Harford thrilled as Hatters reach the summit

Hatters interim boss Mick Harford
Hatters interim boss Mick Harford

Interim boss Mick Harford couldn’t hide his delight as he led the Hatters to the top of League One with a 1-0 victory at Southend United this afternoon.

Matty Pearson’s goal on the half hour was enough for Luton to leapfrog previous leaders Portsmouth, who they now meet at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening.

Harford said: “I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled.

“They’ve got to catch us now, people want to beat us now and it’s a big challenge for us to stay there.

“But just having a chat with the lads, they’re determined to stay there, they’re absolutely thrilled and they’re going to embrace the challenge of being top of the league.

“I’m just so happy for the football club and where it’s been, so happy for the fans with the rollercoaster ride they’ve been on.

“They’re a unique set of fans and Luton Town’s in a good place at the moment.

“We’ve just got planning for a new stadium, the team’s top of the table, we’ve come here, put in a great performance against a good Southend team and two and a half thousand fans have gone home happy.

“We’re looking forward to a full house on Tuesday, we’re in a good place.”

With over 2,000 fans cheering on the Hatters at Roots Hall, leading to some wonderful scenes at the end as Town celebrated reaching the summit, Harford continued: “I can’t thank them enough for their support, especially for the players and myself and the club.

“They’re a unique bunch of fans and their support today was brilliant and definitely played a part in getting us over the line.”

The result meant it was 16 Football League games unbeaten for Luton, the first time they have achieved such a sequence since 1969-70, and on the display, Harford added: “It’s a great result.

“I thought it was an absolute top performance, in terms of coming down here against a good team, they make it very, very difficult for you, they’re just on the back of a 4-0 win at Bradford, we knew it was going to be tough.

“The first half we played very, very well, in possession, keeping the ball, creating chances.

“We got in the lead, deservedly so, I thought we maybe just took our foot off the gas a little bit then, invited them on a little bit.

“But overall, defensively we weren’t really troubled and thought it was just a good all-round away performance.”