Hatters won’t be appealing Benson dismissal

Paul Benson is shown red against Stevenage
Paul Benson is shown red against Stevenage

Luton Town boss John Still has confirmed the club won’t be appealing Paul Benson’s red card received against Stevenage on Saturday.

The 36-year-old forward was sent off late in game after a reckless challenge on Tom Conlon, and although Still felt his striker won the ball, admitted he could see why the decision was reached, saying: “Yes I have (watched it again). He clearly gets the ball and doesn’t touch the player at all, but I can see why he got sent off.

“If we can get as many big players in the team as soon as we can, I think that will make a difference.”

John Still

“In fairness to the referee, we can argue it and go ‘he didn’t touch the player, the player went down without being touched,’ but he probably did go in with two feet.

“If the letter of the law is to be adhered too, I’m not going to argue with the referee.

“I still don’t think it’s how it appears to be, I think he saw the ball, went for the ball, the player wasn’t touched, but I can understand the red card and we won’t be appealing.”

Still was left unimpressed by the reaction of the Boro players though, with a number swarming around official Rob Lewis to demand a red was brandished.

He continued: “This is one of my points that I’m a bit concerned with. We get a letter saying about more than two surrounding the referee. Well they have seven.

“So I’d be interested to see, not that I want anything to happen by the way, I must stress that, I’d be interested to see how these laws are being interpreted.

“From my own point, it’s not a problem to me personally, it has become a problem to the FA.

“I don’t want anything to happen to anyone to do with Stevenage, I’m just talking about the situation. Next week if we do that will we have a problem?

“I don’t know, I would hope not. Maybe the reaction of the players did (get him sent off), but I’m not moaning about that, that’s football it happens, so I’ll move on from that.”

Still did concede that his striker shouldn’t have given the referee the decision to make though, saying: “It was an area of the pitch that he didn’t have to go into challenge, it was a safe area of the pitch.

“If he just goes in and presents a barrier, but I’ve seen centre forwards tackle before and not particularly successfully.

“It is what it is, I’m not going to moan about it, we’ll just get on with it.”

Benson is now out for three games, but Still believes they can cope in his absence starting with the visit of Carlisle United tomorrow night, with Craig Mackail-Smith now fit,

He said: “We could have brought Jack (Marriott) or Craig on Saturday. We didn’t want to rush Craig as he had ever such a slight hamstring, but we haven’t had to rush him back and Jack’s more than capable as well.

“He looked very sharp when he came on and I believe would have scored a goal if the handball hadn’t taken place. We’re okay, Josh (McQuoid) can play there down the middle too.”

Luton are likely to have more or less the same squad too, with Danny Green only taken off for cramp at the weekend, while there was better news for Nathan Doyle and Magnus Okuonghae too.

He added: “He (Green) just had a bit more cramp-ish than anything else as he’s been out for a while.

“Other than that we’re okay. He (Doyle) might be available, he has trained today as has Magnus, but whether they’ll just need this weeks training, we’ll decide.”