Jones relieved to banish his sickening Barnet memories

Hatters boss Nathan Jones with match-winner Olly Lee
Hatters boss Nathan Jones with match-winner Olly Lee

Luton boss Nathan Jones was relieved to banish the memories of his previous trip to Barnet with a 1-0 win at the weekend.

Last season, the Hatters were beaten 2-1 in injury time, as John Akinde netted a penalty to end any realistic hopes the visitors had of making the play-offs.

Town chief Nathan Jones salutes the away fans at the final whistle

Town chief Nathan Jones salutes the away fans at the final whistle

However, on Saturday, despite never being at their best, Town ground out a 1-0 triumph courtesy of Olly Lee’s classy finish midway through the second half, as Jones said: “We came here last year and I was sick, I was physically sick after the manner of the performance and how we played and then to lose the game in the manner that we did, I was physically sick.

“But this year is totally different, and we were better last year.

“Our all round performance was better, but we didn’t keep a clean sheet and we just gave it away in the 96th minute, but today we got the win.

“It’s our second clean sheet on the bounce, second 1-0 win, I’ll take that all day.”

I was sick, I was physically sick after the manner of the performance and how we played and then to lose the game in the manner that we did.

Nathan Jones

The result saw Luton climb up to fourth place once more, ahead of Stevenage, who were hammered 4-0 at Colchester. However, Portsmouth’s 3-1 triumph over Yeovil kept the gap to automatic promotion to eight points with just five games left, as Jones continued: “We won’t give up, it’s difficult and you’d rather be in Portsmouth’s position than you would in ours and it’s theirs to lose.

“All we can do is concentrate on our games and keep winning, and keep trying to win.

“We went through a really sticky spell which meant others could open up a gap over us.

“But we’ve shown real character and gone back to basics. We’ve been less fluent, today especially, but we’ve ground out two wins.

“The tempo of ours was down in terms of we couldn’t press how we wanted, we couldn’t really get after them because it was a hot day.

“It wasn’t as fluent, wasn’t as slick, we’re just delighted with the win.

“We ground it out and that’s what you’ve got to do at this point. It’s no good playing well and not picking up wins, because not many look at your performances. It’s all about wins and that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Jones himself ran the gauntlet of emotions during the game, getting more and more animated on the touchlines, as on his antics, he added: “At this stage of the season where nerves get in and some of the things that happen, you’re thinking, ‘hang on, we never do that.’

“But it’s that time of year and it’s who keeps their nerve more. We showed probably the biggest bit of quality on the pitch it was nerve wracking.

“My heart is in all sorts of bother, it really is. That’s why I get up at six in the morning and run, as hopefully I’ll stay alive that way.”