Collins relieved to be back after Cambridge red

Striker James Collins was relieved to earn an immediate recall to the Hatters side for the trip to Coventry on Tuesday night after completing his one match suspension.

Friday, 16th March 2018, 7:30 am
Updated Friday, 16th March 2018, 7:35 am
James Collins saw this goal ruled out against Coventry
James Collins saw this goal ruled out against Coventry

The 27-year-old had been shown a red card during the 1-1 draw at Cambridge United the previous Saturday for two bookings which meant he missed the 2-1 defeat to Accrington on Saturday.

One had been for handball when trying to score and the other for dissent after Luton felt a corner awarded against them should have been a goal kick, as an apologetic Collins said: “The gaffer showed great faith in me, putting me straight back in.

"What I did was Cambridge was silly, I’ve obviously paid for it with my ban.

Town's celebrations were cut short at the Ricoh Arena

“It definitely wasn’t the wisest thing I’ve ever done, but in my opinion, I didn’t say anything to him that warranted the sending off, but he thought different, so we move on.”

Collins powered home a header from Luke Gambin’s pinpoint cross with just two minutes go though, as he had been celebrating a few minutes earlier, heading in Alan Sheehan's free kick, only to see it chalked off by the linesman’s flag.

He continued: “I didn’t think at the time I was offside, but I’ve seen it in there and I’m a fraction offside, so at the end of the day it’s the right call.

“I’m just gutted it wasn’t the equaliser as I thought that as the chance, but luckily I got another and that did count.

Town's celebrations were cut short at the Ricoh Arena

“It’s marginal, the lad has got hold of my shirt, so thought I was in line with him, but the lineo made a good call.

“I just said to myself, 'keep going, you’ll get another chance and it will come', I managed to get another one and was delighted to put that away.

“It was a great ball from Gambo. Me and Hylts (Danny Hylton) always say to the wingers, 'just put a bit of quality in the box for us and we'll get on the end of it'.

"He’s stood a great one up at the back stick and I'm delighted to be on the end of it."

On the disallowed goal, skipper Scott Cuthbert, also on target from a Sheehan deadball delivery that did count early in the second half, said: “I didn’t think it was offside, I’ve not seen it back, but I was the back man and he looked onside for me.

"I think it was very, very close, but when these things happen it kind of galvanises you a little bit.

"It gives you something to fight for like a little injustice you think at the time and Collo’s got a great header to draw the game so I'm delighted for him.

Boss Nathan Jones added: “We saw it and it’s real touch and go. We’ve had three or four those this year when the ref has got it wrong, but the referee was magnificent.

"They put a good ref in charge of this game, because it was an important game, two big teams, big clubs and I thought the officiating was fantastic.

“It’s tight, it’s gone against us, but lets not argue about what didn't happen, as we showed a real big character point there."