Top spot no consolation for Luton boss Brabin

MOVING to the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier was of little consolation to Hatters manager Gary Brabin after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by nine-man Bath City on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

Town head the pile on goal difference from Wrexham, Gateshead and Fleetwood Town, but when told of the news, Brabin said: “I’m not looking at league tables yet.

“Leagues aren’t won and lost after 10-12 games. We’ve just got to look at ourselves and learn from this because it’s just criminal some of the goals we’ve conceded this season.”

Everything had looked rosey for Luton going into the break as Bath were reduced to 10 man when Charlie Clough received his second booking and Amari Morgan-Smith took immediate advantage to break the deadlock.

In the second period though, Town never stepped out of first gear and paid the price with a late equaliser.

Brabin continued: “Second half, it kills me to say it, but I thought they worked harder than us.

“We played some good football, possession wise we probably had 70 per cent of the possession.

“They fought and scrapped and defended like their lives depended on it. They chased and harried all over the park. We’ve made a mistake, they’ve gone and scored from it. We’re absolutely gutted. In the changing room I’ve told the lads what I think. I know they’re disappointed as well, because I think we’ve certainly done enough.”

As Town found in their victories over Lincoln City and AFC Telford, going down to 10 men acted as a spur rather than a hindrance for the hosts.

Brabin said: “They’ve done what we’ve done the last two games. They’ve rallied around each other and got the goal back. The last three matches we’ve shown lots of character and that’s the difference.

“Whether we felt we didn’t need to show as much character because we’re playing against 10 men I certainly hope not as that’s something we were more than thorough on at half time.

“It feels like we’ve been beat after going a goal up as we had enough chances to put the game away.”

On his decision to drop Robbie Willmott for John Paul Kissock and leave Ed Asafu-Adjaye out to play James Dance at right-back, Brabin added: “John Paul has done really well and Robbie had a little bit of a groin problem which he doesn’t seem to be able to shake off.

“We thought it would be a good one to rest him. We’ve got a good squad of players, we trust the lads we pick are good enough to go and get the win. Ed’s come back into contention, but James has played and after we named the team, he wasn’t feeling too great. I thought he did well for an hour and then we brought him off as he felt a little bit weak. We knew we wanted to get our full-backs a bit more attack-minded, James Dance can give us that and that was the decision.”