A war of words was sparked after tempers boiled over as Luton Town snatched a late winner against Newport County.
Pre-Match favourites Luton had taken the lead when Danny Hylton had fallen under a challenge from Newport defender Jamie Turley, which allowed Cameron McGeehan to step up and score from the penalty spot on 62 minutes. Newport equalised quickly through Jennison Myrie-Williams. The winger watched his in-swinging corner drop directly into the net on 70 minutes.
At 1-1, the match looked to be going Newport’s way late on. The red card given to Luton’s Johnny Mullians for a second yellow on 84 minutes gave hope for an upset. The Welsh side were winning the possession as well as the corner counts and were looking the more likely to score, before what would turn out to be the game’s talking point.
Referee Charles Breakspear chose to award 10-man Luton a 96th minute penalty. Luton’s Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu threw himself to the ground before the oncoming challenge from Newport defender Jamie Turley. Cameron McGeehan stepped up to score his second penalty of the game and gift Luton Town the three points. Post-match video seems to suggest the Luton player had already started to fall down well before any contact was made.
War of Words
However, it was after the match where tempers boiled over with Newport County boss Warren Feeney clearly unhappy with the last minute penalty. Newport’s players and management claimed that Mpanzu had admitted he dived. Match-winner McGeehan mocked Newport, calling them “cheats” and a side who gave “League Two a bad reputation”. In his post-match interview, Luton’s manager Nathan Jones also blasted Newport. He said they were too physical and did not allow his team to play their style of play.
Warren Feeney may now find himself in trouble with a fine and a touchline ban likely. The Newport boss making it clear he didn’t think referee Charlies Breakspear was up to the standard of the Football League. But with McGeehan’s comments after the final whistle, it will be very interesting to see if the Football League takes action against the Luton player.
One thing is guaranteed, the return fixture in Newport will be one to watch.