Hatters boss Nathan Jones believes Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu didn’t do anything wrong when winning a penalty against Newport County in midweek.
During stoppage time, the midfielder went over Exiles’ defender Jamie Turley’s leg to earn a controversial spot kick from referee Charles Breakspear, leading to some heated scenes at the final whistle, with County players claiming the Luton man had dived.
“I can show you the video because I’ve clipped it, and there were players going down far easier than that, and they weren’t wearing orange.”Hatters
When asked if he had watched the incident back, Jones, speaking during his press conference on Thursday, said: “Yes, there is contact and to be honest with you, I was a player who, if I had contact there, I would have gone down.
“I can show you the video because I’ve clipped it, and there were players going down far easier than that, and they weren’t wearing orange.
“So it’s one of those things, just because it’s outside of the box, doesn’t make it any different.
“Now I would have been incensed probably if I was them, because it’s minimal contact, but it’s contact.
“The way the game went and the amount of injury time there was, that wasn’t our problem, but we have an honest group here and I don’t ever condone any kind of cheating but I don’t think he was.
“So I’ve got no problem with that and I’m glad it was us, because we had a penalty shout against Stevenage last year which we didn’t get, they went up the other end and got one, which was softer than the one we did.
“These things happen, they even themselves out and I’m sure you’ll be asking me my opinion on a penalty that someone else has got that I don’t think is a penalty, so it’s one of those things.”
Jones also felt though that the manner in which Town won the game will give them a real boost for the remainder of the campaign, especially after having to play the final 10 minutes with 10 men due to Johnny Mullins’ red card.
He added: “What I do know is we showed real ambition the other night to win a football match, we played the right way and I’m proud of them, really proud of them.
“Because they didn’t change, they just kept at it and at it and that will give my group a real belief.
“We’ll play to the end and as I said, we were brave, because with 10 men, we still went for the game, and I felt we deserved it.
“We want to win games and at times you play with 10 men and you can’t go for it, we felt the momentum was with us.
“That was a counter attack that Johnny got sent off from and from there, we went and we created, I felt we created enough to win the game.
“But if it takes to the 95th minute which we mentioned to them at half time, then we’re quite prepared to go that late as we work hard, we’re a fit group.
“I was just pleased that we kept going, kept doing the right things for the duration of the game as that was important to me and that will give them plenty of belief.”