DUNCAN RUSSELL, MARRIOTT, MONEY REACTION
Stags assistant lays into referee after ten-man Mansfield beaten at Luton
MANSFIELD Town assistant manager Duncan Russell branded Steve Cook 'the worst referee he had seen in his life' after a 2-0 defeat at Luton Town last night.
The Stags had captain Steve Foster and boss David Holdsworth sent off and also saw seven players booked.
Alan Marriott saved two Hatters' penalties – one after a re-take – while the hosts missed a third soon after half-time.
But two goals in four minutes from Danny Crow and ex-Ilkeston striker Amari Morgan-Smith saw Luton wrap up victory.
"It was an awful night and has left us really upset," said Russell. "You prepare all week, come to a great stadium like this and in all my years I have never seen a referee so bad.
"I have never been a sore loser, but he was so one-sided with all his decisions.
"He's a young lad probably learning his trade, but he was too young tonight and it was too big an occasion for him."
"The manager (when sent off) was questioning the fourth official to find out what was going on when the referee came over.
"I didn't hear any bad language used, yet he (Holdsworth) had to go and sit in the stands.
"There were so many incidents went against us and the referee dug a hole for himself from the start.
"I will be sending a DVD to the FA and also one to the referee with my personal compliments.
"The lads are very upset, as you would expect them to be. But we will get back on the training ground and put things right."
Russell slams refereeing display
Luton versus Mansfield was a fixture 'too big' for referee Steve Cook, assistant manager Duncan Russell has claimed.
An astonishing seven Stags' players entered the referee's notepad, aswell as the sendings off of skipper Steve Foster and manager David Holdsworth. Luton were also awarded three penalty kicks in a match which they eventually won 2-0.
After the match, a fuming Russell said: "I have never been a sore loser in my life, but I have never seen a referee that bad in all my years in football, ever. I have never seen a referee so one sided in his decision making. He was far too young for it (the match). It was too big an occasion for him. He dug himself a hole from the start. I will send the referee a complimentary copy of the game so he can review it.
"The manager quizzed the fourth official and the referee came over (to the dug out). The next thing I knew, he (David Holdsworth) was told to leave. But not at any time did the manager use abusive language, he was simply defending his players.
"I don't know if people are aware, but a lighter was thrown in the direction of the dugout from the crowd and we have reported it to the fourth official and to the club."
"It is so upsetting after we have worked so hard all week."
Russell reserved special praise for Alan Marriott, who saved two spot kicks.
"He was outstanding tonight. He has pulled off some fantastic saves," he added.
Stags' fury over referee on extraordinary night in Luton
Cook booked seven Stags players, sent-off skipper Steve Foster and David Holdsworth and awarded three penalty kicks to the Hatters and assistant manager Duncan Russell said: “I have never seen a referee that bad in all my years in football.
“I have never been a sore loser. I am quite chivalrous in defeat. But that was awful.
“He was a young lad probably learning the game but he was too young for this one. Tonight was too big an occasion for him.
“In all my time in football I have never seen so many one-sided decisions.
“When our manager quizzed the fourth official, without using abusive language, trying to find out what was going on with all the incidents, he was told to leave which was absolutely ridiculous.
“David also had a lighter thrown at him by someone in the crowd as he walked away which we have reported.
“The referee dug a hole for himself from the very start with his bookings. Steve Foster said the first penalty was clearly ball to hand.
“And Luke Medley was clearly brought down in the 18 yard box for a penalty and booked instead. I will be personally sending a complete DVD of the game to the referee so he can learn from it.
“The players are very, very upset as you can imagine and we will be sending something in to the FA.
“We now have to dust ourselves down as we have a big game on Saturday.”?He added: “Alan Marriott was outstanding. Having saved two penalties the third was missed due to the player's fear factor. He did himself and the club proud.
“He did the job for us and you have then got to keep your discipline in those situations or this is what happens.”
Marriott said: “After saving two penalties, it was a bit soul-destroying.
“I saved the first but he ordered a retake. You don't always fancy yourself with retakes but I know Danny Crow personally and we had a bit of banter before he took it.
“It was payback time for the one he took at Cambridge that I should have saved.
“I thought they would smash their third down the middle but luckily he has spooned it over.
“We didn't get started really, didn't get the ball down and play it like we can play it.
“But losing tonight is not the be all and end all and it will hopefully be payback when they come to out place.”
Luton boss Richard Money would not get drawn into the debate over the referee, saying: “We have just won 2-0, why would I talk about the referee and get myself into trouble??“We were the best team and deserved to win but we made it difficult for ourselves by missing three penalties.
“Their keeper made two very good saves, especially the second. The third one was what it was and I won't comment further.
“I am not getting involved in talking about what happened in the corner and the sending-off, I couldn't see it properly – I will do a Wenger!”
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Money reaction --->
Boss wanted Morgan-Smith in for Craddock
BY JAMES CUNLIFFE
Richard Money hailed the scoring debut of latest signing Amari Morgan-Smith after he capped off a 2-0 win against ten-man Mansfield Town, saying the striker chose Luton Town over a number of Football League clubs because he thinks they are going places.
The Hatters manager also revealed that the 21-year-old had been on his radar for a while and that he was even knocked back by his former club Ilkeston Town on transfer deadline day when he tried to sign him after Tom Craddock left for Oxford United.
