Luton boss believes Accrington defeat could be a 'reality check'

Hatters boss Nathan Jones watches on against Accrington
Hatters boss Nathan Jones watches on against Accrington

Hatters boss Nathan Jones believes that losing top spot for the first time in just under four months could act as the ‘reality check’ his side need to ensure automatic promotion this season.

With one minute to go at Kenilworth Road and Town drawing 1-1 with nearest rivals Accrington Stanley this afternoon, the Hatters had retained their places at the League Two summit.

However, Billy Kee drilled home from 25 yards with virtually the last kick, as the 2-1 victory saw the visitors leapfrog their hosts, with Jones saying: “It would be a different story if they hadn’t scored, we’d be coming up here saying, ‘look we were very unlucky to have drawn that game, but we still would have been top of the league.’

“It’s a bitter blow, it’s a real bitter blow to have to suffer, but that’s football.

“It’s happened to us in recent weeks in terms of conceding late goals and we’ve got to make sure we eradicate that because it happened at Stevenage, it happened last week (at Cambridge) and it could be such a different story.

“But maybe it’s a little reality check that we need because we’ve been top of the league for four months, been cruising, we’ve had a gap, been playing some wonderful football, now we’ve got to dig in and see this through.”

Despite the frustration at the timing of the goal, Jones wasn’t too harsh on his side’s overall display, as he continued: “In terms of performance, I thought at times we were very good and thought we deserved far more from the game, it’s just we didn’t get that.

“So if we didn’t deserve anything from the game or we didn’t play well, I’d be slightly more worried.

“We couldn’t do much about the first goal, it was a wonderful strike, but I thought we dominated for 80, 90 per cent of the game.

"We had enough chances to have put the game to bed, but when it wasn’t and when you don’t defend properly late on, it's cost us.

"In terms of performance levels, I couldn’t really moan too much because I felt we had enough chances.

"We had a few cleared off the line, a penalty shout, the keeper has made an unbelievable save from Jack Stacey and I felt we were the better side, but they scored two, we scored one, that’s the facts."