Luton Town chief Nathan Jones criticised skipper Alan Sheehan for a ‘lack of discipline’ after the defender was sent off with just four minutes on the clock during yesterday’s 4-2 win over Lincoln City.
The Irishman was involved in an off the ball tussle with Imps striker Matt Rhead with the pair exchanging blows, although only Sheehan was sent off by referee Nicholas Kinseley as his opponent hit the ground holding his face.
It left Luton with 85 minutes to play against 11 men, which although was evened up in the 36th minute with the visitors’ Harry Anderson dismissed too, didn’t see Jones try to defend Sheehan’s actions.
He said: “We’ve done a big thing on it as he’s a focal point for them.
“Whoever gets it on their pitch, tries to hit Rhead, so we know that.
“We earmarked and helped them, he wants to be proactive, and wants to go and win it early, but to lash out in any way, shape or form, to put us on the back foot is unacceptable, because after four minutes we’re on the back foot.
To lash out in any way, shape or form, to put us on the back foot is unacceptable.Nathan Jones
“He’s our captain, it can’t happen and it’s a lack of discipline and it’s happened to us before.
“That’s the only thing that’s going to cost us I feel as we’re in such good form, I can’t accept that.”
When asked if he thought Rhead, who was booked for celebrating the ensuing goal from Michael Bostwick and then replaced at half time before having an early bath himself, should have also seen red for his part in the incident, Jones continued: “I’m not really sure, I’ll have a look again.
“What I took umbrage to and what I celebrated a little bit and what I had to apologise to their manager for because I over celebrated, was he celebrated after that and went in front of our fans like he won the World Cup.
“It’s a long to way to go at Kenilworth Road. I don’t know if he’s seen some of our fixtures and some of our scores, but we aren’t bad here.
“So to start celebrating showed naivety and I told him that.
“He didn’t need to do that, he’s doing well enough in his career that he doesn’t need to do that, because he’s a threat.
“He showed his naivety and it came back to bite him on his bum.”
Meanwhile, striker Danny Hylton admitted that Sheehan had apologised for the early red, saying: “Of course, he said he’s sorry for getting sent off, he was the captain, but everyone makes mistakes.
“I’ve done them and we’ve all done them, but the main thing was that we dug in and won the game and he probably won’t get in as much trouble as if we hadn’t
“I didn’t see it (the incident), I turned to the ball, saw their striker on the floor and the ref’s given him a red card.
“Sheeze said he didn’t touch him, the striker said to me he didn’t touch him, but said that Sheeze swung an arm.
“I’ll have to see it back, but I don’t think he touched him, I think Rhead has just gone down, but the ref might have thought he did.
“It doesn’t really matter, we went on and won the game and that’s the main thing.”