Luton duo felt Town's players and supporters were spurred on by controversy surrounding Jerome's disallowed goal

Hatters use contentious decision to their advantage in superb victory

By Mike Simmonds
Monday, 17th January 2022, 1:29 pm
Updated Monday, 17th January 2022, 1:30 pm
Sonny Bradley goes up for a header against Bournemouth
Sonny Bradley goes up for a header against Bournemouth

Town match-winner Kal Naismith felt the decision by referee Leigh Doughty to controversially disallowed Cameron Jerome' s goal against Bournemouth on Saturday helped spur the players on during their stunning 3-2 win over the table-toppers.

The Hatters already had a 1-0 advantage against their opponents courtesy of Lloyd Kelly’s second successive own goal against them, before Jerome swept home from close range on 36 minutes.

Although the goal was initially given, after the opposition players and backroom staff surrounded the officials claiming the Luton striker was offside and they eventually got their own way, with Doughty opting to award a free kick to the visitors.

The decision riled the home supporters, who let the officials know about it for the remainder of the clash, turning up the volume inside Kenilworth Road, as although Naismith knew there was nothing that could be done on the pitch, he felt the players used the feeling of injustice in their favour.

He said: “I think we reacted really well.

"There’s nothing you can do there as players, they’ve made their decision, you’ve got to get on with it.

"There’s no point in sulking and then back to one each and 2-1 them and then shouting at the referee, you’ve still got a game to play.

"The ref made his decision, that’s it, get on with it, which I felt we did really well and then we managed to get the second goal.

"We probably did have a bit of a reaction for it, we seemed a bit more on the front foot, a bit more aggressive, going in for challenges, maybe that was a good thing that happened for us.

“You’ve seen it all season, when we’ve given them (home fans) something to get going, but probably the ref gave them something to get going or the linesman this time.

"When they get going and get behind us, it just gives us extra yards, it’s a good place to play.”

It was the same for Allan Campbell, who ensured the score was soon 2-0 with no complaints to be had this time, arrowing into the bottom corner from 20 yards for his first goal for the club.

He said: "I think the atmosphere in the stadium lifted and it gave us a right buzz to get right in there and try to get that goal.

"That’s football, sometimes you can get things and you don’t get things, you just need to stay focused.

"I think after we didn’t get the goal, we showed great character, dug in and eventually got the other goal.”

Meanwhile, boss Nathan Jones added: "Incidents happen in games where you lift the crowd, so whether that’s a tackle, whether that’s a shot, a goal, an opportunity where there’s a bit of controversy, it lifts the crowd.

"We like it when the crowd get behind us and sometimes we have to do stuff to lift the crowd, but the crowd were magnificent.

"That mirrored the performances because we have to realise as well that they will be in top two and they should be as they’ve got a manager whose had a stellar career, they’ve been an ex-Premier League side with Premier League players, Premier League budget, who can sign big, big players.

"You look at the boy (Ethan) Laird (on-loan Manchester United full back) who's doing well at Swansea.

"They can go and say 'we want you' and get someone recalled, that’s how big they are in the Championship.

"We can’t do that, our budget is dwarfed by them, so for us to be competing and doing what we do, shows we’re doing something right here and I like that.”