Town boss didn't think there was any luck behind decision to disallow late City equaliser

Work on the training ground pays off for Hatters

By Mike Simmonds
Monday, 26th April 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 4:02 pm
Kal Naismith tries to prevent the ball crossing the line although it wouldn't have mattered as the flag had already been raised
Kal Naismith tries to prevent the ball crossing the line although it wouldn't have mattered as the flag had already been raised

Luton manager Nathan Jones didn’t feel there was a huge amount of luck involved in seeing a late goal disallowed for the second week running during Sunday’s 3-2 comeback win over Bristol City.

Following on from last weekend’s derby day 1-0 victory against Watford, which saw ex-Hatter Andre Gray’s stoppage time equaliser chalked off due to an assistant referee’s flag, it was the same at Ashton Gate yesterday.

This time, another corner was sent into the Town area where young forward Tommy Conway thought he had squeezed it over the line to make it 3-3 despite the intervention of Kal Naismith who was adamant it hadn't gone in, wheeling away to celebrate what would have been a first senior goal.

However, once again the flag was up for offside against the Robins striker, who noticed just before embarking on what looked a certain kneeslide celebration, as Luton avoided any further scares to emerge triumphant.

Speaking afterwards, Jones said: “It is the right decision, it’s offside.

“I keep saying it’s structure as we leave certain people unmarked and we squeeze so that anything headed back, he’s offside.

“Providing no-one goes to sleep it's kind of planned, it’s not luck, so we're delighted.

“Even a point here coming back from 2-0 down would have been a good one, but three is brilliant and takes us on nicely.”

However, Jones was less than pleased with his defence for their efforts during the first half which were anything but planned, allowing the hosts move 2-0 in front without having to do that much in which to score both times.

The first saw Naismith beaten over commit to a ball forward, and with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu unable to prevent Adam Nagy driving away, he found Nahki Wells to drill past Simon Sluga.

Then Naismith was outjumped from a deep free kick and after an unmarked Wells' header was parried by Sluga, Nagy converted the rebound.

Jones didn't mince his words when picking apart either goal, adding: "We stepped in and we missed a tackle, two of them did, we didn’t stop the play, then we got exposed and then they punished us.

"It's a great ball and Nahki Wells a great finish.

"The second goal is just sacrilege, we have a free kick, Nahki Wells went down and he only got kicked in the proverbials to be fair.

"Why we stopped the play I don’t know? It seemed like a friendly, 'ah we’ll do that', any ruthless team goes 'no, you’ll recover, we’ll go and attack'.

"Then from the free kick, we've given the ball back and switch off, someone ran off the back of Pelly, they overloaded and it's just sacrilege.

"We shouldn’t be doing that and that’s the thing really, so I can’t say we weren't at it, cant say we didn't do this, didn't do that, we just didn't do the basics right.

"If we come in at 0-0, we’ve got to just step it up, but it's a great way to win a game.

"Second half we stepped on to the game and we deservedly got three goals as I think we had enough chances to score three goals and then we managed to show a clinical edge."