No appeal for Luton as Hylton banned for four games
Luton interim boss Mick Harford has confirmed the club won't be launching an appeal to overturn Danny Hylton's red card picked up at Sunderland on Saturday.
The Town striker was sent off for the fifth time in his Hatters career, dismissed by Premier League referee Lee Probert after an aerial clash with Jack Baldwin.
It looked harsh at the time, but with TV footage unable to give a clear replay of the incident, Luton have opted against contacting the FA.
It means that Hylton will now miss four games after already being dismissed this term at Rochdale in November, as Harford said: “We were debating it, long over the last few days, whether to appeal.
“It’s got to be a clear error by the referee to get Danny off this one and it’s just not conclusive in any way.
“All the angles we’ve looked at, it’s not conclusive and we don’t want to run the risk of Danny getting an extra game for a frivolous appeal, so we just believe it’s the best way forward.
“We’ll have to cope without Danny, he’s a key player for us and he’s going to be a big miss.
“We’ll have to adapt to that and we’ll make changes obviously, but we’ll go out there and hopefully we don’t miss him on the evening.
"We’ve missed him a few times this season and we’ve performed well.
"He’ll be the one who’s feeling the sickest as it’s a game he would have loved to play in, it’s his type of game, a game with the lights on at Kenilworth Road."
On how Hylton has taken the news that he misses games against Sheffield Wednesday, Peterborough, Southend United or Chelsea and Portsmouth, Harford, who wasn’t impressed in the manner the Black Cats players reacted to the incident, continued: “Danny was distraught on the coach, on the way home, he kept telling me that it wasn’t intentional and I fully believe him.
“I had a chat with Danny this morning and he’s very, very disappointed, not in himself, just in the decision.
“‘I’ve been in that position loads of times and you back in, you put your arms up.
“He hasn’t thrown an elbow, it’s a straight arm, the lad’s come on top of it, the lad’s got straight up.
"Danny actually broke his nose in that collision, somehow he came out the worst.
“What really bug me in the two sendings off he’s had, one at Rochdale and one at Sunderland, is the reaction of the opposition players.
“They’re the ones that get you sent off, they’re in the referee’s face, I won’t mention names, but there were two or three Sunderland players around the referee, and the same at Rochdale.
“It does have an effect on the referee I’m sure.”
Club captain Alan Sheehan, who was on the bench at the time felt Probert didn't give him enough time to think about the decision, said: “It happened quickly, from my point of view, I felt the referee had his hand in his pocket before the thing happened.
“It was a split second, happened, (red card) straight out.
“He’s just given a penalty to us, the crowd’s on his back, maybe Danny Hylton’s reputation has gone before him as he’s been sent off a few times, but I thought it was incredibly harsh.
“He’s a big player for us Danny Hylton and he’s been unfortunately now, in my opinion, twice this year.
“He’s the only that’s going to suffer and possibly the team now, because we’re without Danny Hylton.”
That was a view echoed by skipper on the day Sonny Bradley, who knew the decision prevented Luton going on to win the game, saying: "I think if it had stayed 11 v 11 we’d have been nailed on for three points, but it hasn’t happened.
"It looked like to me the ref had the card out before he made the challenge, that’s how quick it all seemed to happen."
Striker James Collins said of the incident: "I was more behind it, so I didn’t see it, but the ref was adamant it was a red.
"I spoke to him and he said, 'definitely a red,' so I can’t comment on that, I don’t know.
"Hylts seems a bit hard done by, but we’ll have to have a look at it and go from there.
"I’m gutted for Danny because we’ve got a tough run-in coming now, and he’s one of the players we need in that run-in, so again we’ve got to get together and react positively."
Collins himself was also booked after going up for a header later in the game, only to see yellow.
When asked if he had been worried a second red would be shown, he added: "Not really, I don’t even think I’ve caught him.
"My arms were up,but his arms were up as well, the ref came over straight away and said 'it’s not the same, it’s just a coming together.'
"So for a second I was worried, but after that, no."