Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left baffled by the comments from Stevenage chief Darren Sarll, who labelled the penalty awarded to Luton during the 1-1 draw at the weekend as ‘scandalous’.
After James Collins was clearly brought down by former Town skipper Ronnie Henry for a spotkick with five minutes to go, Sarll declared his team had been ‘robbed’ by the decision, and that it was ‘bio mechanically impossible’ for his defender to make the tackle in any other way.
I’m sure whoever is calling it ‘scandalous’ would have had the same view I have with the TV footage and it’s definitely a penalty.Nathan Jones
However, speaking in his press conference this morning, Jones said: “We’ve listened to other people and have been puzzled by what they’ve said.
“I’m sure whoever is calling it ‘scandalous’ would have had the same view I have with the TV footage and it’s definitely a penalty.
“He’s gone through the back of him, you’re last man and he’s been very fortunate to escape without a red card, because that is a red card.
“There’s no-one else around, no-one else who is going to affect that or block that shot.
“He is shooting, for me it’s definitely a penalty and should have been a red card.”
Jones admitted that on first viewing, he had been unsure if it was a penalty or not, but once having watched it back, was left in no doubt whatsoever.
He continued: “At the time I thought it was a little bit harsh, but it’s an absolute definite penalty.
“He’s gone through the back of Collo to get the ball and it should have been a red card as there’s no-one else around him.
“I’ve looked at it, stilled it, Collo’s gone to shoot and he’s only got the keeper to beat, so he can go either side and it’s a definite penalty.
“I thought it was a real 50/50 one on the day. I couldn’t say it was a stonewall one, but watching, he’s gone through the back of him, taken the player out, clear-cut penalty and should have been a red card, and that’s the thing I’m disappointed with.
“I said after that we needed to see it out, but it was never going to be a classic because of the conditions.
“It was windy, swirly, horrific pitch, but I thought we stuck it out and would have been a real good away performance as there were no real clear-cut chances.
“We had the better of the first half and controlled it very well. Every time they put it in our box, when they won the first header and it looked like it was going to come to something, we saw the second ball out.
“That was the clear cut chance of the game, apart from set-plays we had, and absolutely definitely a penalty for me and I’ve got to be honest a red card from me.”
However, Jones reiterated his belief that the result would prove a good one come the end of the season, adding: “It will be a very important point and is an important point as they all are.
“I’ll be brutally honest, when I made the change and put Lawson D’Ath on, I was happy with the point, because I thought we’re not fluent, so we make sure we’re compact, we’re defending well, we’ve got energy, and so on.
“Then we nick a goal, a bit out of nothing, I wouldn’t say we were dominating, we weren’t.
“I’m honest enough to say we would have nicked it, but that’s an away performance.
“They’ve done it to us Stevenage, trust me on that, so we would have been happy about that.
“I’m disappointed with how we managed the last six minutes, the injury time and everything, because we were a bit ragged and that’s the only problem, because up to then I thought no problem, I thought we slightly edged it.
“Being the away team, the impetus isn’t on us, but I thought we moved the ball well on a very difficult surface.
“It’s just when you go 1-0 up on 85 minutes and you say 88 as there’s only really a minute to play after that because two minutes we were celebrating and getting back in.
“So I’m very disappointed with that, but it was probably a fair result and it will be a good point, I promise you that.”