Hatters boss Mick Harford admitted he had no option but to take Danny Hylton off before half time against Plymouth this afternoon, to avoid the striker receiving a third red card of the season.
The forward was very harshly booked on the half hour by referee Darren Drysdale, for a nothing clash with defender Yann Songo’o, before receiving a stern talking to from the official after picking the ball up when not being awarded a free kick, with it clear he was on a final warning.
That saw Harford act, bringing on Kazenga LuaLua with 10 minutes of the first period remaining, as Town’s chief said: “I didn’t want to go down to 10 men, if it had been anyone else, I would have done the same.
“I thought the referee looked like he wanted to give yellow cards out at certain times, I’m not criticising him, I just thought it was the best thing to do for the team and the football club, absolutely 100 per cent.
“We didn’t want to play that length of time with 10 men and it was the best thing to do for the team.
“Listen the way Danny plays and the way he backs into people, he is going to get cautioned.
“He is a physical player, we understand that, emotions were riding high, but we’re fine.
“He understands the reason he was coming off, why he came off, it’s been put to bed and we move on.”
Harford did think that Drysdale had been helped with his decision by the home supporters though, adding: “I thought the crowd had a big influence on his decision, I’ve got to be honest with you, the crowd swayed the referee a little bit and that’s what home crowds are for.
“They’re there to try and sway referees and do things, it was a bit of nothing, but we just couldn’t take the risk.
“Danny had got a little bit frustrated, he gave the ball away, it was hard to see, and it just looked like he was getting a bit frustrated.
“If it had been any other player, I’d have done the same.”