Hatters keeper Shea hailed for his part in midweek triumph

James Shea clears the danger on Tuesday night
James Shea clears the danger on Tuesday night

Luton’s match-winners were quick to lavish praise on goalkeeper James Shea after his huge contribution to their crucial 3-2 win over promotion rivals Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

After conceding his first goal at home since November 17, a run spanning five games, Ronan Curtis finding the bottom corner to make it 1-1, Shea produced a superb tip over the bar from Bryn Morris’ blast.

Then once Omar Bogle had levelled at 2-2, he stuck out a vital foot to prevent the Cardiff loanee from putting Pompey ahead when clean through just seconds later, as without him, Town could have been staring at a first defeat at Kenilworth Road this term.

Striker James Collins, who bagged a double himself, said: “The first one at the near post was an outstanding save.

“The lad’s caught with a good strike and Sheasy’s tipped it over.

“He’s been magnificent for us this season and delighted for him as he’s deserved it.”

Interim boss Mick Harford was also impressed by the former Arsenal and AFC Wimbledon stopper's heroics.

He said: "He made an unbelievable save with his foot when it went for a corner, I think Bogle is clean through down the left hand channel.

"He made another block at his near post, and made a couple of good saves, as that's what he’s in goal for."

Midfielder George Moncur also said: "Everyone in the team is so important and James is unreal.

"It could so easily have been another few goals for them and he’s saved us, so it’s good."

At the other end, Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray had a less impressive night, making the criminal error of moving behind his wall for Moncur to find enough space in the bottom corner to win it.

He came under far more pressure from long range too, with James Justin, Andrew Shinnie and Alan McCormack all taking potshots, with Collins adding: "We knew that the pitch was going to be skiddy and we said 'just test the keeper.'

"We’ve got lads in the team who can score goals, midfielders and strikers, so we just wanted to test him and thankfully three shots went in."