McNulty not dwelling on penalty decision

Steve McNulty
Steve McNulty

Hatters skipper Steve McNulty wasn’t blaming referee James Adcock for Town’s inability to defeat promotion rivals Shrewsbury Town at Kenilworth Road on Thursday evening.

The official denied Town what looked a clear-cut penalty when Andy Drury’s cross struck Cameron Gayle’s outstretched arm in the area during the second half.

Although he didn’t feel Adcock handled the game particularly well throughout, McNulty said: “It’s the same for both sides, we can’t stand here and make excuses on what we can’t control and can’t affect.

“We’ve just got to concentrate on our own jobs and not worry about that. I thought he wasn’t the best, he was too stop start and didn’t let the game flow as he was pulling things up when he didn’t need to.

“But we can’t look back at penalty decisions and can’t hope he’s giving us pens to win games.”

That view was echoed by boss John Still as he said: “If it’s handball and they’re (Luton’s players) adamant it was, the referee’s made a mistake.

“There’s nothing I can do about that, it’s back to control the controllables. I can help people to play and get them to do the right things, but we rely on other people to do their job.

“If he hasn’t done his job particularly well, there’s nothing we can do about that.”

However, new loan signing Jayden Stockley was of the opinion that it had been a clear spot kick, as he said: “I was getting on the end of the cross, it was coming in the box, so if something’s stopping that, I think it should be a penalty.

“I thought we were going to get a slice of luck, especially with the ball into the box a few times, but it kept narrowly avoiding the goal.”

Adcock did send off Nathaniel Knight-Percival during the second half for two fouls in quick succession on Jonathan Smith, but McNulty felt that if anything, it helped the Shrews dig in for a point.

He continued: “They had a man sent off, but sometimes it’s tougher playing against 10 men. I thought they had a bit more of the play, we were giving the ball away stupidly and making wrong decisions as passes weren’t getting there.”

One thing McNulty wasn’t too pleased about was Shrewsbury’s antics towards the official as he said: “It was a feisty game and challenges were going in.

“But every time we made a foul they were round the referee trying to get people sent off and I don’t like that.

“We’re all men, it’s a contact sport, we don’t want this turning into a non contact sport as we might as well all pack it in and stop playing.

“We’re not playing in the Premier League when we’ve got foreign players diving round, we’re League Two, it’s feisty and physical and that’s what we like.”