COLEMAN BLAZES AT LATE BLOW
ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman vented his anger at his defence after conceding a 90th-minute equaliser at home to Luton Town.
Stanley took the lead on the hour mark when Josh Windass converted from the spot after being brought down by Jonathan Smith.
But Smith turned from villain to hero when he deflected debutant Craig Mackail-Smith’s volley into the back of the net in injury-time to send the visiting supporters behind the goal into pandemonium.
And Stanley boss Coleman was absolutely livid with his side’s inability to see the game out when it seemed all but won.
“If we would have got beaten 4-0 I wouldn’t feel any worse than I do now,” he said.
“I am absolutely blazing. I have not felt this angry for a long, long time. The game was won.They were offering no threat.They hadn’t laid a glove on us up to when they scored and, to be honest, they could have won it in the last minute and that’s really, really annoying.
“People would argue that they are one of the favourites for the league and that we are one of the favourites to go down so we should be happy with a point but that’s a load of nonsense.”
The hosts started on the front foot as Terry Gornell shot straight at Jason Mooney from close range.
Debutant Mackail-Smith carved out the Hatters’ first chance half an hour into the contest, teeing up Danny Green on the edge of the area, but Mooney saved comfortably down to his right.
The breakthrough came when a swift-counter attack from Piero Mingoia on the hour mark found Windass free down the left and he charged into the penalty area before drawing a foul from Smith.The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and the 21-year-old picked himself up to smash the ball hard and low into the bottom left corner from 12-yards.
The hosts went close to doubling their lead when substitute Billy Kee sent a dipping volley over the crossbar on the 70th minute.
But all was not over for Luton who threw lots of bodies forward late on and their gamble was rewarded when Mackail-Smith’s stinging volley cannoned off the body of Smith and landed in the back-off the net, giving Mooney no chance.
Jack Marriott almost snatched a winner four minutes into added time but his low shot was tipped wide by Mooney.
Luton manager John Still said: “I know we can play better than that.
“Jonathan Smith is one of the hardest working, committed players you can get and we love him for it but you have to have discipline. Games are won and lost on small margins. “At the end of the day if you make an error that is avoidable you are not going to help yourself but the first game is out of the way and I am happy with that.”
UP AND RUNNING: Accrington Stanley’s Josh Windass celebrates opening the scoring from the spot
TUSSLE: Stanley’s Matt Crooks and Luton’s Paddy McCourt