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Luton Town 2-1 Wigan Athletic: Graeme Jones' Hatters score two late goals to down Latics

Luton manager Graeme Jones
Graeme Jones' Luton side have won two of their past three games after a five-match losing run

Luton Town manager Graeme Jones says his team's late fightback against Wigan displayed the sort of fortitude that can keep his side in the Championship.

Having been thrashed 7-0 at Brentford last week, the Hatters looked set for a seventh defeat in eight games until Callum McManaman's 87th-minute equaliser and George Moncur's winner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Victory saw Luton move into 20th place in the Championship, four points clear of Wigan, who occupy the final relegation spot.

"You earn the right to stay in the league on moments like today," Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"We've got 20 points from 20 games, we've got the worst budget in the league, this is a really, really tough job," added Jones, who took over after Luton's promotion to the second tier in May.

Substitute Moncur's goal crowned a dramatic comeback against a Wigan side who had been reduced to 10 men in between Luton's late strikes.

Having seen Luton miss a number of early chances, the Latics took the lead when Kieffer Moore powered a header past James Shea from Dujon Sterling's excellent cross.

But former Wigan player McManaman's left-footed low shot found the net to level the scores after the visitors failed to deal with an 87th-minute corner.

George Moncur
George Moncur had not played since 24 September and had not scored a goal since the final day of last season

Wigan had Chey Dunkley sent off in the first minute of stoppage time for a second yellow card before Moncur kept his cool as the ball broke to him in the box and he found the bottom corner to win it.

"Everybody is giving everything they've got. Energy levels are through the roof at this club," said Jones, whose side had lost 10 of their previous 14 games in all competitions.

"I need to put that out there because when it goes horribly wrong like it did last week, there's a lot of stick that flies round and rightly so - nobody expects pats on the back after a 7-0 defeat and I'm the first one who wouldn't want that.

"We need to have a quick reality check. It's 7 December now and we're 20 games in with 20 points. That's outstanding for where we are as a club.

"The big lesson this week is that we might have to take a few on the chin but it's how you respond."

The Hatters should have been ahead inside the first 10 minutes as Andrew Shinnie blazed over the bar from close range and then Sterling cleared Ryan Tunnicliffe's shot off the line.

But those missed chances appeared to knock the Hatters' confidence as Wigan grew into the game, and Dunkley and Anthony Pilkington went close before Moore opened the scoring.

Moore shot just wide from another Sterling cross shortly after his goal, but Luton improved after the break as Luke Berry, Tunnicliffe and McManaman all had chances to score before their late fightback.

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook told BBC Radio Manchester:

"The reality is the manager carries the can for players and I will carry on doing that while I manage the club. That's the correct and proper thing.

"We did the same things. We spoke in the build up to the Luton game that it's like playing pass the parcel, you have the prize in your hand and you let it go.

"That's what happened today. We had the prize in our hands and let it go. Great credit to Luton, they kept going. At no point in the game did they look lost. They kept being dead honest and knocking on the door and started both halves really well.

"We've got to be better than that. I'll take the blame for everything, I'm always like that."

Line-ups

Luton

  • 36Shea
  • 26Bree
  • 6Pearson
  • 5Bradley
  • 3PottsSubstituted forBoltonat 20'minutes
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 11ShinnieSubstituted forMoncurat 60'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 4Tunnicliffe
  • 8BerrySubstituted forMcManamanat 71'minutes
  • 14Cornick
  • 19Collins

Substitutes

  • 7McManaman
  • 12Sluga
  • 20Moncur
  • 22Bolton
  • 25LuaLua
  • 28Jones
  • 29Butterfield

Wigan

  • 23Jones
  • 15Sterling
  • 22DunkleyBooked at 90mins
  • 16MulgrewSubstituted forKipreat 90'minutes
  • 3Robinson
  • 9Lowe
  • 4MacLeod
  • 5Morsy
  • 7PilkingtonBooked at 54minsSubstituted forMasseyat 55'minutes
  • 19Moore
  • 14GarnerBooked at 61minsSubstituted forGelhardtat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Evans
  • 10Windass
  • 11Massey
  • 18Roberts
  • 21Kipre
  • 29Gyollai
  • 38Gelhardt
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
10,011

Match Stats

Home TeamLutonAway TeamWigan
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home18
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home8
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Luton Town 2, Wigan Athletic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Luton Town 2, Wigan Athletic 1.

Booking

George Moncur (Luton Town) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal!

Goal! Luton Town 2, Wigan Athletic 1. George Moncur (Luton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a corner.

Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Antonee Robinson.

Attempt blocked. George Moncur (Luton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic) for a bad foul.

Harry Cornick (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic).

Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Cedric Kipre replaces Charlie Mulgrew.

Offside, Luton Town. James Shea tries a through ball, but James Collins is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Luton Town 1, Wigan Athletic 1. Callum McManaman (Luton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner following a corner.

Attempt missed. Callum McManaman (Luton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Harry Cornick with a headed pass following a corner.

Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Jamal Lowe.

James Bree (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic).

Attempt blocked. George Moncur (Luton Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Harry Cornick (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic).

George Moncur (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lewis MacLeod (Wigan Athletic).

Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lewis MacLeod (Wigan Athletic).

Offside, Luton Town. Luke Bolton tries a through ball, but Harry Cornick is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Sonny Bradley (Luton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Charlie Mulgrew.

Attempt blocked. Joe Gelhardt (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Luke Bolton (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gavin Massey (Wigan Athletic).

Attempt missed. Kieffer Moore (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. Callum McManaman (Luton Town) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by George Moncur.

Attempt missed. Charlie Mulgrew (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Matty Pearson (Luton Town).

Joe Gelhardt (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Luton Town. Callum McManaman replaces Luke Berry.

Foul by George Moncur (Luton Town).

Gavin Massey (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Gavin Massey (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kieffer Moore with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Joe Gelhardt replaces Joe Garner.

Foul by George Moncur (Luton Town).

goal

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