Nathan Jones was pleased with his side's second half performance
A 3-1 win at St James Park wasn’t as comfortable a victory as the score line might suggest, with Nathan Jones left disappointed after his side’s first half performance.
Danny Hylton scored from the penalty spot after 11 minutes, before Reuben Reid levelled for the hosts. Glen Rea fired in from close range to give the Hatters the lead after break, but Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu was given his marching orders shortly afterwards for a second bookable offence. The win was confirmed with a late penalty, which Hylton converted for his second of the match.
Jones’ team were second best in the first half, as although they took the lead early on, Reid deservedly pegged the away side back just before the break.
After the match, Jones said: “[That was] possibly our worst performance for the first half since I have been here.
“I thought we were absolutely nowhere near it, in terms of energy levels and in the way we pressed.
“We showed one piece of quality in the first half from Jordan Cook and we managed to get a penalty from it. Apart from that we were horrific.
“In the second half we were a lot better and we were more like the Luton that I know and then we stepped it up and I thought we thoroughly deserved it after the second half.”
It was that second half performance that caught the eye, as even with ten men, the Hatters looked strong at the back and dangerous on the counter-attack.
Jones added: “We came out in the second half and we were probably five or six yards higher up the pitch, we stepped on to them and we pressed them. It could have been more, we had opportunities and we deserved to win, it was just a contrast in halves.
“I asked for an energy and they gave it to me second half. They gave it to me when we went down to ten men and we are into the hat for the next round, so they have done it.”