Tan­ger­ines suf­fer rare home de­feat

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Scott Hunt

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

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

HEADS WE WIN: Hat­ters id­fielder Cameron McGee­han makes it 2-0 to seal max­i­mum points


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