Errors again cost Luton dear according to boss Paul Buckle as they suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Woking at the Kingfield Stadium this afternoon, writes Mark Wood.
Town struggled to deal with a ‘ploughed field’ of a pitch as Jon Shaw’s miss from point-blank range in the second half and Mark Tyler’s fumble swung the game in the Cards’ favour and ultimately cost the Hatters dear.
He said: “It’s very difficult to analyse the game because I think if you look back on it we’ve had the lion’s share of the possession and we’ve done the attacking.
“The big moments are mistakes and they’re poor mistakes by us. We have to hold our hands up and we will.
“We came here today in good form, looking to win the game. We knew it was going to be a fight looking at the pitch this morning.
“And I always knew it was going to be a game full of mistakes and it turned out to be that way.
“The pitch is like a ploughed field but we can’t make excuses we have to get on with it and we did. We did well on it for 60-65 minutes, we did OK on it but we couldn’t play any football on this today.
“It was a game where the pitch played a major part in the game, there’s no doubt about it. But midway through the second half we were on top, we were totally on top. The big moments in the game – Jon’s chance is a big moment in the game and obviously Mark knows he’s got to hold that.
“That gave them momentum, and then Simon’s (Ainge) lost his man in the box for the third. But once we go behind it’s always a fight for us because it’s a big scalp for Woking and any team that plays us it’s a big scalp.”
Buckle conceded Woking had taken the lead with a fine strike, but had been pleased with that way his side recovered.
He said: “We fell behind to a well worked set-play in fairness to them. I would say that was the main quality in the game for them.
“But we recovered well with a great goal from (Andre) Gray, well worked goal and from thereon in we finished the stronger in the first half and didn’t really want half time to come.
“Second half, all but an error from Rens (Scott Rendell) playing a square ball on this pitch we were on top. And I think Shaw missed a header. You wouldn’t want anyone else in that position. I can’t believe it stayed out. They’ve gone up the other end and Mark knows he should hold that.
“Everything was done as I planned it. It was a decent away performance, but goals change games, they really do. I know it’s used a lot, but they do. They change mentalities and we’ve gifted them a goal to get them in front at a stage where it was all us.
“We just spoke in there about critical times in a game where we’ve got to show up at both ends and today we fell short of that.”
Woking boss Garry Hill felt attacking had paid off for his side, but Buckle placed the blame squarely at Luton’s feet.
He said: “I’m not sure whether their tactics have worked. Mark’s an honest guy and Mark will hold that 99 times out of a hundred and that’s a big moment for us in the game because we had them on the back foot and we were all over them but for that mistake that’s given them the lift they need.”
And Buckle knows his side must cut out individual errors if they are to have any chance of winning the title.
He added: “We seem to take one step forward and two back. We go on a run and then we have a disappointing defeat.
“And it’s individual error. A lot of it’s individual error if you look back on the Grimsby game and they’re games where we’ve gifted goals and we’ve done it again today. We’ve gifted goals and we can’t do that, we’ve got to cut that out.”