THE Championship’s official goal-scoring charts will show Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford on six for the season after the last-gasp win at Luton.
Bamford, though, says you can make that seven with the forward fully intent on claiming Matty Pearson’s 90th-minute own goal as his own and admittin g all that mattered was leaving Kenilworth Road with all three points.
Bamford fired Leeds in front six minutes after the break with Luton furious that referee John Brooks had failed to award them a free-kick for a foul on Izzy Brown before United countered.
James Collins then headed home an equaliser from Brown’s cross three minutes later but the Hatters were again left dismayed shortly afterwards when what looked like a second strike from a goalmouth scramble was ruled out for offside.
Leeds, though, as usual, created a plethora of chances – 21 shots on goal as opposed to Luton’s 11 with 12 on target compared to five from the Hatters.
Nevertheless, with Bamford hitting the post and Luton goalkeeper James Shea in fine form, the Whites looked set to leave with only a point against a team who had lost their last four.
But that all changed in the 90th minute when a fine cross from Mateusz Klich was diverted past the unlucky Shea by defender Pearson under pressure from Bamford, who wheeled away in celebration.
It proved the winning goal as Leeds moved second, and Bamford was definitely claiming it as his. “I know it sounds vague but I stood across the front and I think I actually got my studs on it,” said Bamford.
“I didn’t have a clue where it went so I didn’t have a clue it had gone in until I looked up and I thought there’s ‘no chance I’m letting them think it was an own goal!’ I’m running off claiming it.
“I don’t know whether it was heading towards goal but I got a nick on it. As a striker you claim them!”
Reflecting on United leaving it very late before finally sealing victory after their earlier missed chances, Bamford said: “After the game, you don’t really think about it because you’ve won the game so that’s the main thing.
“It’s always nice in a game to have more than a one-goal cushion.
“But I suppose in a way it also helps keep us focused knowing that we have still got to attack.
“Whilst you would like to win by a lot more, the three points is what’s important.”
Leeds are back in Championship action tomorrow night at 18th-placed Reading.
Luton Town: Shea, Potts, Tunnicliffe, Bradley, Pearson, Shinnie (Bolton 89), Mpanzu, Bree, Brown (LuaLua 75), Cornick (McManaman 75), Collins. Unused substitutes: Sluga, Galloway, Jones, Butterfield.
Leeds United: Casilla, Ayling, White, Berardi (Cooper 59), Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Harrison (Costa 64), Roberts (Clarke 71), Bamford. Unused substitutes: Meslier, Douglas, Alioski, Gotts.
Referee: J Brooks (Melton Mowbray).