Gutted Shea takes no pleasure in his own display after Leeds loss

Luton keeper James Shea couldn’t take any solace from his own starring role during Saturday’s Championship clash against Leeds United, with the Hatters ultimately going down to a 2-1 defeat.

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 10:40 am
Town keeper James Shea in action during the 2-1 defeat to Leeds on Saturday
Town keeper James Shea in action during the 2-1 defeat to Leeds on Saturday

The 28-year-old made a host of excellent stops, none better than his superb effort during the first half when he kept out Kalvin Phillips’ effort from range and then Jack Harrison’s follow-up.

He then prevented Tyler Roberts’ deflected effort flying in, before displaying some exemplary handling during the second period, twice denying Mateusz Klich.

However, Patrick Bamford, who had already opened the scoring just five minutes after half time, then stole in front of Matty Pearson for the last-gasp winner.

When asked about his own display, Shea said: “It’s my job, that’s what I’ve got to do.

"That’s what I get paid to do, to make saves and it doesn’t mean anything now though.

“We’ve lost the game, hopefully I can make some more saves and get a positive result next time.

“It doesn’t really matter as we still lost the game, all the saves are for nothing really, so in that sense, not really.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m over the moon to be playing at the minute, I want to be playing week in week out.

“It’s not just me, there’s other goalkeepers at the club that want to play, Slugs (Simon Sluga), Stechy (Marek Stech), Harry (Isted), we all want to play.

“Luckily I’m playing at the minute, so I’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully stay in goal.”

Shea and his team-mates were left slumped on the ground after Bamford found the net late on, as they couldn’t hit back in stoppage time to get the result most thought they were worthy of.

The keeper continued: “It’s not just me, everybody’s gutted that we haven’t taken something from the game.

“I do feel we deserved to at least get a point.

"We had a great chance at the end, maybe a goal that was disallowed for offside, but everyone in the dressing room is absolutely gutted that we haven’t got a point.

“Everyone’s down at the minute, it’s a tough one to take as everyone’s given their all.

“You can see how hard everyone’s worked and I’m sure we’ll bounce back on Monday.

“It’s just going to take a bit of time to get over this one, we will, we've got to let the dust settle and then go again.”

Although he was the stand-out performer, Shea thought that during the second period, Town had done enough to earn a draw against their promotion-rivals.

He said: “We knew they were going to have a lot of the ball, have waves of attack, but I felt comfortable, I’m not going to lie to you.

“That’s what I’m there for, to make saves when I need to.

"I didn’t feel they were going to break us down and then when that ball crossed the line in the last minute, I was absolutely gutted, you can see everyone else was gutted as well.

“I felt we were in control of what we were doing.

"I didn’t have that many saves to make in the second half, but they get the goal right at the end as they kept going at us.”

Shea thought he might have a chance of being the hero, as he was waved up for a late corner, but by the time the call came, the set-piece was already on its way, Dan Potts heading wide from five yards out.

He said; "I wanted to go up, Kev (Dearden) was telling me and the gaffer told me to go up.

"But by that time, the corner’s coming in and Pottsy’s had a great chance.

"If you want one person to be heading the ball it’s Pottsy, because nine times out of 10 he scores.

"His goalscoring record’s been unbelievable the last few years, so if you want it to fall to someone, it would be him, but unfortunately it didn’t go for us."

Luton might not have needed the opportunity, had Matty Pearson's goal shortly after James Collins' 54th minute equaliser been allowed to stand by the linesman.

He added: "I don’t know too much about it, there’s a bit of talk about it.

"The flag went up really late, Matty’s off knee-sliding away and then the flag decides to go up."

"it’s just one of those things you need to go your way, the luck’s not with us right now, but hopefully that will change."