NATHAN CALM AT LAST IN VICTORY
LUTON Town boss Nathan Jones admits assistant manager Paul Hart had to calm him down during his side’s win over Cambridge United.
Jones’ Hatters went into the break with a 1-0 lead, through Isaac Vassell’s goal, before Jordan Cook dispatched a late penalty to wrap up the three points.
The Luton boss, who was watching from the stands as he was serving a onematch touchline ban, revealed he was less than pleased with his players at the interval, despite them having accrued a one-goal advantage.
“I wasn’t entirely happy at half-time – Paul Hart had to calm me down,” conceded Jones.
“But when we got our goal we didn’t look back.
“It was a good solid performance, not as fluid as normal but we deserved our win – it could’ve been more.”
Luton moved up to fourth in League Two, and condemned Cambridge to a first away loss in the league since September.
Vassell, deputising for the suspended Danny Hylton, put the Hatters ahead on 30 minutes after a swift counter-attack.
The ball was cleared from a Cambridge corner and picked up by Jack Marriott on the left-hand side, who beat his marker and slipped it through to Vassell.
The striker still had a lot of work to do, and held off both Mark Roberts and Leon Legge before guiding his effort past Will Norris. Cambridge manager Shaun Derry brought on Ben Williamson for Harrison Dunk at half-time to match Luton’s formation, and the switch ensured they came out the stronger team.
Uche Ikpeazu was a constant threat for the U’s, and he teed up Conor Newton and Luke Berry on separate occasions early in the second period, only for both to fire over.
Cambridge were always looking for the tireless Ikpeazu, but Luton’s defence remained resolute and goalkeeper Christian Walton did not have many saves to make.
And the Hatters made the points safe with eight minutes to go. Legge hauled down the ever-threatening Vassell in the area, and Cook tucked away the resulting penalty in style.
It could have been even worse for Cambridge, but substitute Lawson D’Ath fired wide when clean through and Norris made a smart save to deny Jonathan Smith.
Derry thought the scoreline was harsh on the visitors, but despite two losses in two league games, left Kenilworth Road feeling optimistic.
“I’m unbelievably disappointed that we’ve lost,” he said.
“When they scored the first goal, I was disappointed with the next 15 minutes.
“But I thought we were outstanding for the first 35 minutes of the second half.
“I’m going home disappointed but optimistic in terms of how the team have played.”
A TOUCH OF VASS: Isaac Vassell celebrates after he scored Luton’s first goal, inset