FUM­ING JONES BLASTS COOPER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Leigh Cur­tis

LU­TON boss Nathan Jones slammed For­est Green man­ager Mark Cooper as his pro­moted charges signed off for the sea­son with a point at Notts County.

Jones’s side had to scrap for a draw fol­low­ing Danny Hyl­ton’s dis­missal early in the sec­ond half but had the best chances to take all three points, with Jack Stacey go­ing close while Pelly-Rud­dock Mpanzu was de­nied by a fan­tas­tic tackle by Matt Tootle.

Post-match, Jones could not re­sist pour­ing scorn on Cooper, who said his For­est Green side had “mur­dered” Lu­ton in their 3-1 de­feat to the Hat­ters the week be­fore.

“That’s the best 0-0 per­for­mance I’ve seen from my team. From start to fin­ish, we were won­der­ful,” said the Lu­ton boss.

“I am not go­ing to speak about any­thing else but our per­for­mance and that was a credit to the foot­ball club.

“I am amazed how we didn’t score be­cause, nor­mally, we are lethal.

“We had that many chances, that much pos­ses­sion and that much qual­ity, but credit to Notts County as to how they de­fended.

“But for me, un­like Mark Cooper, who delu­sion­ally com­mented on an­other team, I thought we were out­stand­ing.

“The dis­re­spect we had from Mark, whose For­est Green side are not on the same planet as Lu­ton, was quite amaz­ing.

“That’s the last I am go­ing to com­ment on it – but I thought we were won­der­ful.” Lu­ton could and per­haps should have rounded off the sea­son with a win, hav­ing cre­ated nu­mer­ous chances to take all three points at Meadow Lane.

Olly Lee forced Adam Collin into a save early on while Stacey went close with a shot across goal fol­low­ing a smart move by the vis­i­tors.

Jon Stead and Jorge Grant re­sponded for Notts, who would have been dis­ap­pointed not to have made the most of hav­ing an ex­tra man af­ter Hyl­ton was shown a sec­ond yel­low card for catch­ing Shaun Bris­ley with his arm as the pair chal­lenged for an aerial ball.

Even then, Lu­ton con­tin­ued to at­tack, with Stacey pro­duc­ing a car­bon copy of his ef­fort in the first half.

Mag­pies boss Kevin Nolan, whose side now face Coven­try in the play-offs, felt his play­ers could have done bet­ter af­ter Hyl­ton’s dis­missal.

“It was an en­joy­able game for the fans be­cause there were lots of chances and plenty of oohs and aahs,” he said.

“But I am de­lighted we got the clean sheet and I al­ways thought it was go­ing to be a tough game no mat­ter what.

“We cre­ated chances, although we could have put them un­der more pres­sure when they went down to 10 men, which is some­thing we can work on.

“It’s been a fan­tas­tic 46 games and we’ve got two games now in a knock­out com­pe­ti­tion, in which we’ve got to be bet­ter than Coven­try over 180 min­utes.

“If we are, then I feel we will be go­ing to Wem­b­ley.”

PIC­TURES: PSI/Jon Hob­ley

HANG TIME: Lu­ton skip­per Alan Shee­han, left, gets up above Notts County striker Jon Stead while, inset, County mid­fielder Jorge Grant at­tempts an over­head kick

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