Slade felt his Grimsby side were not a 'million miles' behind Luton

James Collins celebrates making it 2-0 to Luton
James Collins celebrates making it 2-0 to Luton

Grimsby boss Russell Slade felt hard done by during his side’s 2-0 defeat to Luton Town yesterday afternoon.

The Mariners chief thought that visiting keeper James McKeown had been under-worked throughout the clash at Kenilworth Road, only troubled by some late chances for the hosts.

However, they came when he had already picked the ball out of the net twice, beaten by Luke Berry and James Collins as Luton were leading 2-0, with Slade saying: “When you’re playing the top teams it’s a fine line.

“Two little misjudgments have cost us today.

“Do you know the first save Macca has made? 87th minute.

“There’s not many teams that could come to Luton and say the goalkeeper has made his first save in the 87th minute.

“That’s the only one that was on target, other than the ones they scored from the free-kick and from 20 yards outside the box.

“They’ve got a good squad. They’ve invested heavily in a big squad. They’ve had time, which is just as important, to develop what they do.

“We’re still in transition, if you like, we’re progressing, getting better, there’s no doubt about that.

“We played the best side today. Were we a million miles behind them? I don’t think we were a million miles behind them.”

Slade also pointed to a number of mistakes made for both goals, adding: “Zak (Mills) went bombing forward, had an opportunity to score inside their box, scuffed it and they broke from there because we’ve not kept a nice balance about us.

“They’ve hurt us from that situation. We’ve not closed down Berry and he’s given them the first goal, which is always going to be important at Luton Town.

“Ben (Davies) should have dealt with it (for the second).

“The ball should’ve gone forward or we should’ve belted it at the player and won a thrown-in.

“We didn’t and we paid dearly for that. Mitch (Rose) has lost him. He’s put his hands up but you can’t afford to lose somebody by a foot and a half.

“When balls are fizzed in like that it’s going to be a goal. We’ve not dealt with that.

“Just after half time, I thought we were having an excellent spell before they scored. I thought we were the better side.

“I thought we were creating, we were causing them problems. They got their second goal, unfortunately, against the run of play as their bench was panicking in the second half when we were on top.”