Luton chief: Our penalties were poor

Danny Hylton saw this penalty saved by Mark Oxley
Danny Hylton saw this penalty saved by Mark Oxley

Hatters boss Nathan Jones felt his side’s penalties were ‘poor’ after they went out of the Checkatrade Trophy to Southend United last night.

With the scores 1-1 at full time, Arthur Read’s strike cancelled out by Stephen McLaughlin’s late leveller, spotkicks were needed to decide the outcome.

Lloyd Jones saw his first effort saved, only for referee Darren Drysdale to allow a retake, as he had taken it before the whistle was blown.

Jones scored his second attempt, while Alan Sheehan beat Mark Oxley, just, before Aaron Jarvis and Danny Hylton saw their efforts saved.

Although Mark Stech got close to both Sam Mantom and McLaughlin’s penalties, he couldn’t keep either out, ensuring the Shrimpers went through 4-2 on the evening.

Jones said: “Our pens were poor. I didn’t actually look at them, I looked at theirs and theirs seemed to be a lot better than ours.

“Marek got quite close to some, but we could have missed the first one as Lloyd Jones actually missed the first one and the referee helped him out.

“Our penalties weren’t great in all honesty, so they’ve gone through.”

The Luton chief thought defeat was harsh on his side though as he continued: “On the balance of 90 minutes I thought we were the better side.

"We created more than they did, their keeper was far busier, we didn’t kill the game off and then a lucky goal from them came back to haunt us and that’s the way football is.

“I thought we grew into it, had more chances, penned them in a bit, their keeper’s made a great save from Kazenga (LuaLua), we’ve hit the bar from Danny Hylton with a header.

"We’ve put some great balls in, three of them going for the same ball, and we’ve had chances to counter attack even at 1-0, that’s the disappointing thing.

"At 1-0 we've had a chance from Hylts to counter attack, slide I think it’s Kaz in and we’re in and it could be game dead.

"But we didn’t, we gave the ball away, we allowed them to come in and it’s a disappointing end to the game.

Southend’s leveller when it came had a huge slice of luck, with McLaughlin’s effort taking a massive deflection off Dan Potts to beat Stech in the closing stages.

Jones added: "The ball’s going wide, he’s drilled it from about 25 yards and it’s just one of those things.

"Dan doesn’t know where he is, bearings-wise, and on another day it’s just a block or it goes wide.

"This one it’s looped up and Marek’s already diving for the shot, so it’s a massive stroke of luck which, lets be honest, they needed that as I don’t think Marek had to make a save all night, which showed the level or performance we had was decent.

"They were pretty much as strong as they could have been, they’ve made two or three changes that played against Barnsley at the weekend, so it’s been a real good test for ours.

"In the context of it, it’s disappointing to be going out, but some of ours got some real good test there.

"It's just one of those things, we wish Southend all the best, a disappointing end to the game, but we that’s how it goes.”