Jones refutes Coleman's claims that Luton and striker Hylton were to blame

Luton and Accrington players argue as they head off the pitch at half time on Tuesday night
Luton and Accrington players argue as they head off the pitch at half time on Tuesday night

Hatters boss Nathan Jones has firmly refuted claims from Accrington boss John Coleman that his side were to blame for the half time incident during their 4-1 win on Tuesday night.

When referee Chris Sarginson’s whistle blew for the interval, there was a host of pushing and shoving as the players made their way to the tunnel, with Jimmy Bell and ALan McCormack booked after the interval for their part in procedings.

Coleman claimed afterwards, among a host of things that it was started by the Hatters, and that he and his coaching staff were kicked by members of Luton’s squad and management team.

However, quite rightly, Jones took issue with that, saying: “I know what happened because I was there and it categorically wasn’t started by anyone from Luton Town, there was nothing went on untoward from anyone at Luton Town.

“Because of those comments, we’ve had to send the video off. It will come back and I’m quite sure, unless the FA sees something totally different from what everyone at Luton Town sees, that we actually acted in an exemplary manner.

“We were pulling our players away from any confrontation, we made sure that we did, I did it myself.

“We tried to diffuse the situation with certain members of Accrington’s staff, so I know how my club have acted and that’s all I can be worried about.

"Anything that goes on is down to the authorities.

“It mars a real good rivalry, because we’ve got a real good rivalry with Accrington and those games are real gooduns, the heat involved in it.

“We’ve had to play well and we have and we won the game.”

Coleman pointed the finger of blame mainly at Town striker Danny Hylton, accusing him of poking defender Nick Anderton in the eyes, an offence that Jones poured cold water on.

He continued: “He won’t be the first one to criticise Hylton when he’s performed like he has and scored.

“Danny is a player that gives it out, takes it, a bit like Billy Kee.

“I don’t come out and moan about Billy Kee because Billy Kee’s a fantastic player.

“He does certain stuff in a game that annoys me as an opposing manager, but he’s the type of player that you respect because he does it week in week out.

“Certain other players in other teams that do it, they attract that kind of criticism, but Danny’s a top pro, a great lad, and he’s a player that, I’ve got to be honest with you, I think most managers would have, regardless of any type of criticism.

“If they had a chance to have Danny Hylton in their side, they'd want him, we’re lucky enough we have.”

One thing that Jones was determined to praise as well was the manner in which his side didn’t let the halt time kerfuffle knock them out of their stride either, going on to score three times in the second period to run out 4-1 winners.

He said: “That’s the one thing that comes out of it, I didn’t mention it in the interview after, that was one thing I was really proud of them for.

“Look, whatever tactic was used to unsettle a group of players, ours didn’t.

“We rose above what happened at half time and to come through with the performance that was excellent.

“It was a good game of football and it marred a good game of football if I’m honest.

“There was nothing really untoward happened at half time, it just looked like a melee but nothing really.

“I’ve been involved in games where far more than that happens at half time and it’s just dust yourself down and go again.

“But we made sure we came out second half and we were excellent. Both sides had chances second half, if everyone had taken their chances it would have been about 8-3, as it was a good second half.”

Coleman's final issue was that his side deserved something out of the encounter, feeling they had more shots on target.

The stats proved otherwise though, and Jones insisted his side were deserving winners, adding: "We came out second half, we were right at it, I’ve watched the video, so I’ve got the video evidence to show how good our performance was.

“We came out of the blocks, yes they gave the ball away, then we punished them, then we punished them again from a real good pressing move and clinical-ness.

“Then we saw the game out really well, coupled with them having a couple of chances, one hitting the bar and they had one or two blocked, but we had some great chances late on in the game and I felt that was a fair result.

“It was a real good team performance.

"I could be slightly critical of one or two of our players, I but I thought from start to finish, we were excellent.

"We scored some really good goals, showed some real athleticism about us, we moved the ball well, so did Accrington to be fair, at times they caused us problems and they put a lot of balls in your box which we defended superbly well, because we worked on that.

"We stayed strong centrally, we know can defend our box well with the people we have, it was a very good performance."