at this level, it's had such an impact on the game, everyone saw it.
"In saying that, we missed a load of good chances as well.
“We've created more than enough chances in the second half to have got at least one point.
"There's no doubt that the best team lost, but sometimes it goes that way.
“It seemed like a long game with the minutes that were played, it probably mentally was with so many things that didn’t go our way, and the injustice of the officials.
“But this is the league that we play in, it’s not abnormal to have a physical and emotional game and you have to get on with it.
“We were going to lose a game at some stage, even if we didn't really deserve to lose, now we have to show that we can handle that.
“It was very unlikely we were going to carry on until the end of the season and not get beat.
“It's come today and more than a little bit unlucky.
"We could have played better than we did in the first half, played well enough in the second half to get at least a draw, and we didn't, so we have to get on with it.”