Jones is 'baffled' after Luton are denied a 'stonewall' penalty in Swans defeat

Hatters boss frustrated with decision-making by both officials and his players

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 3:55 pm
Kal Naismith makes a challenge during today's 1-0 defeat to Swansea

Luton boss Nathan Jones felt his side were unfairly denied a ‘stonewall’ penalty during their 1-0 defeat to Swansea City this afternoon.

Late in the second half, striker Elijah Adebayo appeared to be barged over inside the penalty area by a visiting defender, only for referee Darren Bond to wave away Town’s appeals.

Jones, who was already frustrated about not having a spot-kick awarded in the first period due to handball, said: “Elijah’s one is just a stonewall, there’s no debate about it, he’s chested it and he’s hit him after the ball.

“The handball is down to interpretation, but the letter of the law, he’s moved his hand to the ball, so if you move your hand to the ball and it goes to VAR, it’s a penalty.

“There’s a few things here that if VAR are here, we might be speaking about a totally different story.

“I spoke to him and the thing about it, refereeing a game is difficult, because you’ve got to make split second decisions.

“But what baffles me is people say 'it’s not a penalty,' when I know it is as I’ve seen it, and I've had the benefit of seeing it.

“So when they still say ‘no,’ they’re better off saying, 'I'll have a look at it and if I've made a mistake, I apologise.'

"And that's all you can do, because it’s human error.

“I make errors, someone says to me ‘you’ve picked the wrong team today,’ I say ‘hang on, I'll have a look at it.’

“Then I look at it and think maybe I did and I’m big enough to think that.

“Decisions baffle me sometimes and it’s everywhere.

“Pre-match it was spoken about the penalties they had lately which have been a tenth of the clarity of ours and yet we don't get them.”

Although critical of the referee’s display, Jones also felt his players should have done better to avoid falling behind with just three minutes on the clock.

Having gone close themselves, Luton then conceded the only goal of the game when Matty Pearson failed to cut out a long ball over the top as Yan Dhanda beat Kal Naismith and squared for Conor Hourihane to beat Simon Sluga.

Town saw Dan Potts’ header ruled out for offside shortly afterwards and went on to miss a number of opportunities themselves, as on the loss Jones continued: “Decision-making by both officials and players probably cost us really and that's the frustrating thing as I thought we were excellent for the majority of the game.

“We were front-footed, we were the better side as far I’m concerned.

"We had two penalties that should have been penalties, had some clear-cut chances, clear-cut headers, one goal disallowed, probably correctly, but it’s marginal, and then so many situations where we should have done better with.

“We kind of let them off the hook as we conceded after three minutes which we pretty much did in the away game which is ironic, then the performance levels I'm very pleased with.

“Sky asked me prior to the game in the interview, and their things were ‘you were excellent away from home against them, how can you turn that performance into points?’

“Our message was ‘don’t concede early,’ that was the thing.

“Now we want to start on the front foot, and we could have taken the lead,

“It was just a counter attack though and we’ve got to defend it better.

“Matty has to see the header whether it’s swirling, Kal has to defend better and we have to make sure that we stop the cut back and don't let him run off us.

“So much is disappointing, but there are so many positives, it’s just hard to see them, as we’ve just lost the game 1-0.”