Hatters chief left slightly aggrieved by 'trigger happy' referee during Cottagers trouncing

Luton boss felt his side weren’t allowed to tackle the champions

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 11:43 am
Robert Snodgrass was one of six Luton players booked at Craven Cottage on Monday night
Robert Snodgrass was one of six Luton players booked at Craven Cottage on Monday night

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left feeling slightly aggrieved by some of the decisions made what he felt was a ‘trigger happy’ referee Tim Robinson during his side’s 7-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham on Monday evening.

The experienced official set his stall out early on, booking Danny Hylton for a challenge on Harrison Reed with just 12 minutes gone, the Cottagers midfielder brandishing an imaginary card after being caught late by the striker.

With Fulham gaining the upper hand in the contest and Town’s frustrations starting to get the better of them, Tom Lockyer, Robert Snodgrass and Henri Lansbury all saw yellow before the break for robust tackles, as they struggled to get to grips with their impressive opponents.

It looked like Luton might be a man down in the second period, further hampering Jones’ options for the decider against Reading this weekend, when Dan Potts was cautioned after just six minutes for a lunging tackle, as Town certainly weren’t afraid to put their foot in.

However, with Fulham then turning the screw, scoring five more goals, and Luton unable to really get near their hosts, the visitors only had substitute Admiral Muskwe in the book late on, ensuring they at least finished with a full complement of players.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “I thought the referee was absolutely trigger happy with stuff in terms of booking people for every little thing.

“It was as if, well, we can’t touch them, they’re the champions, so I was a little bit aggrieved with that, but you can’t say that now as they’ve been excellent all afternoon.

"They’ve been wonderful, they’ve won the league and rightly so.”

One potentially controversial incident in the opening 45 minutes saw Fred Onyedinma pull up once more holding his hamstring when sprinting away on the right.

His run initially took him off the pitch, although he eventually made his way back on to the playing surface and was forced to just sit there and watch as Tom Cairney slammed the Cottagers in front.

Jones had hoped play would be stopped for the winger to receive treatment, but didn’t expect Fulham to halt proceedings, adding: “It was an even game, they weren’t carving us open, we were aggressive, but once they scored the first, then that freed them up a little bit.

“They scored the second quite quickly after, which then relaxed then, we would have liked them to put the ball out but they’re not going to, there’s no onus on them to do that.

“They’re not going to as they want to take advantage of having 10 men, what Fred’s got to do is come back on and go down, then they would have stopped the game.

“That’s just clever game management and then, who’s to say they’re going to score?

"But they are that kind of side, up until the first goal, a pretty even game, we were aggressive, but then after that we didn't do the things we did.

"Second half we were poor and even when we changed shape and tried to be compact, we weren’t.

"They’re a good side, they’re confident, they’re playing with freedom, they can do that to a lot of sides, but we can’t dwell on that we have to look forward.”