I won’t be resting a soul, says boss Jones
MOMENTUM was the key word for Luton Town manager Nathan Jones as his side all but guaranteed fourth place after beating fellow play-off hopefuls Accrington Stanley.
A first Luton strike for homegrown teenager James Justin set the promotion chasers on their way before an embarrassing own goal from the unfortunate Omar Beckles settled any nerves in a commanding away performance from Jones’ men.
Jones said: “A lot of things have to happen now for us not to get fourth.
“We were excellent and should have been two up by half-time but didn’t defend a set piece.
“In the second half we were right at it and could have scored six or seven. Our keeper was busy but all the shots were from distance and they were saves I expected him to make. All our strikers were excellent.
“We now want to go into the play-offs with momentum and I certainly won’t be resting players next week.”
Accrington dominated possession during the early stages, but it was the visitors who had the first real chance when Alan Sheehan’s free-kick was tipped over by Marek Rodak.
Two minutes later the Hatters took the lead after a cross-field pass from Ollie Palmer saw Justin run clear before powering a shot into the far right corner. Accrington remained a threat, especially from set-pieces, and on 40 minutes they equalised as Matty Pearson rose above the Luton defence to place a header beyond Stuart Moore.
But five minutes after the break the game turned on a truly comical moment, as Beckles placed a header over Rodak and into his own net to the amazement of everyone in the ground.
Stanley tried their best to respond with a Sean McConville freekick but five minutes later Town made it three when Isaac Vassell slid in at the far post to convert a low cross from Palmer.
Beckles almost made amends with a long-range shot as Accrington watched their faint play-off hopes disappear for another season, before substitute Jack Marriott added a fourth in added time.
“I can’t believe that result and I don’t think Luton can either,” said Accrington manager John Coleman. “We defended poorly but we had to commit men forward because we knew we had to win the game.
“I thought we were the better team and I know that sounds stupid but we conceded a ridiculous own goal, and that’s basically cost us the game as we’ve lost our shape after that.”