Town show true grit in thrilling win against FC Halifax Town
Town’s true grit came to the fore at the weekend according to striker Andre Gray as the Hatters prevailed 4-3 against FC Halifax Town in a topsy-turvy encounter at Kenilworth Road, writes Mark Wood.
In a real humdinger of a game, Luton battled back from the brink of defeat at 3-1 down to triumph and Gray admitted he hadn’t been involved in a game like it since he moved out of Conference North.
He said: “I think I played in one when I was at Hinckley, but down in that league anything can happen!
“Not since I’ve been here, but maybe last year or the year before we might have lost that.
“But we’ve shown a lot of character today and grounded it down and got the win.
“It was a very crazy game and probably good for the neutral fans, but from our perspective I think it was a bit disappointing to go in knowing that we had conceded three goals after how many clean sheets we’d had and how good we’d been defensively.
“I think it’s good even though we conceded three it shows the determination and how much of a team we’ve got here now.
“Obviously we needed something to spark the game and we got it.”
And although the goal glut thrilled the 6,500-strong Kenilworth Road crowd, Gray revealed he would have preferred for Town to have nicked it 1-0.
He explained: “I’d prefer it to be 0-0 and score the winner than have to fight back the game.
“Obviously it’s an open game and second half there were a lot more chances, but it will come.
“It’s a team game and I would rather score the winner and it be a 1-0 win than win 4-3. But obviously it’s good for the fans, and you’re going to get games like that, and it shows everyone is kicking on now and we’re getting what we need in our team.
“It’s great for the neutral. It’s not that great for us, but in the end it is. I can’t even say that we’ve got to work on it, because we’ve had eight clean sheets out of 13 so we’ve probably got the best clean sheet record in the league, but we just had one of them days.
“It shows how much of a team we’ve got now that we ground it out and got the fourth goal.”
Having fallen behind it was Luke Guttridge who scored Town’s first as, after skipping past ex-Hatter Simon Ainge, he saw his low shot deflect in off Ryan Toulson for his fifth goal of the season.
Gray hailed the energetic midfielder, saying: “He’s one of the best finishers at the club and I think all the boys would say that.
“Obviously he’s had a few deflections but you’ve got to be there to do that and he’s a great finisher and he’s getting the rub of the green and that’s what you need.
“And I think we’ve got that in the team now, but like the gaffer would say, the harder you work the luckier you get and that’s obviously showing now.”
A stirring performance from the Shaymen saw them net twice in quick succession to take control, but Luton always looked like they had more goals in them.
Paul Benson pulled one back when he turned home Ronnie Henry’s driven cross from close range and Gray then levelled with a fine snapshot after combining with Alex Lawless.
On the goal, he said: “Alex is a very clever player and I love playing with him because he’s intelligent and he likes to play and likes to look to put people in and it’s a great ball from him and it’s just sat up nicely for me to put it in.”
Substitute Alex Wall then won the encounter with a scintillating 25-yard strike into the top corner with seven minutes to go.
And while delighted for his housemate, Gray revealed that he’d recently berated the former Maidenhead United man for going by himself too often in training.
He added: “Me and Shaun (Whalley) had a little argument one day in training because he kept doing it from about 80 yards and he was smashing the ball and he did it about four times when he could have played us in.
“Obviously I had words with Alex last night as well because he lives with - so I told him next time pass the ball!
“He probably could have put me in, but I had a little growl at him. He’s put it in the top corner and I can’t complain about that and he has got that in his locker.
“Obviously he’s put it in the top corner so it’s good for both of us that we live together!”