Pearson hails defensive display during Hatters’ Iron triumph

Hatters defenders Matty Pearson clears the danger against Scunthorpe
Hatters defenders Matty Pearson clears the danger against Scunthorpe

Centre half Matty Pearson felt his side’s solid defensive display played a big part in the Hatters’ 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United at the weekend.

With the scoreline at 2-1 in Town’s favour for large parts of the second half, it left the final result in the balance, but Luton kept the back door firmly shut, limiting any clear-cut chances on James Shea’s goal.

I thought all of us rode it out really well, as that’s when you win and lose games.

Matty Pearson

It proved crucial as James Justin went on to make it 3-1, with five minutes to go, as Pearson said: “For periods of the second half, I felt like they were on top and that’s when we had to dig in.

“I thought all of us rode it out really well, as that’s when you win and lose games.

“When they’re on top, and score two or three goals, that can put you out of the game.

“Thankfully we rode it and we hit them on the counter and that third goal made us win the game.

“Sometimes you’ve got to do that, it’s always going to happen in games and I felt like they had a long period of pressure on us, so it’s nice to get through it and deal with it.”

Although boss Nathan Jones didn’t want to highlight only Pearson, he was left impressed by his summer signing’s performance, saying: “These are a tough side, a side that scores goals.

“They got five in midweek and they put pressure on you as they go a little bit gung-ho at times, so to keep them down to the minimal efforts, I felt we did that.

“I thought it was a good defensive performance all round, I really do.

“I think we’re top two in terms of shots on our goal, chances conceded, it’s just the ones that people are having, they’re tending to score.

“But we’re very, very good, we defend well as a unit, defend from the front, we press, we ask them to do big shifts and work hard and then we try to play the right way.

“I’m very pleased with Matty Pearson, he was bought here for that reason.

“We invested in him and Sonny (Bradley) has been excellent, aided very, very well with two full backs, who defend well and attack.

“Then there are people in front of them, so not to single out anyone, I thought he (Pearson) was magnificent, but there were a few real big performances out there.”

In typical miserly style, Pearson couldn’t hide his frustration that Town had been pegged back to 3-2 in stoppage time though, saying: “I was disappointed at the end as we conceded that late goal, but thankfully it didn’t matter.

“I hate conceding goals, it was just one of them, a bit scrappy, they got a little flick over and I’ll have to look at it back. It’s not ideal, but we’ll have a look and see where we could do better.

“It’s annoying because we do the stats and we seem to not have many chances created against us, but when they do they score.

“It’s annoying, it’s not like they’re getting in every time, they’re getting two or three chances and seem to score, so hopefully we’ll sort it out.”

It wasn’t just Pearson’s defensive duties that caught the eye in his man of the match outing, as he set up Cornick’s first goal and then went on a driving run forward in the second period as well.

He added: “H’s pace is frightening, I’d hate to play against him. He’s good at stuff like that, good at latching on to loose balls and running at the defender. It’s one of his strengths, we play to that and it’s worked out well for us.

“I got a bit of nosebleed going up there, but it’s good to set up counter attacks.

“It makes you confident and it’s nice to see, it’s good to add it to your game.”

Pearson was alongside Sonny Bradley for the eighth league game running, as on the partnership, he added: “I’m happy how it’s going but whoever you play with, whatever team is put out, we’re all in it together, we’re just out there to win games.”