AKINDE FLUFFS THE BEES’ CHANCES
LUTON Town manager Nathan Jones admitted his side were let off the hook by a misfiring Barnet as the Hatters claimed a smash-andgrab raid with victory at the Hive to boost their play-off aspirations.
Olly Lee scored the only goal of the game despite the contest being largely dominated by Barnet, who missed great chances to go ahead from John Akinde and Mauro Vilhete.
Jones said: “I’m delighted with the result at this stage of the season. Performance-wise we were nowhere near and, to be fair, we were a little bit fortunate.
“Barnet probably had the best chances. We had a glorious one in the first half, but they had good opportunities. What I said to them was ‘get the clean sheet and win the game’, and that’s what we did.
“I would rather win and play badly at this stage of the season.”
Kicking off with a scrappy end-to-end affair at the sun-drenched Hive, some good work by Lawson D’Ath down the right forced Jamie Stephens into an early save.
Akinde, guilty of missing a couple of great chances against Stevenage last week, fluffed another golden opportunity when put clean through on goal by Curtis Weston, poking a weak effort straight at Moore, and Jones admitted his side failed to deliver on their pre-match preparations.
“I said to them yesterday, ‘when we are in possession that is when he (Akinde) is at his most dangerous’. But it is all about the result.”
Ruben Bover let fly with an effort that curled inches wide from about 35 yards out, and the Bees crafted another opening when a corner was met by Charlie Clough, whose glancing header fizzed just over the bar.
Seconds before the half time whistle, Akinde found himself once again with just Moore to beat, who this time pulled off a wonderful instinctive save.
Barnet claimed the best chance of the game as a deep free kick found Vilhete, who powered a header towards the top right- the outstretched arm of Moore coming to the rescue.
The Hatters snatched the lead against the run of play – a passing move found Lee, whose first-time effort rifled into the bottom-left corner.
A late fightback was attempted by the home side as Weston’s shot was hacked off the line by Rea, while Akinde missed a third chance when he nodded an early cross well over, leaving Barnet boss Kevin Nugent frustrated.
“It seems to be a continuous thing,” said Nugent. “Today was an exceptional performance. Tactically we got it spot on against a good side. Once again, they’ve had two shots on target.
“We should have won the game and we haven’t. Anyone here today would have felt that we deserved to win the game.
“The young lads have already had chances, but we’re going to be integrating them and we’re still trying to win.”