Still left frustrated as Hatters fail to reclaim top three spot

John Still
John Still

Town boss John Still was left frustrated after his side blew a great chance to move back into the top three with a 1-0 defeat at Mansfield Town last night.

Rakish Bingham’s goal that started from a Luton corner settled the affair, with Hatters failing to leapfrog Wycombe Wanderers as they remained in fourth place.

On missing the opportunity and the performance, Still said: “It’s disappointing because that would have put us three points off top, but we are still in a fantastic position

“(It was) frustrating, I don’t think we started great. I don’t think either team started great.

“I felt reasonably comfortable in the first half. We’ve made an error from one end of the pitch to the other. It was really an error that we shouldn’t make, it was basic.

“Other than that I never felt under pressure from them.

“Second half it was wave after wave. Mark’s (Cullen) done a fantastic bit of skill and put it past the post.

“We’ve had lots of balls in and around their box and not been able to get back in it.

“We did enough to grind this out, we didn’t and I think that’s possibly for two reasons.

“We just couldn’t get the finishing touch ourselves and the other team worked really, really hard to keep in the game.

“There you are, that’s football, we worked our absolute socks off and were disappointed but disappointment’s part of the job.”

Hatters only tested home keeper Lenny Pidgeley twice throughout the whole game, with Jonathan Smith and Mark Cullen coming close, while Smith fired into the side-netting late on.

Still felt the pitch had played his part as he continued: “I don’t think there were enough shots on target from both teams as it wasn’t a great lie of the ball.

“We’ve had a few pitches lately and I understand that’s how they are, but should we do better? Yes absolutely we should. But conditions are not that easy to get your final strike off.

“Smudge had a good effort in the first half, the keeper got a touch to it.

“I felt we made enough possible opportunities in the second half to score with Mark’s being a fantastic bit of skill and the form he is in, we would have expected him to score and he would expect to score.

“But he didn’t and it was that dour, gritty home performance from them.

“I just felt if we could get the goal, I actually felt we could possibly go on and get another one.

“It had that sort of feel about it, but from now until the end of the season, games are going to be lost, of course they are.”

Still made a double change at the interval, bringing on Shaun Whalley and Nathan Oduwa, while Luke Guttridge was introduced with 20 minutes remaining as Luton looked a far more balanced outfit.

The boss said: “I felt we probably needed to get the ball a touch wider, get a bit more pace on the outside of them and we thought that might work.

“With Gutts coming on, he is capable of that final pass, final shot, final cross. We did all of the things that we would expect to do to get back into it, but it didn’t work.”

Still also felt there could have been a late penalty for Guttridge as he tumbled inside the area, saying: “It’s one of those, if I’m over there and was a referee, it was a penalty, but I’m as far away as you can be.

“If I ask the players whether it was a penalty, they’d probably say, yes it probably was, but he didn’t give it, so I’m not going to moan about it.”

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