Hatters striker James Collins took his tally for the season to 16 goals with his double against Portsmouth, and afterwards he told iFollow Hatters how pleased he was with the night’s work.
The 28-year-old’s brace made it six goals this January for him (taking his career total for the first month of the year to 29 of his 145 goals) with the win seeing the Town open up a five-point gap at the top.
“I’m a bit speechless really,” he said, before thankfully finding the right words, as always.
“For everyone involved in Luton Town Football Club, just what a night, what a game of football, what an entertaining game and what a crowd to back us as well. I’m absolutely delighted that I was a part of it tonight.
“The first half is up there with the best we’ve played since I’ve been at the club. I think we moved the ball well, we worked hard, created chances and I’m so surprised it was only 1-0 at half-time.
“But credit to Portsmouth. They’ve been up there the whole season and they are up there for a reason. We knew second half they’d change a few things and it was a right good game.”
On his first goal to put the Hatters in front six minutes before the break, Collins said: “It was a brilliant team move. Credit has got to go to Kaz. Since he’s come in he’s been so selfless, he commits people and he set up numerous goals for me.
“So credit goes to him because there was one five minutes before when he could have slipped me in and he just overhit it, but with that one he laid it perfect for me and I’m delighted to put it away.”
His second came from the penalty spot to restore a one-goal advantage in the 77th minute, after LuaLua had been fouled in the box.
Asked what was going through his mind, the striker said: “Nothing. I knew where I was going. I’d practised yesterday. I always practise the day before a game. Didn’t change my mind and I knew the keeper probably knew which way I was going, but I always think that if I get a good enough contact on it, on a wet and slippy night, it’s going to go in. So I was delighted to see that one go in as well.”
Aside from his goals, one of the most memorable passages of play came on the half-hour mark – when Pompey had won their first corner after 30 minutes of total domination from the Town – Collins headed it clear from his own box then charged down last defender Anton Walkes’ attempt to play the ball back forward, before racing down the right wing to ply Andrew Shinnie inside.
It summed up the top scorer’s work-rate and contribution to the team in a defensive role as well as the obvious attacking part of his game.
“I’ve been in that zone all season and managed to get my head on it,” he explained. “I saw the ball wasn’t quite coming down and I just thought ‘Let’s have a go at it and try and stop him putting it back in the box’.
“He managed to hit it against me and I got after it. That’s just a given in this team, you have to work hard and I’ll always do that for this side.”