Town chief thankful to keeper Sluga for preserving Luton's point with stoppage time save

Jones praises Croatian stopper for preventing Sunjic from winning it for the visitors

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 1:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 1:28 pm
Simon Sluga tips over Ivan Sunjic's late effort
Simon Sluga tips over Ivan Sunjic's late effort

Luton boss Nathan Jones was thankful to keeper Simon Sluga for what he deemed a ‘wonderful’ save to make sure Town didn’t leave Kenilworth Road empty handed against Birmingham City last night.

The Croatian stopper had watched on for the majority of the encounter as opposite number Neil Etheridge was by far the busier man, making a number of stops to keep the scores 1-1, none better than his remarkable close range effort to deny James Collins.

However, Sluga was to have a huge part to play himself in the final outcome, when during stoppage time, Town's back-line was sliced open, allowing fellow countryman Ivan Sunjic to bear down on goal.

It had looked like the midfielder would break Luton's hearts and give Blues a victory they scarcely deserved, until the Hatters's number one managed to palm his shot over the bar.,

Jones said: “It would have been a travesty, absolute travesty, and that’s what the level can do to you,

“But he needed to (make the save) and along the line, I’m sure defenders have pulled him out of a hole, out of a bit of trouble.

“That’s what he’s there for, he's an international goalkeeper, that's his real strength and he’s pulled off a wonderful save, but we should have been out of sight by then, that should have been a consolation.

"As it was, we got a point, another good performance and the performance we have to take from it, as if we play like that week in week out, if that’s our level, then we'll be in a good place.”

Sluga had been given little chance midway through the first half when Lukas Jutkiewicz kept up his record of scoring in every game against Luton, drilling home form the penalty spot after Elliot Lee had handled Maxime Colin’s right wing cross.

On whether it was a spot-kick, Jones continued: “I have no idea about the handball rule, I couldn’t explain it to you now.

"It seems a little bit harsh from a home point of view, from an away point of view it’s probably clear.

"But I have no idea, so I can’t say he’s (referee David Webb) wrong because I don’t think the people that actually make the rules no what’s going on, so I have no idea."