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Club News


9 February 2013

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His team might not have won all three points but manager Paul Buckle was a lot happier than he was seven days ago.

The Hatters had to settle for a point against promotion rivals Forest Green but it could have been all three had Andre Gray not missed a first-half penalty.

However, having been reduced to 10 men following the second-half dismissal of Alex Lawless had the better of the chance and the manager was pleased with his team’s overall display.

“I’m a lot happier than I was last week – at Barrow I was disappointed and hurt,” the boss told Hatters Player afterwards. “There was no fight and we didn’t create anything last week, but today we did and had it in abundance.

“It’s a big disappointment we haven’t won the game but I can’t stand here and say we didn’t lack effort or didn’t create chances today because we did.

“There were some big moments that didn’t go our way but we’ve drawn and now we’ve got to kick on and win our games in hand.”

The Town had the lead inside five minutes thanks to Gray’s header from a left-wing cross by home debutant Dave Martin.

“It was the perfect start,” said Buckle. “That was the gameplan as we knew they were susceptible in wide areas.

“It was a good cross and we got our rewards but we then get tugged back by their equaliser from a set-piece.

“But to the players’ credit they didn’t drop their heads and we created a lot of good chances.”

Gray admitted he was successfully practising penalties on Friday after training and the manager refused to point the blame on his young striker for the miss.

“I can’t criticise Andre because he was putting the effort in training yesterday,” he said.” He scored earlier in the game so he’s high on confidence.

“However he’s got right underneath it, he’s leaning back and I couldn’t believe my eyes how far back in the stand it went.”

The Town’s afternoon looked to have taken a turn for the worse when Lawless was sent-off for a second bookable offence having been yellow carded less than a minute before.

And the manager thought the decision was harsh.

“I don’t think it was a sending off,” Buckle said. “If it was a bad tackle then I would stand here and say so but he’s shoulder to shoulder with their player, he’s nudged him and he’s gone down.

“Nobody expected a red card but even with 10 men I thought we were going to score a winner.

“I thought there was only one winner in the last 25 minutes and I genuinely thought we would score. In the two games we’ve played against Forest Green I don’t think they’ve hurt us so it’s frustrating we couldn’t get the win because we’ve been playing so well at home.

“It’s unlike us not to score more than one here but we need to move on. There’s no doom or gloom in the dressing room and now we have to sort our away form out and put the FA Cup out of our minds and go and get a result at Dartford.”

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