HATTERS FAN JOHN’S FLAMES
ACCRINGTON boss John Coleman bemoaned the influence of the Kenilworth Road crowd as his side were beaten by promotion-chasing Luton Town.
In the week that Stanley attracted a mere 919 to their home win over leaders Burton Albion on Tuesday night, the lowest Football League gate for 13 years, 8,700 were in attendance, and Coleman thought it had an effect on the end result.
He said: “It's difficult, because it's never a level playing field.You can dress it up whatever way you like, when we play at home, we have the best part of 1,000 fans.
“When the big clubs play at home, they have 8,000 fans and they influence the 50/50s.
“Luton scored on the back of a five minute spell where they had the benefit of some dubious decisions that kept the ball in our half and went in their favour.
“We've contrived to lose a game where we were in total control.
“For 40 minutes that was as good as we've played, certainly away from home.”
The visitors had enjoyed the better of the first half and missed a glorious chance in the opening few moments as Terry Gornell beat the offside trap.
Hatters keeper Elliot Justham narrowed the angle to save, while Fraser Franks cleared Josh Windass' rebound away as it threatened to creep in.
Gornell then headed wide as Luton created very little, on-loan striker Elliot Lee firing a free-kick over the bar and seeing his header palmed away by keeper Scott Davies.
The hosts then took the lead on 40 minutes when Luke Guttridge's corner was headed home by Jayden Stockley.
In the second period, Windass fired well over for Stanley, while Luton had shouts for a penalty when Lee was felled in the box, but nothing was given.
The visitors continued to search for an equaliser, Windass off target from Gornell's cute flick.
However, Town had their second on 61 minutes when Lee was played in and unselfishly set up Guttridge to fire home from close range.
Jake Howells almost made it 3-0, from Cameron McGeehan's whipped delivery and substitute Mark Cullen's header was tipped behind, while he saw a late blockbuster turned over by Davies.
Boss John Still added: “I don't think we started particularly well.
“I thought they had the ascen- dancy and threw us out with the shape they played.
“We wanted to play a diamond to play two up, and we started off with a diamond, so after 20-25 minutes we went to a lop-sided 43-3.
“Gradually we got into the game, Jayden got a good goal and second half, I thought we played really well.
“It was good to have Gutts back and getting into it.
“We're just trying to get the organisation of it right and it was a good second goal, good play by Elliot Lee.
“The second half we were okay and we're getting to the stages of the season where every point is important, so it's good.”
BIG HEADER: Jayden Stockley scores for Luton. Inset: Luke Guttridge scores from the spot