Hatters boss slams the Stevenage pitch

Harry Cornick sets off on a run against Stevenage
Harry Cornick sets off on a run against Stevenage

Luton chief Nathan Jones was heavily critical of the pitch at the Lamex Stadium after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Stevenage yesterday.

With the playing surface cutting up during the warm-up and conditions worsening as the game progressed, the quality of the game suffered throughout, serving up an affair that was devoid of excitement until the final five minutes.

Then, James Collins looked to have won it from the penalty spot only for Danny Newton to equalise almost immediately, as Jones said: “We picked a side for it to be a trudging, grinding game really, and it was that, conditions were awful.

“I can’t tell you how bad the pitch is because it was never going to be a fluent game.

“We’ve got footballers, we pick a side of footballers. If I knew the pitches were going to be like that for 46 games, then my recruitment policy would be a hell of a lot different than what it is now.

“We knew it was going to be difficult and we knew we’d have to dig in and we’re working with those as we’ve got a lot of talent in the side and that showed."

When the two sides met at Kenilworth Road on a sunny afternoon back in October, Town had romped to a 7-1 drubbing, but Jones knew replicating that kind of display was almost impossible.

He continued: “The pitch contributed to that, as on an even surface, we played well at home, but it was never going to be allowed to be like that, as no two games are ever going to be the same.

“They dug in, they really did grind and graft and for 85, 86 minutes, you would have taken that all day long.

“We’d have gone out there and said that’s what sides have to do sometimes. So to concede in the manner we did was disappointing, but I can’t be too critical as it was probably a fair result.”

Striker Collins, who made it 14 for the season from 12 yards, said: “It is a horrible place to come and there was extra pressure because of the scoreline at Kenilworth Road.

“The crowd are on you and the pitch isn’t great, but when you go 1-0 up, that’s why it’s so disappointing as you should back yourself to see the four or five minutes out, but it wasn’t to be and we go again Tuesday.”

Meanwhile, defender Glen Rea, who along with the rest of the visitors’ back-line limited chances on Town’s goal to a minimum, added: “We knew they were going to make it difficult for us, but we came here, we wanted to be solid, which I thought we were.

"It's just right at the end, it’s just a bit annoying isn’t it.”