Fleetwood Town 1 Luton Town 2: Manager reaction: Fleetwood boss Joey Barton defends keeper Alex Cairns and Mick Harford hails his history boys as Luton make it 20 unbeaten

Alex Cairns
Alex Cairns

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton described keeper Alex Cairns' error in the 2-1 defeat to League One leaders Luton Town is as rare as hens teeth.

A 41st minute George Moncur free-kick and Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu's 50th minute strike sent the Hatters on their way.

But Paddy Madden made it interesting at the death as his 90th minute strike set-up a tense finish.

Fleetwood keeper Alex Cairns saw Ruddock-Mpanzu's strike roll through his legs.

But Fleetwood boss Joey Barton defended his shot-stopper and says it is a one-off.

Speaking about the error he said: "It is as rare as hens' teeth that.

"Alex Cairns has been outstanding.

"Many times I have sat here and said he has kept us in games and made key saves at key times.

"He will continue to do that.

"If we look at his performance over a 46 game season it will be a hugely positive one.

"He just made a mistake.

"Everyone is human,

"We all make mistakes."

And Barton was proud of the way his men responded as Madden made it 2-1 late on.

He said: "I expect the lads to be the way they are and respond in the manner that they did.

"We responded correctly to it against a good side.

"It would have been easy to go under, over commit and maybe get beat by four or five.

"But I thought our response was that we were disappointed but we showed signs of our team culture emerging.

"It is a great baseline to work out where we are.

"Disappointed with the result but proud of the lads in terms of their effort and application.

"We are continuing to learn and if we take the lessons on board we will have a lot of positivity until now and the end of the season."

Luton Town boss Mick Harford says his side are up there with the best Hatters sides of the past as they made history by making it 20 unbeaten.

The crop of 2018-19 became the first ever Luton side to make it 20 without defeat in the Football League.

And Harford was thrilled for his side.

He said: "I'm thrilled for the players.

"It puts them up there in terms of some of the best teams that have ever been out and performed for Luton Town Football Club.

"They are in that high echelon and I am thrilled for them.

"It is only testament to the way they work, the way they go about their business.

"The way they train.

"The way they conduct themselves everyday.

"They are a brilliant bunch to manage.

"I'm thrilled for them and thrilled for the football club."

And Harford also praised Moncur for his role in the victory.

Speaking about the set-piece he said: "We were not sure who would take it.

"It was either James Justin or George.

"Thankfully George took it!

"A brilliant goal, a brilliant finish and it was part of our play that got us that free-kick in terms of the counter-attack.

"I'm thrilled for George.

"He made a big contribution he played as a 10 and was man marked for the majority of the game.

"He had to get off the shackles of Jack Sowerby.

"He followed him all over the pitch, it was a difficult day for him but he showed his class."