Hatters striker Jerome convinced he should have been awarded his first goal of the season in QPR victory

Cameron Jerome wheels away after being involved in Luton's second goal against QPR on SaturdayCameron Jerome wheels away after being involved in Luton's second goal against QPR on Saturday
Cameron Jerome wheels away after being involved in Luton's second goal against QPR on Saturday
Town forward thought ball had hit him last to double the Hatters’ lead at Kenilworth Road

Town striker Cameron Jerome was hoping that he would be awarded his first goal of the season following Saturday’s 3-1 victory over QPR.

The 36-year-old came off the bench as part of what proved to be an inspired triple substitution with 23 minutes to go by Luton boss Nathan Jones, who with his side leading 1-0, opted to withdraw both forwards Carlton Morris and Elijah Adebayo, plus influential midfielder Henri Lansbury as well.

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That saw Jerome and Harry Cornick take up the two forward roles, with Luke Freeman slotting into the midfield, giving Luton some much-needed fresh legs as they were able to press the visitors once more and knock them out of their stride.

It paid off handsomely 10 minutes later as well, Aston Villa loanee Tim Iroegbunam’s short pass intercepted by Jerome, who flicked it beyond centre half Jimmy Dunne, the pair then bearing down on goal as keeper Seny Dieng raced out.

Although he got their first, the Senegal international could only hammer his clearance against what appeared to be a combination of Jerome and Dunne, bouncing towards the now unguarded net.

Rather than strain every sinew to try and tap it in to make sure, the Luton attacker was already off celebrating Town doubling their advantage, as speaking afterwards, he thought it would be chalked down to him, saying: “I don’t understand why they’ve put it as an own goal as it came off my knee after the keeper.

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“I’ll have to look at it closely and maybe put in a little text to Sky or whoever’s in charge of the goals, but it definitely came off my knee and that’s why I didn’t bother chasing it.

Luke Freeman makes it 3-1 to Luton at Kenilworth RoadLuke Freeman makes it 3-1 to Luton at Kenilworth Road
Luke Freeman makes it 3-1 to Luton at Kenilworth Road

“I let it go, I didn’t feel the need to chase after the ball, but nevertheless, I’m happy to come on and make an impact.

“It doesn’t matter who got the goals, it’s about picking up the victory and moving on to the next game.

"If it didn’t (come off him), it’s not to be and the three points are the most important thing.”

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As the game was about to enter stoppage time, QPR had one back, when Andre Dozzell’s cross flicked off Sonny Bradley and hit the bar before going in off the unfortunate Ethan Horvath’s back, as Town scored their third own goal in their last two home encounters.

However, any nerves were swiftly put to bed when two more of the hosts’ replacements combined for the third, Cornick delaying his pass perfectly for Freeman to tap home against his former club.

Asked about the impact of his players from the bench, boss Jones said: “That’s what we want, we call them game-changers, we want that impetus.

"We changed both of them (strikers) which was always a gamble, because they’re good from set-plays in both boxes, they’re two big, strong, but they can’t maintain the work that they do.

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"When you’ve got two to bring on in Cameron Jerome and Harry Cornick, then Luke Freeman instead of Henri, it shows we’re in a decent place squad-wise.

"We ask them to buy into that and that’s the good thing about the environment is, they have to train like they’re going to play, so that when they do come on, they’re able to impact like that, and that’s a credit to the group.

"The really good thing was the game-changers that came on really impacted and effectively took the game away from QPR.

"They scored from a set-play, a scrappy set-play late on, but the game was done, it should have been done by then.

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"It was a wonderful win, I’m really proud of them as it was against a tough side.”

When asked if it had been a big call from his manager to swap three players at such a critical point of the game, with matches against Norwich City and the small matter of a trip to Watford in the next few days, Jerome added: “I don't think it’s a bold decision, it’s utilising the squad.

"We had three games last week, we’ve got three games this week, it's just about freshening things up.

“That’s the whole point about having a squad for you to have it at your disposal.

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"The manager’s instructions were to go and take the game away from QPR and I thought we did that, the boys who came on and the team, we managed to do that.

"We’re a little bit disappointed we didn’t keep the clean sheet, but we responded and killed the game in the end.

“It’s brilliant, it’s testament to the boys coming on ready to make an impact and try and have some actions and some outcomes.”