Jones not happy with refereeing calls despite Luton's victory

Luton celebrate their third goal at Gillingham
Luton celebrate their third goal at Gillingham

Luton boss Nathan Jones hit out at two refereeing decisions he felt prevented his side from having victory sewn up by the interval at Gillingham this afternoon.

The visitors led 1-0 through Andrew Shinnie’s excellent strike on 25 minutes, before James Collins saw a goal ruled out for what was deemed as a push on his marker, and then Town didn’t get a penalty when Sonny Bradley was clearly hauled to the ground by Gabriel Zakuani when the pair challenged for a corner.

Although the Hatters went on to score twice more in the second period with Elliot Lee notching a brace, to triumph 3-1, Jones was still clearly annoyed by the officials' calls when speaking to the press afterwards.

He said: “I’m delighted with the three points, any three points is a good three points.

“It’s not the most picturesque game, most fluent game, because of how they play, they restart everything and go into Eaves, so it’s a real disjointed game.

“But the game should have been over by half time.

“We scored, we had perfectly good goal disallowed and we should have had a penalty on 45 minutes, absolute stonewall, no question about it, not even debatable, it should have been over at half time.”

When asked for his opinion on Collins’ disallowed goal, Jones continued: “Baffling, absolutely, baffling.

“I don’t want to get myself in trouble, but what a great ball in and a great leap, bang.

“A good goal, old striker’s goal, it’s really disappointing because it could have been a lot easier afternoon and I’m having to make changes to make sure we see the game out.

“It should have been 3-0 at half time, or 2-0 at half time and a chance on 45 minutes to have a penalty from 12 yards to make it 3-0 and game done.”

When pressed about the decision not to award Luton a penalty, Jones added: “We lost a play-off semi-final because of that.

"Scott Cuthbert did half of what Zakuani did (against Blackpool) and we got penalised for it.

“It is interpretation, but when the ball comes in and if you know Sonny Bradley, all Sonny Bradley wants to do is head a ball, because we’ve recruit him for it.

“Zakuani’s not even looking at the ball, he’s got his back to play, what more does he want? Apart from punching him in the face or donkey punching him, or karate kicking or literally hitting him with baseball bat, I don’t know what more he had to do?

“It’s a stonewall penalty, and it should have been over at half time.

“We’ve had to come out second half, got a good goal, so we’re pleased, that’s enough about the first half.

“Then second half we showed a clinical edge, we probably only had about four, five chances in the game and scored three, so it was a real clinical edge.”