Superb Shea delivers his best performance yet for the Hatters

James Shea makes a fine save against Rochdale on Saturday
James Shea makes a fine save against Rochdale on Saturday

Town keeper James Shea felt Saturday’s display at Rochdale was easily his best for the club since joining in the summer of 2017.

The former AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal stopper was in inspired form at Spotland, 
making a string of fine saves during the first half to deny the hosts.

It’s my job to make saves and thankfully I made a few that kept them out and it was a good point for us.

James Shea

When asked if it was his top performance so far during the 28 appearances he has made for Luton, Shea said: “Yes, hands down.

“It’s the most I’ve had to do in a game since I’ve joined Luton to be honest, as I’ve not had much to do in games, especially recently.

“The end of last year I didn’t have much to do as we were winning, so it’s nice to contribute to a well earned point out there.

“I’m glad the saves meant something, it would have been disappointing to come off making the saves in the first half and then losing it at the end.

“It’s my job to make saves and thankfully I made a few that kept them out and it was a good point for us.

Shea made two fine stops in the first period from Ian Henderson and Brad Inman, reserving his best for the midway point, demonstrating excellent reflexes to deny Matthew Done twice with a magnificent double save.

He continued: “I thought the fella was going to pass it, but he ended up shooting.

“It probably did me a favour really, because if he’d have passed it, he would have had the whole goal to aim at.

“I stuck my leg out, it’s hit my leg, he’s gone for the rebound and it’s just hit me and thankfully we managed to get it away.

“It’s always nice to make saves as you feel like you’re doing your job.”

It had looked like Shea was going to be beaten in the second period when Zach Clough took aim from outside the box, but his rasping drive cannoned off the bar.

The keeper was unable to take any credit for it as asked if he got a touch, Shea said: “No, I can’t claim that, I wish I could.

“I thought I was beaten, it went past me and I thought, ‘oh no.’

“Then I just heard it hit the bar and it’s come back and thankfully we’ve managed to get it away.

“I would have been gutted if they had nicked a goal and won the game as it wouldn’t have meant a thing then.”

Although Keith Hill’s team were 14th in the table, with just two wins from their previous eight on home soil, Shea wasn’t surprised with the manner in which they came at Town.

He said: “They’re a good team Rochdale, we did our homework on them.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game and you’re not going to play well every single week.

“We haven’t played well, like we have in recent weeks, so we showed a different side to us to just hang on in there.

“It a gritty performance to get a well earned point as it’s a tough place to come.

“They’re a good team on their day, they’ve shown they’re a good team.

“I’m happy, not just me, the whole team. We look back at it, another game undefeated, and a good point, keep moving us forward.”

With the Hatters not in league action until November 17, Shea was pleased to be able to do that on the back of a draw which makes 10 points from a possible 12.

He added: “We wanted to have a positive result, we didn’t want to go on a little break from the league on the back of a loss.

“It keeps us up there, keeps us in and around it and we go again in a couple of weeks time.”