Ritchie feels for Tykes keeper
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Andy Ritchie admits Vito Mannone was 'close to tears' after his gaffe against Luton.
Andy Ritchie admits Vito Mannone was 'close to tears' after the Barnsley keeper gifted Luton Town a 2-1 win at Oakwell.
Mannone, on loan from Arsenal, was starting his first home game in The Championship for The Tykes, but endured an afternoon to forget.
In injury time, he dropped a ball into the box and Luton's Ahmet Brkovic was on hand to tap in to an empty net.
Barnsley boss Ritchie felt for the teenager after admitting he was unhappy his side had failed to make their first half dominance count.
"I am really disappointed for Vito, it's probably the worst thing that could happen to anyone on their home debut," said Ritchie.
"I felt for him, he was close to tears.
"When I saw him come for the ball I thought 'great', but the ball just slipped through his hands. I said to him 'Don't worry about it'.
"I am disappointed for the team, for the effort they put in. We've got to pick ourselves up and hold our heads up high.
"We should have finished the game at half time."
Luton manager Mike Newell felt his side had proved to be the stronger of the two teams in the second half.
Newell said: "I am delighted that we scored and won the game, if anyone was going to win it late on, it was going to be us.
"We have had plenty of late winners scored against us in the past.
"Ahmet can sniff out goals and that's what he did today.
"We didn't play really well in the first half, but in the second we played much better."