The England C international helped his new side get back to winning ways after one win and a draw from their last two games, with Danny Crow also netting his first for the club after he and two other players had missed penalties.
It was however, a match that Luton had the upper hand in, both against 11 and then ten Mansfield men, and Money was glad that the right team won.
“It was a terrific three points and a first class performance from the team. I'm sure there'll be a lot said about what's gone on throughout the game, but despite everything, the best team won and deserved to.
“We made life difficult for ourselves by missing three penalties but there was a lot of quality in our play, a lot of movement and a lot of thrust. It was really pleasing.”
Morgan-Smith had only been signed hours before the kick-off and he repaid his new boss for putting him straight in the starting line-up with a promising performance and a superbly taken volley on 54 minutes.
“He signed at lunchtime today, not having met the players. I brought him into the dressing room and it was a toss of the coin whether we started him or put him on the bench and the coin came down the right way,” said Money.
“A lot of people in the non-league know about him and we have been chasing him for a long time, but thankfully we've been able to keep it quiet.
“We tried to buy him on the same day that (Tom) Craddock went to Oxford but Ilkeston turned down the offer. Eventually we've got him and having seen what I've seen, and I feel the supporters will feel the same way, I think he's going to be another real attacking asset for our team.
“He's signed for two years and he's showed a lot of potential and I think he just needs a football club to give him some stability, a group of people to give him some faith and belief and I think he's shown what he's about.
“You should realise that he's had the choice of half a dozen league clubs to go to and, no, we haven't given him the world to sign.
“He's come here because he thinks it's an ambitious club and he believes that we'll give him a chance. That's the main thing.”
Money also praised Crow for his patience, waiting for a chance to make his mark after spending much of the first 11 games on the substitute's bench. He also gave a hint as to who should have been the first choice penalty taker.
“We are really pleased for him,” said Money. “We wanted to get him on the scoresheet, so that might give you a clue.
“Goalscorers thrive on scoring goals and he's been a bit unfortunate. He has been banging on my door for an opportunity and he's taken it tonight.”
But the manager played his cards close to his chest on a frantic end to the first half which saw Stags captain Stephen Foster shown two yellow cards within the space of a few minutes and a 19-man brawl after goalkeeper Alan Marriott denied Claude Gnakpa from the spot and then Crow from the retake.
He said: “I'm not going to say anything, so you can draw your own conclusions.
“I have to say that the first two, and especially the second one, was an absolutely outstanding save. I don't think Crow will have hit it much better, he put it right in the corner.
“If the keeper goes the right way and makes that save, you can't really say too much. The third one is what it is, I'm not going to comment on that either.”
He added: “That's four (penalties) we've missed this season, but I do know who will take the next one.”
Asked about the melee after the two penalties, Money said: “Again, you can draw your own conclusion. I'm not going to get drawn into that. The referee has made his decision, it's clear to see what that was, so I've got no comment.
“I didn't see it. I'll do an (Arsene) Wenger. Why should I, having just won the game 2-0, get myself in bother over a decision that the referee has made? Why would I want to do that?”
Danny has a goal to Crow about at last
BY JAMES CUNLIFFE , bedfordshire-news.co.uk
Danny Crow is hoping that his season starts now after netting his first goal for the club in the 2-0 win over Mansfield Town.
The former Cambridge United striker was man-of-the-match on Tuesday night and, while he hopes that will secure him a starting place for Saturday's trip to Barrow, he has said that Town must use their latest victory as a springboard for a good run.
“Mansfield are a good team but it was a big result for us,” he said. “Now we've got to be more consistent, go to the so-called easier places and put our authority on the game.
“We can't keep beating teams like Cambridge and Wimbledon and then going to Darlington and Gateshead and only getting one point from two games. It's not good enough.
“Barrow is a big game. It's a long way, but that's part and parcel of being a professional footballer and we've got to win.
“Last year the players were saying they left themselves a big task to win the league. They went on a run where everyone was looking at the results. When I was at Cambridge kept seeing them win and then everybody fancied them in the play-offs.
“I don't know if we are stronger now. Twenty-one points isn't bad but I think we have to win the next three games.”
Crow, Claude Gnakpa and Matthew Barnes-Homer had all missed penalties against Mansfield before the 24-year-old struck on 51 minutes to help Town to victory.
“There was a lot of relief,” said Crow on breaking his duck after ten appearances for the Hatters. “It isn't nice, not scoring goals as a striker. When people ask you how many goals you've scored and you say, 'zero', it's a bit demoralising.
“I know one is not that good but I've started three games and I've got a goal, and hopefully now the team kicks on.
“If I manage to come up with goals every now and then, I'll be happy. All I want to do is get promotion.
“All I want to do is play and if you ask anyone in the changing room it will be the same. The kind of lad I am, I go to training and I try to be happy and try to join in with the lads.
“I've had a few meetings with the gaffer, knocked on his door and said, 'what have I got to do to get into the team?' That's not to get anyone out but I want to play a big part in the season and be successful.
“He said to me personally, 'You've been waiting for this chance and you've got to take it'. Hopefully I have. I'm just happy I did well and I'm finally showing people what I can do.
“For fans to be showing appreciation and chanting your name, it is everything that I've been working hard for.
“I could have had more goals, but I'm happy I put on a performance for the fans. I'm happy that I'm finally settling in.”
Latest | October 2010