Jones praises 'secure' Shea as keeper gets the nod over number one Sluga

Stopper stayed in the Luton side to face table-toppers Fulham

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 8:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:48 pm
Town keeper James Shea clears his lines against Fulham
Town keeper James Shea clears his lines against Fulham

Luton boss Nathan Jones praised goalkeeper James Shea for the 'secure' performance produced against league leaders Fulham at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

Despite Croatian international Simon Sluga being fit and available following his bout of illness that kept him out of the 3-0 win at Blackpool last week, the 30-year-old remained in the side following an excellent display at Bloomfield Road, where he made a number of vital saves.

Shea had begun the contest well, coming of his line positively to punch clear, before being given little chance by Aleksander Mitrovic’s close range finish on 19 minutes, after Sonny Bradley had cleared Tosin Adarabioyo's header off the line.

However after the break, and following Elijah Adebayo's equaliser, Shea’s reactions were called up on to make an excellent stop from Tim Ream’s close range header which had taken a deflection of Admiral Muskwe.

His handling was then exemplary when dealing with Harry Wilson's awkward shot on the slippery surface, the Wales international having previous at Kenilworth Road, sticking one in the top corner for Cardiff last term.

Shea also punched well once more, with his distribution good as well, a late clearance almost leading to a penalty when Fred Onyedinma went over in the under Joe Bryan's shoulder barge.

On his performance, Jones said: “Superb, he’s done really well and he looked secure as the ball was fizzing.

“Harry Wilson stepped inside and hit one which is a real fizzer and he held that.

"He looked secure in terms of everything he did and that was a good thing.”

Team-mate Reece Burke, who like Shea, remained in the side from the excellent triumph at Blackpool the previous Saturday, added:

“He did really well last week, made some very, very good saves to get the clean sheet.

"He did well today too, so hopefully he gets his little spell in the team as well.”