Luton Town boss pays Sunderland big compliment but criticises controversial penalty decision

Luton Town boss Rob Edwards praised Sunderland's array of attacking talent but could not hide his frustration with the controversial penalty that allowed Tony Mowbray's side to take a point from Saturday's game.
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The visitors had taken a lead early in the second half of a cagey contest when Alfie Doughty's effort beat Anthony Patterson having come through a crowd of players.

Mowbray used all five of his substitutions early to get some energy into the side, but the visitors were defending well until Amad went down under a challenge in the box.

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The referee initially waved away Sunderland's claims but then awarded a penalty after advice from one of his officials.

Amad took his chance superbly and it was the hosts who then ended the game on top.

"It's very frustrating for us," Edwards said.

"Sunderland are a very good team, I love what Tony has done and they have really good individuals, so I'm not sitting here saying that they didn't deserve anything from the game. But the equaliser has come from a wrong decision.

"I've been in to speak to the officials and they've explained their reasons, and they don't have the benefits of replays or VAR to make their decisions. The linesman felt there was a pull, there is contact between both of their arms but I don't think there was a pull and I don't think it would send the player the other way. It's a really tough one for us to take, and I'll say it again, I know it is difficult and these events happen fast - but these games are all so important for every team.

Amad scores Sunderland's equaliserAmad scores Sunderland's equaliser
Amad scores Sunderland's equaliser
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"These are big games, for both teams, and it totally changed the dynamics of the game. They've then got nearly 40,000 on their feet and going nuts for their team, and it changes the belief of their players. They've got about 20 forwards on the pitch, every one of them a good player, and it feels like you're playing against the red arrows. We had to dig on and we've gone from potentially getting three points to almost getting none.

"In the cold light of day I'll calm down and reflect, I'm really proud of the lads.

"I know Sunderland were in the same boat but the turnaround from a Wednesday to a Saturday is difficult and some of the lads felt that there was a lack of energy, probably for both teams. Sunderland are expansive and they make the pitch big with their wide players and on the transition, you've got to spring 60/70 yards. The players put a real shift and at times, we had really good control.

"They made a quadruple change to alter the dynamic but I felt there were a lot of times where Tom [Lockyer] was getting his foot on the ball and we were keeping for periods of time.

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"You know they'll have moments and we defended very well, but that key decision changed the game."

Luton remain well placed to finish in the top six, taking a seven-point cushion into the international break.