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1 January 2018

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Town boss Nathan Jones praised the 4-2 win over Lincoln City as his best result as Hatters manager as his team fought from a man and a goal down – twice – to win an epic encounter at Kenilworth Road.

Alan Sheehan was shown a straight red card in the fourth minute after a coming together with striker Matt Rhead, before the visitors netted from the resulting free-kick.

The Hatters responded in fantastic fashion, James Collins firing home just after the half-hour mark, but Lincoln restored their lead through Matt Green in the 34th minute. Harry Anderson was shown his second yellow card two minutes later, and the Hatters once again brought the score level as James Justin fired in a peach from 25 yards.

Danny Hylton completed the turnaround when he headed in from close range in the 72nd minute, before substitute Harry Cornick rounded it off with a powerful effort that beat keeper Josh Vickers eight minutes from full-time.

Jones said: "What a game. First of all I want to give credit to Danny Cowley's team. They're a completely different outfit to us in terms of what they do and how they get results. But they're a real threat and the form team. I know how hard Danny works and how much graft he puts in, so I knew they'd be a good side.

"But I am super proud of my side today, more than I have ever been. This is my best result, this is our best result and it wasn't because we scored four goals or won 4-2, it was the spell after we went down to ten men.

"From the time we had the sending off, to the time they scored their second, I was so proud of my team. We got on the ball, we were the better side, they couldn't get near us. That time they gave everyone belief, everyone in the stadium belief that we were by far the better side with ten men.

"I didn't have a drink yesterday, down to a few things – my religious beliefs and because we have got a game today. But I am going to have a little celebration with my dog and my girlfriend and we are going to have a right good night tonight.

"It's not a bad place to celebrate your second anniversary, going to St James' Park and pitting your wits against Rafa [Benitez], but I want to say something.

"A year ago was one of my lowest times when we went to Portsmouth, we lost the game and I realised there was a few that I knew I couldn't go forward with because they couldn't handle the big games. Then Cameron McGeehan broke his leg, which was a big turning point for us. Then our fans showed their class. It was a big day for us.

"A year down the line we are in a much better place, I have got a group of players that can handle big occasions, can handle big games, that want to test themselves and we are in a wonderful place.

"Cam's back playing which is brilliant news, because if I'd have known Cameron was back playing in the Championship and we were going to be top of the league in a year, the transformation is wonderful."

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