Shea hopes his display has given Jones food for thought

Hatters keeper James Shea applauds the Town fans
Hatters keeper James Shea applauds the Town fans

Luton keeper James Shea is hoping he has given manager Nathan Jones a real selection headache ahead of Friday’s trip to Colchester United.

The 26-year-old finally made his league debut for the club during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Barnet at the weekend after Marek Stech missed out due to his partner giving birth a few days earlier.

I’ve just got to be patient and hopefully get a chance like I have done and I’ve got to take that chance.

James Shea

Shea took his chance with both hands, as Luton picked up their first clean sheet since February 10, seven games ago.

On staying between the posts over the Easter period, Shea said: “I hope so. I hope I gave the manager something to think about and that’s all I can do.

“It has been frustrating, I’m not going to lie, but Stechy’s been unbelievable this season.

“When a keeper’s playing well you’ve just got to hold your hands up, I’ve just got to be patient and hopefully get a chance like I have done and I’ve got to take that chance.

“They’re two massive games, Colchester first, we’ve got to make sure we recover well, get ourselves right for Friday and go again.”

Shea, who played almost 100 games for AFC Wimbledon prior to joining Luton in the summer, didn’t feel any nerves during his preparation for the game after being made aware he would be starting.

He continued: “We knew Stechy’s missus was going to get induced on Wednesday and it was just going on and on so I found out on Friday I was going to be playing.

“Congratulations to them both, that’s great news to him and his missus, but it’s just another game of football, that’s how I saw it.

“I’d take it at the start of the day (clean sheet), it feels really good. The less saves I do, the easier the game for us all and the defence has done their job.

“The whole back four were solid, (John) Akinde’s, he’s a handful and I thought the skip (Scott Cuthbert) and Sheezy (Alan Sheehan) were brilliant.

“They handled him and the only time they really had a chance was when we made mistakes.

“It’s just nice to get out there and finally get a league game and the boys were brilliant, so it was a great all-round day.”

Although not massively tested during the 90 minutes, Shea did keep his wits about him, turning over Simeon Akinola’s late free kick that was destined for the top corner.

He said: “It was coming straight at me first and then it took a little deflection and I just reacted and thankfully tipped it over.

“I just thought, do not get beat on my side!”

It was a stop that certainly impressed team-mate Alan McCormack, who said: “He had a quiet night, but when he got called upon, the one in the first half when his distance from the centre half was spot on.

“Akinde isn’t slow, he’s a big powerful man when he gets going. He got the run on Scotty and Sheasy concentrated all game, concentrated at that moment in time, got his position right, cleared the danger for us, that’s what you want from your keeper.

“Stechy’s done it all season, Sheasy been watching, he’s had to be patient, had a tremendous performance.

“His kicking and the save from the free kick at the end was superb.”

Meanwhile, striker James Collins added: “Sheasy’s been promoted out of this league before and Stechy’s been brilliant all season. His partner has had a baby, Sheasy’s got the chance he’s been after and didn’t he half take it.”