Jones left fuming by standard of refereeing during Chairboys draw

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left seething with the display of referee Mark Heywood during today's 1-1 draw with Wycombe Wanderers.

Saturday, 21st January 2017, 9:47 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st January 2017, 9:52 pm
In the wars: Danny Hylton takes another blow against Wycombe this afternoon
In the wars: Danny Hylton takes another blow against Wycombe this afternoon

The official, who had also been heavily criticised for his handling of Luton's 1-1 draw with Carlisle in December, had yet another poor afternoon, showing eight bookings and sending off Town's Johnny Mullins with 15 minutes to go.

A visibly frustrated Jones had to choose his words carefully when speaking to the press afterwards, as he said: “I can’t comment about the referee, but my marks for the referee will say absolutely everything about him.

“I’ll be very surprised it if goes into double figures out of 100.

“The officials, I don’t know what I can say or how far I can go to not get pulled up in front of the FA, but let me tell you now, someone needs to look at that performance, because it was way, way short of what we would expect at our level.

“I’m going to see the referee because that’s not acceptable. The performance I saw today from a referee, I thought didn’t manage the game well.

“The intimidating tactics they showed, he didn’t control that in any way and it was just not for me that.”

On the decision to send Mullins off, his second red card of the season, Luton's third in three games and eighth overall this term, Jones continued: “I’m going to have to see that again because I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t comment on whether it was a right or wrong one.

“But the linesman on that side gave it, so if I’m honest, it was probably the wrong decision, because the afternoon he’s had, I’d be very surprised if he got one right.

“We seem to be getting a lot of red cards lately which we have to brush up on as if we don’t, it’s going to cost us.”

Meanwhile, striker Danny Hylton picked up his 10th booking of the season in the first half and like Mullins, will miss Luton’s next two matches against Cambridge and Cheltenham at Kenilworth Road.

He was withdrawn by Jones on 72 minutes for fear of being shown a red card, as the manager continued: “I had to bring Danny off as he was getting absolutely no protection from the referee whatsoever.

“He didn’t understand anything about the game and then the linesman on this side, I tell you what, I don’t know why he’s come.

“I don’t know what he was doing here, he might as well sleep with that flag tonight.

“It’s disappointing as it’s a good five or six bookings he’s picked up justifiably, the others I think are just reputation.

“Some of the things that went on, they were trying to get him booked, I was disappointed, really with a lot of what Wycombe were doing today.

“They’re a real strong side, an intimidating side, but they didn’t bully us and I’m pleased with that.

“We showed we had a real strength about us, a lot of good leaders out there and I thought we were excellent in possession, I really did.”

Jones also felt that skipper Scott Cuthbert, who netted his first goal for the club, wasn’t given any help from the officials during his excellent battle with larger than life Chairboys forward Adebayo Akinfenwa.

He added: “We know the threat and he got no protection from the referee.

“The referee doesn’t see because he doesn’t know, he should, but he doesn’t. I thought he was excellent, but he’s our captain and he leads well, he was brilliant.”