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Luton Town winger Shaun Whalley earns John Still praise

1 December 2014

Luton Town winger Shaun Whalley is starting to show the Hatters' fans what he can do, according to manager John Still.

The 27-year-old who joined from Southport in the summer of 2013, scored a magnificent double during the 3-0 win over Mansfield, his first league goals in over a year, as Luton climbed back up to second in the Sky Bet League 2 table.

Still said: "He just wants to play football. As he's got older, he's realised he's got a talent and if he really takes it seriously, he could push on and fulfill the potential that he obviously had as a young man.

"He came in here, started and it never went particularly well and the team went on an unbelievable run and no matter what he did, he couldn't get in the team.

"But it's been a really pleasing experience that he's playing and playing as well as he is playing at the moment."

Luton dominated the first half in terms of chances, as Nathan Doyle tested Sascha Studer early on from 25 yards.

The Hatters then took the lead on 19 minutes as Paul Benson netted at the second attempt after he had originally been denied by Studer.

Town's top scorer Mark Cullen was then denied by a superb challenge from Kieron Freeman as he went to turn in Whalley's accurate cross, while Benson had to be stretchered off after 27 minutes, injuring himself making an innocuous challenge.

Luton almost had a second as Andy Drury scooped narrowly wide, before Whalley's fierce drive was deflected behind and Stags defender Lee Beevers headed Fraser Franks' attempt off the line.

In the second half, Reggie Lambe's overhead kick flew narrowly over while Luton striker Cullen headed against the bar from Michael Harriman's pinpoint delivery.

However, Luton made the game safe through Whalley on 59 and 63 minutes.

First, he saw his cross-shot fly into the far corner and then set off on a mazy run to beat Studer once more with a lovely left-footed curler.

Stags caretaker boss Adam Murray said: "I'm disappointed we've lost a game of football. I think in key moments of the game we've seen why Luton are where they are, and we are where we are at the minute.

"The first and second goal we gave them, the third goal, we're chasing to get one and always have a chance of getting countered.

"Let's not get this wrong, though, this is a side that have been together two-and-a-half years, function like a machine and we've gone from black to white in the space of five days. So for me, we have to give these boys credit."

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