I won’t be rest­ing a soul, says boss Jones

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jamie Bow­man

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.”

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