BOYS WERE DIFFERENT CLASS, SAYS BOSS JONES
Tangerines suffer rare home defeat
LUTON boss Nathan Jones believed there was a gulf in class between two of League Two’s promotion hopefuls as his side became only the second to win at Bloomfield Road this season with a commanding victory.
Jack Marriott opened the scoring and Cameron McGeehan extended the lead after half-time as Luton made it just one defeat in their last 13 games.
Blackpool never really looked like reducing the deficit against the best defence in League Two, and Luton had a number of chances to extend the lead.
Jones waxed lyrical about his side’s display, and stressed that he is aiming for the automatic promotion places.
“Blackpool could have gone above us, but there was a gulf out there, a gulf,” Jones said.
“We were outstanding. That’s as good an away performance as I’ve seen from anyone at this level.
“I thought we were just majestic. We negated a side that hasn’t lost in nine at home.
“They’ve been taking teams apart and we did that to them. They are a good counter-attacking side but we are the best.
“It could have been three because we had some great chances – 3-0 would have been a
fair reflection. It’s not our goal to just stay in the play-offs, we have one goal and I believe we can achieve it.
“Our focus is up, our destiny is in our own hands and that’s how I like it. Because if our destiny is in our own hands I trust our players.”
Christian Walton was the busier of the two keepers in the first half, saving early on from Danny Pugh before denying Kyle Vassell twice in the 27th minute, first diving low to hold a sharp effort before superbly tipping over a thunderous strike from 18 yards. But it was Luton who took the lead after 31 minutes. Referee Peter Bankes waved away what appeared to be a handball by Cameron McGeehan in the build-up, and Danny Hylton played in Jack Marriott, who cut inside his defender to stroke home from eight yards.
And they doubled their lead three minutes after the break. Blackpool defenders backed off and the ball was worked wide to James Justin, who picked out McGeehan to nod past Sam Slocombe from six yards.
Luton had several chances to extend their lead, with Blackpool’s best attempt at an equaliser from Eddie Nolan after 61 minutes, but his shot was easily held.
It was just a second defeat in their last eight for Blackpool, and manager Gary Bowyer has urged his side to prove that it was simply a blip.
“We haven’t met the standards that we are capable of,” Bowyer said.
“It was disappointing. We had too many players who were out of sorts. To be fair to them that’s the first time we’ve said that this season.
“That’s probably the worst performance of the season. If you look at marks out of ten we didn’t have enough sixes and sevens.
“There’s a handball in the buildup to their goal and the first goal in that kind of game was always going to be important.
“In the second half I don’t think we showed the capabilities that we’ve shown here at home all season. You look at the defending for the second goal and it’s poor from our point of view. You’ve got to clear it.
“We’ve got to take our medicine and get ready to go again. It’s been a good run but we’ve got to start again now and try to go even further than we’ve gone this time.
“This was just a blip and we need to prove that.”
JACK’S THE LAD: Luton forward Jack Marriott celebrates after opening the scoring
HEADS WE WIN: Hatters idfielder Cameron McGeehan makes it 2-0 to seal maximum points
STAR MAN JACK MARRIOTT Luton